Pressure On GWCL to dredge Densu River

Elders of Tetegu and leaders of communities affected by the spillage of the Weija Dam in Accra have called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to impress upon the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) to dredge the Densu River to its original depth of 25 feet.

The Weija Dam which is on the Densu River supports the main water treatment plant that supplies about 80% of the potable water to Accra and its environs.

Spokesperson for Tetegu, Mr. Emmanuel Nii Doudu, who addressed the media at the weekend in Accra, stated that the dredging of the river will go a long way to prevent the damage by the dam’s invading water to homes located in the Weija Dam catchment area.

He disclosed that a petition signed by all the affected parties would be presented to the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, the Ga West District Assembly, GWCL, Council of State and the Office of the President, over the situation while they wait government’s response.

Nii Doudu explained that the reason for calling on President Akufo-Addo to intervene was premised on the grounds that GWCL did not give any prior notice to the communities along the dam before the company’s recent spillage of excess water from the dam.

Flanked by elders of Tetegu Stool including the Queenmother of Tetegu, Naa Kafui Kuwornu, all wearing red armbands, Nii Doudu indicated that they cannot understand why the GWCL has failed to comply with terms in an existing agreement between the central government and communities along the Weija Dam.

“During the handing over ceremony after the construction of the Weija Dam in 1960 (during the regime of the late Head of State, General Kutu Acheampong,) it was agreed at the time that “before spillage of water from the dam, the GWCL must ensure that such water is directed to the sea, and also free from any blocking materials, especially sand deposits, in the river.

“…and also the spilling way should maintain its original depth of 25ft and ensure that the entering point into the sea is checked before any spillage of water from the dam to avoid flooding,” Nii Duodu recounted.

But, according to the elders of Tetegu, the GWCL has on numerous times failed to honour this part of that arrangement, which situation has often resulted in flood waters invading homes of communities in the catchment area of the dam.

They also stated that Tetegu, a fishing community in the Ga state, was founded in the year 1700 before the dam was built.

The elders noted that during this time, the Densu River had its natural flow into the sea without affecting Tetegu and its adjoining communities.

They indicated that after the dam was built in 1960, it broke and flooded Tetegu and its surrounding communities.

Communities that were affected, they mentioned, included Oblogo, Sampama, Tsokome, Fana, Glafe, Dansoman and Sakama.

This, event, they narrated, happened in 1968.

“Residents in all these areas were rendered homeless and the government at the time found it expedient to resettle them in various parts of Accra,” they said.

Tetegu residents, they said, were resettled at Weija which was later named Tetegu New Town.

According to the elders, the buildings which were put up at the time could only accommodate 20% of the population, with a promise from the government that the remaining 80% of the houses would be built for the people.

“However, the remaining 80% went back to their original place (Tetegu), waiting for the government’s promise which has since not come to fruition over the past years.  From 1968 to 1974, the dam was rebuilt with a high capacity volume of water,” they said.

Against this background, they called on the Akufo-Addo government to ensure that the entering point of the river into the sea remains open all the time to allow the river to flow freely into the sea.

According to them, several attempts by the community to put their problems and demands before the Member of Parliament (MP) and the District Chief Executive (DCE) have proved futile as both officials have failed to give any listening ear to their concerns and help find solutions to them.

 

By: Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu

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