The Ministry of Energy has denied reports that the Energy Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, peddled falsehoods in his briefing to Parliament on measures taken by the government to provide relief for the people affected by the Akosombo Dam spillage.
Dr. Opoku Prempeh in an address to Parliament explained that the Volta River Authority (VRA) was forced to spill excess water from the reservoir to prevent it from collapsing.
However, several groups, including the Mepe Development Association, condemned the minister’s comments, calling them appalling and unapologetic.
In a statement issued on Monday, the Energy Ministry described the commentaries after the minister’s briefing as distortions intended to cause disaffection for the minister.
The statement said that the minister’s comments were based on sound technical advice from the VRA and other experts and that he had not peddled any falsehoods.
The ministry also reiterated the government’s commitment to providing relief and support to the people affected by the spillage.
Below is the Energy Ministry’s full statement.
The attention of the Ministry of Energy has been drawn to distortions in news publications, on the update in Parliament by the Hon. Energy Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh on the Akosombo and Kpong Dam spillage by the Volta River Authority VRA.
These distortions may be borne either out of a genuine lack of knowledge or deliberate distortions, clearly intended to achieve political and electoral gains, and also to cause disaffection for the Hon. Minister.
The Ministry would like to put on record that, the Minister never peddled falsehoods in Parliament, and provides clarity as follows:
1. That, the immutable fact, remains that, the VRA had to spill at the time it did to prevent the catastrophic consequence of the collapse of the dam.
2. That, the record will show, that before the spill and in the month of May, 2023, VRA and NADMO conducted a live simulation exercise in Mepe.
3. That, the VRA, NADMO, the inter-ministerial committee, CSO’s, NGO’s, FBO’s and indeed well-meaning Ghanaians, have supported and continue to support the communities affected by the spillage.
4. That, responsible leaders, including Members of Parliament in partnership with VRA, NADMO and the inter-ministerial committee have also been assisting victims with relief items to be distributed to the affected communities
5. These are the key facts contained in the Hon. Minister’s statement on the floor of the house as captured in the Hansard of November 8, 2023.
6. On the back of this true account, the Ministry is of the considered view that, some persons are deliberately engaging in a populist agenda by, exploiting the pain of the affected persons on the altar of political expediency.
7. The Ministry holds the view that, this move is unnecessary and will only exacerbate the pain of the affected people and also worsen their plight. The Minister nor his assigns do not intend to engage in a banter with any person or group of persons, because in the Minister’s view, what is really important, is the alleviation of the plight and ‘back to normal life’ of the people
8. We urge the good citizens of Ghana to continue to support government roll-out its coordinated response to this matter, together with the VRA, NADMO and the inter- ministerial committee
9. The Energy Minister reiterates his sympathies to the affected areas and thus, we ask the general public to treat these twisted narratives with the utmost contempt they deserve