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Govt allocates GH¢220m for dam spillage victims

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The Ghanaian government has allocated GH¢220 million in the 2024 budget to support relief efforts for communities affected by floods caused by the Akosombo and Kpong dam spillage. The amount will also cater to the needs of victims of floods upstream in the Oti, Savannah, and Bono East regions. The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced this in the 2024 Budget statement laid before Parliament for approval Wednesday.

The government has requested funding from the World Bank under the IDA Crisis Response Window (CRW) to support the resettlement of the victims, restoration of livelihoods, compensation, and reconstruction of infrastructure in the affected communities. The budget also updated Parliament on measures taken to address the country’s debt position.

The government has provided various forms of support to the impacted communities through the Volta River Authority (VRA), the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), and various agencies under the 13-member inter-ministerial committee. The support includes food, drinks, mattresses, mosquito nets, clothes, baby food and diapers, sanitary pads, treated water services and storage tanks, solar lamps, sanitation services, restoration of utility services, and some social infrastructure.

The finance minister announced plans to protect the vulnerable in society through the country’s social protection programmes, including a 50% increase in financing of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) programme, an expansion in coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and the School Feeding Programme.

In 2024, the government will continue to provide meals to enhance basic school enrolment and add 448,000 first-year SHS students to the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) policy. The government will also scale up support to young entrepreneurs due to the potential to upscale and the multiplier effects of small and medium-sized businesses.