DCE calls for fair disbursement of VRA fund

Mr Francis Ganyaglo, the Kpando District Chief Executive, has called for a fair representation of all stakeholders constituting the membership of the board of the Volta River Authority Resettlement Trust Fund.

He suggested inclusion of District Chief Executives, chiefs of resettled communities and host paramountcies for a better, long-term and sustainable social integration.

Mr Ganyaglo said this at the inauguration of a three-unit classroom block at Vakpo-Dunyo and Aveme-Danyigba in the Kpando District.

He said there had been hostility between host landowners and the 52 resettled communities throughout the country, particularly the Volta Region after the construction of the Akosombo Dam in 1960.

Mr Ganyaglo said DCEs, apart from being the political and administrative heads at that level, had a firm grasp on issues in their areas in addition to being the first point of call when there is a problem.

He said the inclusion of chiefs from both sides to the Trust Board would deepen dialogue, restore acceptability and respect more so when concerns of the people would be short-circuited before it became confrontational.

Mr Ganyaglo proposed the integration of the traditional authorities of resettlement communities into traditional councils of host communities to eliminate strives, suspicion and rancour.

He expressed regret at the absence of community integration strategies and appealed to VRA to rethink its policy under the Trust Fund and pay equal attention to host communities in its infrastructure development.

Mr Ganyaglo appealed to the government to constitute a committee to look into the compensation regimes otherwise “we would be creating a legitimate environment for host communities to reclaim their land in the future.”

Togbega Gbogbolulu V, the Paramount Chief of Vakpo Traditional Area, appealed to the government to engage VRA to reconsider paying royalties to land owners instead of compensations and this calls for a review of its policy.

He said payment of royalties would cement the relationship between resettle and host communities, making them joint stakeholders and custodians of the land.

Togbega Gbogbolulu urged government to re-evaluate the issue or have itself to blame in future when legally host communities would have been qualified to reclaim such lands.

Mr Joseph Z. Amenowode, the Volta Regional Minister, pledged the Volta Regional Coordinating Council’s support to any collaboration that would lend a hand in permanently resolving the impasse between the parties.

He urged the Trust Fund not to marginalize host communities in its development programmes.

Mr Andrew T. Baffour, Board Chairman of VRA Trust Fund, said Mr Ganyaglo’s suggestions would be tabled for discussion at ministerial and board levels.

Source: GNA

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