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VRA to safeguard the environment and livelihoods in operation areas

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Volta River Authority (VRA) has reiterated its commitment to fulfil its obligations to safeguard the environment and livelihoods in its operational areas.

In this respect, VRA in 2005 formulated a Corporate Environmental Policy Statement to guide its operations to ensure good environmental and sustainable practices.

Mr Maxwell Odoom, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of VRA in charge of Services, made the commitment at a day’s Environmental Management Plan (EMP) workshop for external stakeholders in Accra on the Akosombo and Kpong Hydro-electric dams.

Stakeholders will discuss a practical and efficient way to implement the action plan together with partners in the two operational areas.

The EMP is to document the obligations and responsibilities of VRA and the management of the impact of the two dams including collaboration with other stakeholders.

It also contains an assessment of the positive and negative impacts of the existence and operations of the dams both upstream and downstream and outline measures to be undertaken to mitigate the negative impacts.

The measures are detailed in a practical ambitious but realistic action plan, which list the steps necessary for effective implementation.

Mr Odoom said VRA has over the years undertaken a lot of activities to promote the wellbeing of the lakeside and downstream inhabitants and mentioned some of interventions as the Bilharzia Control Programme and other medical services as well as the rehabilitation of settlers.

“In the implementation of this Action Plan, the collaboration with stakeholders is indispensable and will be needed to enhance the sustainable development in the affected communities,” he added.

Mr Ulyssef Ocran-Hammond, EMP Co-ordinator said the strict monitoring of the effectiveness of the EMP and its actions is of utmost importance to its success.

The monitoring results will be reported annually to EPA while a summary will be made available to the public.

Source: GNA

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