Bui Power Authority (BPA) has spent 11 million dollars on the resettlement of communities affected by the on-going construction of the 400 megawatts Bui Dam near Banda-Ahenkro in the Tain District of Brong-Ahafo.
The communities so far resettled are Brewodi, Dam site, Agbegikuro, Lucene, Bui Village, Bator-Akanyakrom and Dokokyina. The communities are made up of 183 households with 1,116 residents.
It also intends to relocate Bui Camp, current residence of Game and Wildlife officials assigned to protect the Bui National Park, which has 36 households of 100 residents.
Mr. Gabriel Apatu, assistant external affairs officer of the BPA disclosed this when he conducted newsmen round “resettlement part B” after the authority relocated Bator-Akanyakrom and Dokokyina communities to the camp on Friday.
Basic facilities completed at the Camp include 170 housing units, a school, community centre and toilets. Places of worship (churches and mosques), health facilities and police stations are yet to be completed.
The Bator-Akanyakrom community has 63 households of 437 residents whilst Dokokyina community has 36 households with 165 residents, who are mainly fisherfolks and petty traders.
Mr. Apatu explained that even though the Authority recognized the anxieties on the people involved in the resettlements, it had become necessary because all those communities would directly be affected by the construction of the dam.
“The development of the dam will create a reservoir that will involve the inundation, at its full supply level, 444 kilometres square of land, including parts of Bui National Park”, he stated.
Mr. Apatu said although the Dokokyina community would not be inundated, it had been relocated because the community would be surrounded on three sides by the reservoir (south, east and west) and large parts of their land being used for cultivation, grazing, hunting and collection of forest products would also be submerged.
He disclosed that because of the inconveniences caused to the affected communities of the project, the Authority had designed community support programmes that included compensation for lost economic trees for the people.
Mr. Apatu said under its livelihood enhancement programme, the BPA had provided GH¢100 to each individual as resettlement grant and GH¢70 for them to till new farmlands, as well as an income support of GH¢100 a month per household for a year.
“This means that if there are 20 people in a household each person is going to receive GH¢100, including children”, Mr. Apatu added.
He gave the assurance that the BPA would see to it that lives of the# affected communities were improved.
At Akanyakrom, Mr. David Tofu, a fisherman, told the Ghana News Agency
(GNA) that his family were being relocated to another place that was far from the Volta Lake.
He said as a fishing community, the people depended on the Lake for their living and “we don’t actually know the kind of work we are going to do for our living at this new place”.
Mr. Tofu appealed to the BPA to allow the people to fish in areas along the Lake that were not affected by the construction of the dam for their livelihood.
“Even though our settlement is quite far from the lake, as our profession we can walk to the lake to fish”, the fisherman added.
The Bui hydro-electric power generation project is being funded with a concessional loan of 263.5 million dollars and a buyer’s credit of $298.5 million from the Chinese government and EXIM bank respectively. The total cost of the project is $622 million and the Government of Ghana is contributing 60 million dollars.