1,216 People Benefit From BPA Resettlement Programme

Some 1,216 people at Bui and its catchment area have benefited from the arranged resettlement programme by the Bui Power Authority (BPA) for eight communities which were affected by the construction of the hydroelectric dam and its reservoir.

The resettlement was necessitated by the fact that six out of the eight communities fell within the area of permanent inundation. Although Dokokyina would not be inundated, there was the need for them to be relocated because the community was going to be surrounded on three sides by the reservoir (south, east and west), and large parts of their land, which they used for cultivation, grazing, hunting and collection of forest products, was also going to be submerged.

The BPA Resettlement Programme also involved the relocation of the Bui Camp, the dilapidated residence of the Game and Wildlife Officers assigned to protect the Bui National park.

BPA, recognizing that displacement of people could pose social challenges that needed to be understood for development of durable solution, pursued an Environmental and Social Impact Mitigation Measures stipulated in a Resettlement Planning Framework (January 2007) for the Bui Hydroelectric Project.

This report outlined the processes and principles for resettlement to achieve the objectives of improving the living conditions and creating economic opportunities for the affected people.

The main elements of the Resettlement & Community Support Program which was agreed between BPA and the Project Affected People after consultations included improved houses (Room for Room + kitchen + bathroom + living room), Community Center, Education, Electricity, Potable Water, Road, Health, Livelihood Enhancement Phase 1 of the program include toilet facilities and compensation for loss of economic trees at LVB rates.

The residents also got grants of GH¢100 for relocation being the allowance given to each member of the affected communities to mitigate the incidental costs and inconvenience of relocation. Another facility is a GH¢50 to till new farm and temporary income support of GH¢100 per month per household, for one year.

Speaking in a separate interview with The New Crusading GUIDE to find out his over view of the whole resettlement programme, the Bui Chief, Nana Kwadwo Wuo II said he and his people were happy about the whole process and they have now settled-in at their new environment. He indicated that before the process began, they took a tour to the Akosombo area where resettlement for a dam purpose was first conducted and comparing it to what they have today at Bui, it is safe to say that theirs was a massive improvement and the communities were happily living together in harmony.

Apart from the accommodation, the livelihood of the people who were affected by the project has been restored through the provision of new farmlands whilst the fisher folks also go fishing inside the Bui reservoir.