Some officials of the Volta River Authority (VRA) have briefed the Paramount Chief of the Mamprugu Traditional Area, Nayiri, Naa Bohagu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga, on advanced plans to commence the construction of the Pwalugu Multi-Purpose Dam.
Mr Emmanuel Dankwa Osafo, the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Engineering and Operations of the VRA, who led a team including some key stakeholders to the Palace of the Nayiri in Nalerigu, North East Region, said ever since they informed him of the construction project, a lot of work had been done.
He said the livelihoods of people living in and around the construction site would be affected, and mentioned the Suhuluya, Kurugu, Kparipiri, Gubeu, and the Kpa-atusi communities in the West Mamprusi Municipality as the affected communities.
He said there was a resettlement scheme in which new townships would be constructed for the affected communities, and gave the assurance that they would have “New houses, roads, schools, CHPS compounds, places of worship, market and everything.”
Mr Osafo told the Nayiri that the issue of resettlement was yet to be discussed with the people in the affected communities but surveyors had been sent out to put pegs on all the areas that would be affected by the water.
“We want to have a good relationship with the people that we are going to resettle”, he added.
He said the impact of the construction on the affected communities were categorised and would be presented to the Environmental Protection Agency for assessment and approval for the project to start.
This, he said would help them know the people to compensate according to their affected properties, “In addition to that we have surveyed and know where the dam would be put up. The dam has a solar pack and we have also surveyed to know where the solar will be.”
Mr Osafo indicated that they had engaged the Lands Evaluation Division of the Lands Commission to value the affected lands for compensation, saying “We are not going to value the lands because we are an interested party. We have given that responsibility to an independent government institution to evaluate.”
The North East Regional Minister, Mr Zakaria Yidana, said a lot of paperwork had been done since President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the project in November 2019.
He appealed to the Nayiri to assist resettle residents of the affected communities to aid the construction of the project.
The Minister further appealed to the Chief to lead the process of land acquisition for the construction of the township to resettle the people from the five affected communities.
The Nayiri on his part said it appeared there was a delay in the construction of the project, and appealed to the government and stakeholders to facilitate the construction as quickly as possible for his people to derive the intended benefits.
He was hopeful that the compensation packages for the people to be resettled would be given accordingly to the affected people so that he, the Nayiri, would not be seen as one who deceived his people to accept inadequate resettlement terms.