Volta River Authority (VRA) 52 resettlement communities under the mother umbrella of the National Association of Resettlement Communities (NARCO) submerged by the Volta Lake during the construction of the Akosombo and Kpong Dams entreated the government to expedite steps to resolve prevailing situations in the (resettlement) communities.
The chairman of NARCO, Togbe Adom Drayi II, who addressed the gathering at this year’s Annual Delegates Conference held on 7th October 2023 at the VRA Conference Hall, Akuse in the Eastern Region unraveled that the construction of the Dams has adversely impacted 730 towns and villages and about 80,000 people were also displaced of their homes.
“Most people who lose their land to the lake have still not been paid the appropriate compensation, resettlement communities have been excluded from the VRA Resettlement Trust Fund (RTF) board, and some host communities are encroaching on land occupied by resettled communities while some settlers are facing court cases with their host communities due to government’s inability to pay the host communities compensation,” he stated.
According to him, some facilities provided in the resettlement communities: roads, school blocks, and medical facilities are in a deployable state adding that some communities lack potable water while drainage systems have also been left out causing flood and destruction to the facilities.
“We humbly request VRA to institute an evaluation to properly establish the prevailing situation in the resettlement townships and involve the resettlement communities in its planning process since the communities are the direct beneficiaries of the fund which result will inform VRA’s future policy interventions”, Togbe Adom Dravi II appealed to VRA.
Dr. Richard Twum Barima Koranteng, the Executive Director of VRA Resettlement Trust Fund addressed the call to involve the communities on the board and explained that the 52 communities are represented by 10 Members of Parliament (MP) who liaise between the beneficiaries and are responsible for giving feedback to the communities.
He further stated that the deed that established the RTF board has to go through a vigorous procedure to include the communities. Therefore, the MPs must constantly give feedback to the communities to curb any doubt.
Deputy Executive Director of VRA, Engineer Dominic Arthur, also pledged that the authorities through RTF will continue to construct infrastructure such as schools, roads medical facilities, sanitation projects, and clean water sources in resettlement communities, promote alternative livelihood programmes that can produce income and job opportunities to aid the economic empowerment of the communities.
“Let us therefore pledge to take lessons from the past achievements and work together to create a more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable future for all as we continue to commemorate 60 years of growth”, he entreated the stakeholders.