The government has finally released a total of Gh¢2.1 million for the payment of the second batch of compensation to people whose crops, buildings and structures were destroyed in the construction of transmission lines under the Bui Hydroelectric Project.
The External Relations Manager of the Bui Power Authority (BPA), Wumbila Salifu, who disclosed this said ‘disbursements to the affected persons would begin Monday, February 17, 2014’.
The beneficiaries’ crops, buildings and structures within the right of way of the transmission lines which cover a total land area of 240 kilometres were consumed by the project, he said.
According to the BPA, the Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission inspected, enumerated and valued the properties belonging to some 885 persons spread across 41 communities.
Mr Salifu noted in a statement: “This is the second batch of compensation to be paid under the project after the first was successfully carried out in April, 2012 to 580 farmers whose economic trees and crops were affected by the Bui reservoir and constructional activities under the Bui Generating Station’.
The Lands Valuation Division of the Lands Commission, acting on behalf of the Government of Ghana and with the assistance of the BPA had completed the payment of the first batch of crop compensation to persons whose economy trees and crops have been affected by the ongoing Bui Hydroelectric construction work.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Bui Power Authority, Jabesh Amissah-Arthur, the economy trees and crops for which payment was made were those located at either the current construction site, the resettlement sites or within the area to be inundated by the Bui reservoir.The beneficiaries for this batch of compensation payments, about 580 people, have since received a total of $1 million.
In December last year, the government commissioned the 400 megawatts (MW) Bui Hydroelectric Dam in the Tain District of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The project, which cost over $622 million, is funded with a concessional loan of $263.5 million and a buyer’s credit of US$298.5 million from the government of the People’s Republic of China and the Exim Bank respectively, with the Government of Ghana contributing $60 million.
The substantial completion of the Project now, provides Ghana with additional 400MW (20% increment) of installed capacity, with average annual generation of 1000GWh.
President John Dramani Mahama, who was joined by the former President John Agyekum Kufuor , Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Ministers of State, senior officials of the Sinohydro Corporation Limited, chiefs and people of the area to commission the power facility, noted that; ‘the project comes at the time when the Ghanaian economy is growing at 7-8% of gross domestic product (GDP). So, the demand for energy in the country is therefore increasing’.
The project increased the installed Ghana’s electricity generation capacity which stands at 2,000MW, with a demand of 1,500MW.
Together with three thermal power plants (Aboadze, Asugli and Tema Thermal 1 Power Plant) will contribute to alleviate power shortages that are common in Ghana.
It also reinforces the Transmission Network in the three northern regions comprising Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.
Furthermore, like all any hydro-power plants, the project avoids greenhouse gas emissions that would have occurred if thermal power plants had been built instead.
‘As the country moves to develop its oil and gas resources, the government is keen not to push agriculture to the backstage but to continue to improve inputs for sustainable agricultural growth, food availability for the people of Ghana,’ the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi said at the commissioned.
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