General News of Saturday, 3 November 2018
Tension is rising in the Krobo enclave of the Eastern Region after the Volta River Authority (VRA) reneged on an agreement to provide residents there free electricity.
Many postpaid customers in the Krobo Area have for years refused to pay electricity bills.
An attempt by the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to carry out a mass disconnection exercise as a result in 2017, triggered riot leading to the damage of police properties including the torching of police vehicles and multiple injuries.
Several moves by the ECG to get the residents to pay the huge arrears have not been successful.
A youth group in the area, calling itself the United Krobo Foundation, made of leaders of various Krobo groupings called on the VRA to as a matter of urgency uphold the agreement it had with them.
The group says the VRA owes the Krobos “free supply of electricity” after fifty years of operation on their land.
“We United Krobo Foundation is spearheading the course of this struggle until VRA has complied with this directive as stated in the Agreement Paper fifty years now,” said the group at a news conference Thursday.
It added: “VRA has benefited tremendously from the Krobos but they deliberately undermined the progress of the Krobos whose lands were used for the construction of the Akosombo and Kpong dams respectively.”
The General Secretary of the group, Riffiths Samuel, who addressed the presser, in Somanya gave the VRA two weeks ultimatum to come to the negotiation table, warning that “Krobos have a history which cannot be underestimated.
“These resources such as food crops, timber, acres of farmlands, palm plantations just to mention a few were taken before the Dams were constructed. Volta River Authority has left the Krobos in the mercy of poverty and diseases,” said Samuel.
On 13 August, the group wrote to the VRA reminding it of its social responsibilities for the resettlement areas of the Krobo land per the MOU but the Authority did not acknowledge the letter.
Touching on the University of Environment and Sustainable Development, the group warned that moving it from Somanya to Bunso will stall the area’s development.
“Government is for sustainability and continuation. The project has been put to stop, 90% of workers have been laid off,” said the group.