Business News of 2013-12-14

Construction of Pwalugu dam begins in 2017

Mr Dyson Jumpah, Chief Executive Officer, Environmental Engineering and Management Consult has announced that the proposed construction of the Pwalugu multi-purpose dam would commence from 2017 and be completed in 2022.

He said the project, which had already started pre-feasibility studies was expected to generate 50 to 60 megawatts of electricity to boost the energy supply demands of the country; adding that the project would also provide irrigation facilities for livelihood empowerment while fishery would also be created.

Mr Jumpah announced this in Tamale on Thursday during a consultative meeting on the social and environmental impact assessment of the project where he indicated that feasibility studies was expected to be completed in April 2015 and contract awarded between September 2015 and 2016.

The consultative forum was to take suggestions from the public as part of the process in finalizing the construction of the dam, which brought people from diverse walks of life to make suggestions.

Mr Jumpah said the proposed project was going to be built along the White Volta Dam in the Upper East and the Northern regions with the Volta River Authority being the implementing agency, noting that it had the potential to negatively impact on the surroundings.

He said government had set up a national steering committee to ensure that the best was sought for the country stressing that redevelopment, settlement and compensation packages for the affected people were all being considered to avert problems that might arise as a result of the construction of the dam.

Mr Jumpah said apart from the hydropower generation, floods would be controlled along with economic ventures and job creation, and cautioned people to beware of the environmental and occupational hazards and pollution that were likely to have impact on the project.

Mr Bede Ziedeng, Northern Regional Minister said the project was very important to Ghanaians since it would generate additional power to solve the energy demands of the country.

He advised the consultants to adequately assess the negative implications of the project in order to avoid problems confronted by similar development projects in other parts of the country.

Mr Philip Tetteh Padi of the Engineering Services Department of the VRA said the Authority had been doing feasibility studies on the Pwalugu dam since 1993 through a consultant.