Business News of 2014-06-03

VRA to construct dam at Pwalugu for electricity

The Volta River Authority (VRA) is to construct a multi-purpose dam at Pwalugu in the Upper East Region, to produce hydro-electric power to serve the country’s energy needs.

The dam, whose construction will begin in 2017, is also to serve as an irrigation facility for local farmers, as well as flood management system, to prevent the perennial floods that affect the catchment areas, as a result of rainfall and opening of the Bagre Dam in Burkina Faso.

To this end, VRA has contracted Mott MacDonald, a United Kingdom institution and the Environ Engineering and Management Consult (EEMC), a Ghanaian firm, to undertake Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) on the project.

Mr. Dyson Jumpah, Chief Executive Officer of EEMC, announced this at a stakeholder consultation meeting in Tamale on Monday to collate views of some key public institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on possible ramifications of the project on the livelihood of those living in the catchment areas.

Some of the institutions that attended the meeting included representatives from the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, the Northern Regional Office of the Ghana Education Service, CARE International and Ghana Developing Communities Association.

Mr. Jumpah said the project would extend by about 439 kilometres squared, from Pwalugu through Kpasinkpe and its surrounding communities in the West Mamprusi and Mamprugu-Moaduri Districts of the Northern Region.

He said the existing White Volta, among other water bodies, would be the main source of water for the dam, adding that discussions were also on-going with Burkinabe Authorities about the Volta Basin as being one of the sources.

He said extensive consultations had also been held with the district assemblies and other key stakeholders at the project catchment areas, and that a skills training component was being developed in the areas of cage farming and aquaculture, to assist those whose livelihoods would be affected.

Mr. Jumpah said the ESIA would be completed by 2015, to enable the construction of the dam to begin in 2017.

Alhaji Alhassan Issahaku, Northern Regional Co-ordinating Director, underscored the importance of the project, saying it would touch a lot of lives, and urged all to support it to ensure its success.