The Government of Ghana and the China International Water and Electric Corporation, have signed an agreement for the construction of a 60-megawatt hydro-electric dam at Sekyere-Hemang in the Wassa East District of the Western Region.
The project, estimated at a cost of 300 million dollars, would be completed in three years, to provide additional source of energy generation for the country.
The Director of Power at the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, Mr. Stephen Kwakye Doku, made this known at Daboase in the Wassa East District, during a public hearing on the Environmental Impact Assessment of the project, organized by the Environmental Protection Agency.
He said government signed the agreement with the Chinese firm about a week ago, and gave the assurance that appropriate compensation, as well as socio-economic issues pertaining to the welfare of the affected communities, would be sorted out before the commencement of the project.
The 20-metre high dam, to be constructed on the Pra River, would therefore affect seven communities within the catchment area of the project.
A total of 1,650 residents of Adukwa, Bosomase, Apetebi, Yeyebiahwe, Okyerekrom, Nyamebekyere and Hemang who would be affected by the construction of the project, would be re-settled.
Mr Doku assured the people that the Land Valuation Board would value the cash and food crops, and that government would pay the appropriate compensation package to farmers and landowners, while livelihood enhancement programmes would be rolled out to ensure sustainable livelihoods.
Dr Kobina Barima Antwi, a Senior Lecturer and a former Head of Department of the Geography and Regional Planning of the University of Cape Coast, who chaired the panel of discussion, urged government and the Chinese contractors to ensure that the concerns of the people were considered, before the commencement of the project to ensure peace and harmony in the area.
He expressed optimism that the completion of the project would boost the energy mix of the nation and enhance productivity.
During an open forum, the residents who would be affected by the project expressed varied opinions and concerns, including employment for local artisans, appropriate compensation package to farmers, alternative and sustainable livelihood, among others.
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