We are removing all illegal settlers from Bui Dam – Chief


The Banda Traditional Council (BTC) says, it has received a firm promise that illegal settlers, whose activities have become a threat to the Bui Dam are going to be removed.

This comes amid strong agitations by the youth who want the settlers evicted to save the Bui Hydroelectric Dam.

Nana Gbankoadi II, the Osiakwanhene of Traditional Area, said their removal could happen as early as Friday, March 27.

They had been given adequate notice to quit the place.

He broke the news to journalists after a closed-door meeting held by the chiefs with the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mrs. Mary Konneh, and the Head of Security of the Bui Power Authority (BPA).

About 2,000 people have illegally settled at the Dokokyina community, which is right inside the operational land site of the BPA and are said to have over the past three years, actively engaged in illegal mining – destroying the vegetation, something that could endanger the sustainability of the dam.

The Dam constructed on the Black Volta River has added 400 megawatts to Ghana’s installed power capacity.

It is a multipurpose dam which, besides generating power, provides water for irrigation.

Nana Gbankoadi mentioned Dablaklo, Accra and Dollar Power as the other communities that were part of the Banda Stool Lands but had come under invasion by illegal miners from outside the district.

He expressed upset with the widespread destruction of the environment by these miners and called for the government and the BPA to act decisively to throw them out of those areas.

He warned that any inaction could prove expensive – put the stability and sustainability of the Bui hydro-electric power project at risk.

The Bui Dam has a height of 108m above the foundation and 90m above the riverbed. The crest of the dam is 492m long and 185m high. The overall structural volume of the dam is one million cubic metres.

The Bui Reservoir covers a total area of 444 square kilometres at a maximum elevation of 183m and an average length of 40km.

The spillway comprises five gates, measuring 15m each in width, to regulate the flow of water.

The construction of the dam resulted in the resettlement of a total of 1,216 people within the project area. In all, the 444-kilometre square of land was inundated.

Fishes and animals such as hippopotamuses were also resettled and that sparked revolt from some environmentalists.

Apart from increasing the installed electricity generation capacity, like all hydropower plants, the project avoids greenhouse gas emissions that would have occurred if thermal power plants had been built instead.

An additional expected benefit is the irrigation of high-yield crops on 30,000 hectares of fertile land in an Economic Free Zone.

Source: GNA


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