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Pwalugu Multi-purpose Dam: Compensate residents with lands not cash – Prof. Millar

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Vice-Chancellor for the Millar Institute for Transdisciplinary and Development Studies Professor David Millar has identified problems with the proposed compensation package for persons expected to be relocated as the construction of the Pwalugu Multi-purpose Dam continues.

He said the current proposed compensation package which would see cash payments to residents who are expected to be relocated is not development-oriented. Professor Millar suggested that the residents rather be allocated with portions of the 20-thousand-hectare land to be developed for irrigation in the West Mamprusi District in the North East Region.

He shared these concerns when he spoke to Samuel Mbura on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show. “The compensation is part of the headache. The people who will be displaced in the Upper East Region are supposed to be paid off [with] cash. It is only one village that is supposed to be relocated in the Upper East Region. Those people who are given the cash will be spent on one market day. It is better to allocate portions of the 20 thousand hectares of land in the West Mamprusi District. At least, give them 5 thousand hectares. To pay them off, at least for me, is socially unfair,” he explained.

Professor Millar asked managers of the project to engage the services of lawyers and surveyors to allow for fair compensation of residents that are to be relocated. He said the monies which will be paid to the men, as heads of the families, will not benefit other members of the families like children.

He expressed worry that the 2022 Economic Policy and Financial Statement did not directly commit resources to the construction of the project. “It must feature in the budget regularly. It is not an externally funded project like Vea or Tolon. It is purely GoG [Government of Ghana funded] and it must be in the budget,” he explained.

Professor Millar explained that the people in the area and in the region deserve explanations on why the dam did not feature in the budget.

Background

President Akufo-Addo November 29, 2019 cut the sod the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region. The 750 million dollar project is expected to be completed in 2024.

When completed, the multipurpose Pwalugu dam will have an elevation of 165M near the Pwalugu Bridge on the White Volta River. The Pwalugu Multipurpose dam comes with a twenty-five-thousand-hectare irrigation scheme the country’s biggest bulk so far, which will boost annual rice production by up to 117,000 tons and maize by up to 49,000 tons. Other crops to be produced include tomatoes, sugar, sweet potato, sweet pepper, and onions. The dam will also be a source of water supply to communities in the catchment area.

Meanwhile, some 4,200 homes, 38 shrines & 18 graves are to be affected in the course of the construction of the dam.

A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz| Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith | Ghana

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