A total of 1,216 persons who were relocated by the Bui Power Authority (BPA) following the inception of the hydro-electric power project at the Banda and Bole districts in the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions, respectively, have been given documentation to their houses.
Since the resettlement process ended in 2011, the occupants of the 185 resettled households have been without the documentation, which raised issues about the legal ownership of those buildings.
The documents to those facilities were officially handed over to the heads of the households in the two districts yesterday by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the BPA, Mr Fred Oware, to give them legal ownership of the buildings.
The household units were constructed as part of a compensation package under the BPA Resettlement and Community Support Programme (RCSP) for affected persons in seven communities in those districts.
The resettlement towns include facilities such as community centre, nurseries, places of worship, boreholes and toilets.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic after handing over the facilities to the resettled households, the Resource and Environment Manager at the BPA, Mr Wumbilla Salifu, said handing over the documents was a major milestone in the resettlement process.
“Until today’s exercise, the houses had no documents covering them so we are happy that the occupants can now claim full ownership of the facilities,” he said.
He observed that there were some 15 households that had resisted attempts to resettle them even though the BPA had constructed structures for that purpose.
As part of the compensation package, allowances were given to each member of the affected communities to mitigate the costs of relocation while grants for starting new farms were also given to the resettled farmers.
“The BPA had taken the view that the resettled families would need some time to properly adjust to their environment and re-establish their income generating activities even though the new environment was considered to be an improvement on the old settlement. A period of one year was considered to be a reasonable time for this adjustment to effectively occur.
“For this one-year adjustment period, a monthly allowance of GH¢100 was paid to each household as support while the new farms were being tendered until full production,” he said.
The implementation of the resettlement programme was carried out in three main phases.
In the first phase, four communities living at the construction site of the BPA which included Agbegikuro, Lucene, Dam Site Village and Brewohodi were relocated.
This was followed by the relocation of three communities living in the area which was likely to be inundated by flood such as Bui, Bator Akanyakrom and Dokokyina.
The third phase was the relocation of officers of the Game and Wildlife Division living at an old and dilapidated Bui Camp.