Witness Claims GH¢138m Compensation Inadequate

Professor Patrick Kwabena Ofori Danso, of the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences of the   University of Ghana, Legon, has stated emphatically that the GH¢138 million which cabinet approved in 2008 for payment to people in the Volta River Basin Flooded Areas as land compensation, was inadequate.

He said the amount given to them did not commensurate with the agony of the people, as strange diseases had plagued the communities following the construction of the Akosombo Dam.

Giving evidence at the Judgement Debts Commission yesterday, in connection with the compensation package, Prof. Danso who is one of the beneficiaries, said the construction of the dam had impoverished the inhabitants because all their lands were submerged, adding that some of the people were also visually impaired due to Onchocerciasis.

“My Lord, the people deserve better compensation,” he told the Sole Commissioner, Mr. Justice Yaw Apau.

Professor Danso, who hails from Akroso/Asukawkaw in the Volta Region, said the Volta River Authority (VRA) resettled the flood victims and gave the over 27,000 inhabitants only 1,000 acres of land to farm.

According to him, the prevailing condition in the area had seriously affected academic work and that “A bleak future awaits generations yet unborn”.

Prof. Danso, said all their requests for a more decent compensation package, having lost their livelihood, were disregarded by the previous governments until the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration hooked them (communities) onto the national electricity grid in 2005.

When the lead counsel of the Commission, Mr. Kofi Dometi Sokpor, asked the witness how he came by the site plans covering a land size of 27,000 acres, Prof. Danso explained that the land on which the claims were made, belonged to the Kwabena Bosompim and Kwame Donkor families who nominated him (Prof. Danso) and Mr. John Gyamfi, family members, as their representatives through a Statutory Declaration at a High Court.

He said  the plans were extracted from an original one prepared in 1974, and given to a Chartered Surveyor, Messrs. Kwadwo Abban and Co, to study and process  for the compensation claim from the Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission.

The two families received a total of GH¢1, 440,908.63 as compensation, which had been used to construct a two-storey building of 10 stores, acquired 10 acres of teak plantation, established a scholarship scheme for needy but brilliant students, bought treasury bills at Asubonten Rural Bank, Worawora, and financed the construction of a students’ hostel.

Sitting continues today.

By  Castro Zangina-Tong  

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