Business News of Wednesday, 4 April 2012
Some farmers affected by the on-going construction of the Bui Hydroelectric dam in Tain District of Brong-Ahafo Region have threatened legal action against Bui Power Authority (BPA) over the delay of payment of compensation due them.
Large acres of teak, cocoa, plantain, cassava, maize, oil palm plantation and other food and commercial crops belonging to more than 5000 farmers were cleared to pave the way for the construction of power transmission lines to the dam site in 2011.
The power lines pass through Asutifi, Sunyani West and Tain districts as well as Sunyani and Wenchi municipalities in the region.
The affected farmers, scattered in these areas, have also given the BPA a one-month ultimatum to effect all payments of compensation claims amounting to millions of Ghana Cedis or they would embark on a mass demonstration.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani, Mr. Peter Obeng, spokesperson of the aggrieved farmers, explained that the BPA hired some contractors in 2011 to clear their farmlands to enable the authority to transmit electricity power to the dam site.
“As a result of this, our lives are in serious danger because our sources of income and food have been cleared without any compensation”, he said.
Mr. Obeng emphasised that the farmers protested against the action of the BPA and petitioned the Regional Coordinating Council on the matter.
The BPA responded positively indicating their preparedness to compensate all the affected farmers, he said, adding, contractors working on the power lines had erected electricity poles but the farmers had heard nothing positive from the Authority and the government.
Mr. Obeng said large acres of his cocoa, plantain and Oil Palm plantation were affected and he was seeking GH¢ 80,000 as compensation.
“We wish to stress that we have accommodated enough patience and will still keep waiting till the end of April 2011 and if no positive piece of information is heard, we will advise ourselves by stopping the contractors and pursue our cause in court”, he said.
Mr. John Franklin Anane, an affected farmer, also told the GNA that acres of his plantain, cocoyam, teak, cassava, orange, maize and oil palm plantations were all cleared and that he was demanding GH¢ 120,000 from the BPA.
Other affected farmers told the GNA the power lines from the Bui down to Sereso through Adantia, Kotokrom and Yawhima were surveyed in July 2011 by the BPA and stock of crops were taken.
Mr. Kwame Badu, who is claiming GHC 90,000 for the destruction of his cocoa, teak, maize, groundnuts and oil palm plantations, noted that the Government was liable to pay the compensation to the farmers.