VRA Begins Training On Processes Of Social Impact Assessment In Hydropower Projects


The Volta River Authority (VRA) Academy, has commenced a training programme on the processes of social impact assessment in hydropower projects.

The five-day training programme will also focus on the impact of hydropower on health, resettlement and the livelihoods of the community.

The training is being organised by the VRA in collaboration with the International Centre for Hydro power, the World Bank Group, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Water Resources Commission with finance from NORAD.

The event brought together participants from Anglofone countries- Ghana, Uganda, Zambia and Sierra Leone to share ideas to improve skills for energy professionals.

Mr Eric Mensah Bonsu, the Chief Learning Officer, VRA Academy, said the training would focused on the social impact of the construction of dams on the environment and as well as come out with sustainable ways to mitigate the impact.

Mr Bonsu said the construction of the Volta Lake had several consequences on the community in terms of settlement and their livelihood.

He said the programme would also overview at the processes when constructing a dam and see how best to develop sustainable measures to mitigate the impact on the environment.

According to him, construction of dams serve as a renewable energy and that Ghana was moving to clean and renewable energy platform, hence the need to collaborate with partners to address the phenomenon.

He said VRA had a Sustainable Development Unit and Corporate Social Responsibility outfit to respond to the needs of the community in an efficient and effective manner.

He stressed that VRA had a Resettlement Trust Fund for the community and spends over $500,000 yearly on resettlement, adding that the programme would enable the countries share and learn experience on measures in addressing the impact of hydropower on the environment.

Madam Carole Rosenlund, the Head of Africa Sector, International Centre for Hydropower, on her part said the outfit prioritises skill development for hydropower professionals.

She stated that it was necessary to address the skills gap and build competence because the technological roles were changing.

Madam Carole Rosenlund said the sector was becoming international and there was the need to work collectively to address the social impact of hydropower in communities.

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