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Environmental and Socioeconomic Perturbations of a Dam Project on Catchment Communities, Ghana

Hydroelectric dams, both large and medium like the Bui dam in Ghana, have demonstrated their imposing nature, variously on the natural and social environment of the adjoining human settlements. The main objective of this paper is to identify and assess the environmental and socioeconomic effects of the construction and operations of the Bui dam on the catchment communities in the parts of Banda and Bole Districts of the Brong-Ahafo and Northern regions of Ghana. Triangulating quantitative and qualitative methods, the study employed a systematic and quota sampling techniques to administer partially pre-coded questionnaires to n=215 respondents, drawn from eight communities in the study area. Descriptive statistics such as percentages, mean scores and frequency distributions were used to analyse the data in statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 17. The results indicated that the main environmental aspects affected diversely by the construction and operation are vegetation and biodiversity, while the catchment communities’ farming and fishing livelihoods were also affected variously, due to the effect of the dam construction and operations on farm lands and water resources. The Bui Power Authority in conjunction with the resettled communities should ensure a sustainable livelihood and environmental resources management through dialogue and engagements.

Author(s): Divine Odame Appiah, Michael Sarfo, Bridgette Famieh, Henrietta Addai

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