Management of VRA Resettlement Towns: Case Study, West Kpong Resettlement Town

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‘‘Property in land is capital; property in fund is income without capital; property in mortgage is both capital and income’’ – Lord Manfield. Governments through the use of power of eminent control and compelled by state policy are able to move people involuntarily from their original home and relocated to another location. Governments in their quest to carry out developmental projects affect community’s and individual’s properties. People are displaced and therefore put pressure on their socio - economic, environmental and health issues. The Acquisition of Kpong Lands for the dam project and the creation of the resettlement town generated problems for the resettlement sites – West Kpong. These include, illegal sale of acquired lands, indeterminate boundary demarcation, poor amenities, non-payment of compensation to host communities and clashes/conflict between settler and host communities. The main objectives for the study are to evaluate the socio – economic and environmental significance of land acquisition for large dams, to identify the extent to which public participation is achieved during the planning stage of the dam construction and to assess issues that confront affected persons in respect of compensating and resettling communities by the VRA.For reasons of time and financial constraints, the case study strategy was adopted as the research method. Questionnaire was designed to encompass sustainable dam development and its management. There are three main parts to the questionnaire namely; measures of sample demography, measures of sustainable development, measures of public participation and lastly, measures of resettlement /compensation and management of the resettlement township. In this study data were collected in two stages thus: the pilot study and during the main study. In the main study, fifty questionnaires were sent out. Out of this, thirty – three useable questionnaires were obtained. Unstructured interviews were also conducted. The main data analysis technique utilized is descriptive statistics. The study calculated parentages, means and standard deviations to analyze the data. The study revealed the following findings: The socio- economic status of the inhabitants was low. The majority of the people interviewed were petty traders, farmers, artisans and the unemployed. The policy of compulsory acquisition of land renders landowners landless. The VRA has a large portfolio of landed assets and because of that has become very difficult to continue managing resettlement towns. Residual resettlement management is a major challenge facing the VRA. The following recommendations were made: Acquiring Agencies should ensure proper parcellation and demarcation of plots for settlers. Secondly, there should be the need for security of tenure of holdings. The people uprooted from their original homes must enjoy crystallized interest and permanent rights of occupation. In as much way, settlers in host communities should have a title affording a maximum possible security of tenure
A Thesis submitted to the Institute of Distance Learning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Commonwealth Executive Masters of Business Administration, September-2012