The chiefs and owners of Adjena township (also known as Akosombo) has made a passionate appeal to the Government to use a matter of necessity fulfill its compensation package to communities resettled as a result of the construction of the Akosombo Dam.
“The government must take clear steps to redeem its image and pay as a matter of urgency all compensation due to victims of the dam construction.”
Meanwhile they have threatened to go to court to demand compensations from the Vota River Authority (VRA) for lands that were illegally acquired for the construction of the Akosombo dam.
According to a statement released to the press and signed by the chief of the town, Nana Twum Barima III, the owners of the land are ready to go court if VRA continues deny them what rightly belongs to them. He said the owners of the land are prepared to legally fight them as they have what it takes to do so if they continue to remain adamant, saying the people of Adjena are determined to claim whatever is due them in court.
The statement said the Akosombo Hydro Dam is sited on their lands, the Maritime Club House is also on their land, but no compensation has been paid since they were constructed many decades ago. “The lands for the construction of the Tank farm as well the Director’s Quarters were illegally acquired as no compensation has so far been paid to the owners”, it added.
The statement added that the new Adjena township was acquired by the VRA to resettle the people to pave way for the construction of the dam without any compensation.
The release further disclosed that even the beautiful palace belonging to the people was submerged in the lake during the construction of the dam, but the VRA has failed to replace it for the people, though they promised to do so.
The statement further said, the VRA is celebrating it’s 60th anniversary this year, yet no notice has been sent to the chiefs and elders of the town.
The release however expressed regret that the VRA has deprived the people of Adjena their livelihood, thus subjecting them to economic, social and moral hardship.
“The people of Adjena are no longer going to accept the kind of Injustices and disrespect meted out to them by the VRA”, it concluded.
Read the full statement below:
a) BEFORE THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE DAM
– From 1880’s, to the time construction work begun for the Hydro Dam at Akosombo, Adjena was involved in huge commercial activities in the areas of farming, fishing and trading.
– Exportation of palm and kernel oil was centred at Adjena through the Volta River to Ada for onward exportations to Europe.
– Adjena was the hub of all these business activities as it was the biggest market at the southern belt. People from Koforidua, Akyem, Kwahu and Krobo land brought these goods to the central market which was at Adjena.
– All the biggest stores were located at Adjena. eg. JB Olivant, UTC, CFAO etc. were located at Adjena. People from Koforidua, Kwahu, Akyem, Kroboland had to come to Adjena to buy their building materials.
– Because of these booming businesses which could attract criminals, they had a special police force called “Water Police” to protect lives and properties of both the inhabitants and traders alike.
– The only revenue generated by the Mid-Volta Local Council was from Adjena was the economic spine of all these areas.
– There was not even a single switch or mud house in old Adjena, as the chief would not permit its construction.
– The fishermen were permitted to construct mud houses but were not allowed to do so in Adjena – township but in their respective hamlets.
– The chief’s Palace at Adjena was the best and biggest in the Mid-Volta Local Council area. It was an edifice which was also attractive to tourist.
– There were religious bodies eg. Roman Catholic Church, Presby Church, Mosque etc. They made life lively and also contributed to shaping the moral values of the inhabitants.
DURING THE CONSTRUCTION
• The people of Adjena were shocked when the news broke-out that they were going to be relocated for the construction of a new Hydro Dam at Akosombo which would serve the interest of the Nation
• Looking at the booming businesses, with better livelihood which they were going loose, they realised government was not fair to them.
• The President of the Republic of Ghana Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, promised that he would make sure the people of Adjena were not made worst of. But what do we see now? Abject poverty, discrimination, suppression, segregation etc.
• Because of the emergency nature of our relocation, the government said that they were going to temporarily relocate us after which better houses would be put up for us. That was the agreement. Yet what do we see? We continue to live in these mud houses for close to 60 years. All these mud houses are dilapidated and death traps to humanity.
• No proper drainage system in the town creating trenches that could lead to deaths of the people.
AFTER CONSTRUCTION OF THE DAM
“The great problem confronting us today is that we have allowed the means by which we live to out distance the ends for which we live. We have allowed our civilization to outrun our culture, and so we are in danger now of ending up with guided missiles in the hands of misguided men” Martin Luther King Jnr.
a. Life at New Adjena
– During the first six months of our relocation to new Adjena, VRA supplied the indigents with water in tankers on daily basis.
– They mischievously acquired our lands and claimed they would allocate to us as farmlands. This they did not pay any compensation to us. They later took away the said lands from us, compelling us to farm on rocky lands.
– The lands they acquired for the construction of New Adjena township have seen no compensation to the all land owners. What type of travesty is this? They have deprived us of our livelihoods making the once booming and lively old Adjena to be subjected to economic, social and moral agony.
– The Akosombo Hydro Dam is sited on our lands yet no compensation has been paid to us since its construction.
– Furthermore, they unlawfully entered our lands to construct the Maritime Club House near the Dam in 1989.
– The lands for construction of Tank farm and Directors’ Quarters were illegally acquired as no compensation has been paid to us. This is tragedy of human history to the people of Adjena.
– It would interest you to know that at Old Adjena as stated earlier on, we had huge and beautiful edifice as palace which was submerged under the lake during construction of the Dam, yet VRA had failed to reconstruct the palace for us at New Adjena.
– The saddest aspect is that VRA is celebrating its 60th Anniversary yet not a single notice has been served on the chiefs and elders of Adjena. We have been jettisoned and also neglected.- They should be informed that we are more than prepared to legally fight them as we have what it takes to do so.
– You have shuttered our culture, economic and social aesthetic lives. Let us have our humane habitat. How do we grapple to get our lives emancipated from the claws of your inhumane treatment matted out to us?
– Be informed that, we the people of Adjena mean business now and are determined to get whatever is rightfully due us. We can no longer accept injustices from your unemphatic hands and domain. Be advised!!!
FROM NANA TWUM BARIMAH III
CHIEF OF ADJENA
Adjena lands manegement Committee