Analyzing the Relevance of VRA Resettlement Trust Fund as a Benefit Sharing Mechanism
- Richard Twum Barimah Koranteng
- Guoqing Shi
AbstractThe Volta River Authority Resettlement Trust Fund’ (VRA RTF) was established by the Ghanaian Government, with some threshold of assistance the VRA outfit. More than thirty years after the dam’s construction project got its finality, a scheme was subsequently introduce to ensure that earnings emanating from the dam’s activities would be of immense relevance to the deranged folks by providing socio-economic amenities like water and sanitation, infrastructural developmental projects among others. However, financing deficiencies appear to be an indispensable and integral setback as far as the pursuance of the Trust’s mission is concerned. The study set out to analyze the relevance of VRA RTF as a benefit sharing mechanism in Ghana, specifically, using the employees of VRA RTF in conjunction the resettlers belonging to Senchi Ferry Township (VRATFCs). Among other objectives, the study determined the distinctive relevance of RTFs to affected individuals, identified the key monetary and non-monetary benefit sharing mechanisms (BSMs) adopted by project developers for displaced individuals, in addition to the critical challenges confronting the smooth functioning of RTFs in Ghana. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of research was adopted for the study. Convenience sampling using questionnaire instrumentation was used to collect data from the staff of VRA RTF and chosen Senchi Ferry Township resettlers. A 5-Point Likert scale which was later fine-tuned into the Relative Importance Index (RII), SPSS Version 22.0 and Microsoft Excel were used for the data analysis. The results indicated the 6 distinctive relevance of RTFs at VRATFCs as water and sanitation, educational enhancement, health improvement, improvement of agricultural projects, community development via socio-cultural activities. To add to this, the 5 key monetary and non-monetary benefit sharing mechanisms as revealed by the participants’ were as follows: revenue sharing, development funds, property taxes, equity sharing as well as livelihood and restoration enhancement. More so, with reference to the critical challenges confronting the smooth functioning of RTFs at VRATFCs, 6 bottlenecks realized were as follows: improper costing of relocation packages (ineffective budgeting), inadequate compensation of displaced individuals, inactive involvement of the displaced individuals in the decision making process, insufficient grant allocation to the fund, clarity of rules and policies relating to fund disbursement, vis-à-vis questionable timing of the resettlement processes. It is recommended that the management of VRA RTF, well-informed resettlers and policy-makers at VRATFCs in Ghana and beyond strictly adheres to the establishment of project specific development funds, accountability and transparency regimes, active involvement of resettlers in the decision making process, increment of grant to the RTF, adequate compensation of displaced individuals, effective costing of relocation packages. This strategic initiatives will inadvertently go a long way to manage the issues identified during the study.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
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