Meet the Board Chairman of the Trust
The VRA Resettlement Trust Fund was established in 1996 by the joint efforts of the Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Government of Ghana through the then Ministry of Mines and Energy (now the Ministry of Energy)
The main function of the Trust is to ensure the improvement of quality of lives of the people who were affected by the implementation of construction of the Volta Dam and resettled in 52 Resettlement Townships.
The Function includes the provision of socio-economic projects such as reliable electricity, potable water supply, educational facilities, social, health and sanitation facilities, and any other needs identified by the communities and the Trust Fund.
The VRA Resettlement Trust Fund is mainly funded by the Volta River Authority (VRA) with an annual grant of an amount of Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$500,000).
The Trust Fund has been able to identify and sign MOU with a strategic partner, Pencils of Promise. In this Agreement, the Trust Fund and Pencils of Promise have arranged to jointly go into the construction of school buildings in selected townships within selected Districts with a ratio of 30% and 70% respectively.
The Board of Managing Trustees among other functions also ensures that investments are made in reliable and high yielding financial institutions, part of which is then used in the running of its administration and also in the provision of projects for the communities.
In 2018, there was a change in leadership at both the Managing Trustees and the Secretariat levels due to change in government.
At the Managing Trustees level, Ing. A.T. Barfour was replaced by His Worship (Rtd.) Emmanuel Nana Antwi-Barima as the new Board Chairman.
Ms. Patience Asem was also replaced by Mr. Richard Twum Barimah Koranteng as the new Executive Director.
Some of the Managing Trustees were sworn in by the Energy Ministers, Hon. Boakye Agyakor on the 3rd of February 2018 and others by Hon. John Peter Amewu, Energy Minister on the 11th of September, 2018.
In the year 2018, fourteen (14) projects in the areas of education, health, sanitation and security were awarded at a total cost of Two Million, Six Hundred and Forty-two Thousand, Two Hundred and Sixty-eight Ghana Cedis, Seven Pesewas. (GHc2,642,268.07)
The following challenges were encountered in the year under review.
The main challenge is the annual grant from VRA. The annual grant of Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars (US$500,000) had not been increased since the establishment of the Trust Fund.
With the increases in prices of petroleum products, building materials, labour and other services in the country, the cost of implementing and managing the projects as well as administration has increased. In view of this, the Trust Fund is unable to meet the increasing demands from the communities.
Outstanding Resettlement Issues:
The unresolved resettlement issues emanating from the construction of the Akosombo Dam continue to have a toll on the Trust Fund. Issues of Compensation, Land Acquisition and Ownership, Inadequate Resettlement Packages etc. are being brought to the doorsteps of the Trust Fund even though our scope of operation does not permit us. These sometimes distract us from our core functions and delay the execution of projects.
2018 has been very eventful right from the swearing-in of the Board of Trustees to the last Board meeting. It is the hope of the Trust Fund to establish more partnerships with relevant institutions so as to be able to execute more projects for our beneficiaries. The Board of Trustees and Secretariat also intend to undertake prudent financial investments so we can reap the full benefits and avoid losses.
It is my hope that with the kind of support received so far from the Ministry of Energy, Volta River Authority, Board Members, Secretariat and Resettlement Townships, we will be able to discharge our mandate very well and stay focused.
His Worship (Rtd.)
Emmanuel Nana Antwi-Barima