Ghana: Our Demolition Exercise At Lapla Was Not Tribal Or Political-Bui Power Authority

Mr Fred Oware, CEO of Bui Power Authority (BPA)

Ghana’s largest second state power producer, Bui Power Authority (BPA) has described as false media reports suggesting that it has burnt homes of residents of Lapla community in the Banda District of the Bono Region for tribal and political reasons.

A statement issued by the CEO of Bui Power Authority, Fred Oware, and copied to, said: “The Authority wishes to state in no uncertain terms that this is totally misleading.”

According to him, the demolition exercise in question was in accordance with the BPA’s policy of evicting unauthorised persons within the buffer zone around the Bui Reservoir to save the operations of the Bui Generating Station (BGS).

October 10, 2019 – Meeting with Migrant Fishermen at Lapla Fish Landing Site

“There were no and will never be prejudices against any particular tribe or political affiliations. BPA only carried out its legal mandate in the administration of its acquired lands. The area had been earmarked for a Landing Site Development Project which began in 2019 to facilitate the work of the Ghana Naval Team of the National Security Detachment deployed at BGS. Therefore, it is erroneous to report that the demolition was for the purposes of an ultramodern restaurant as was alleged in the media stories,” he explained.

Mr Oware made references to series of meetings the Authority had held with a group of migrant-fisherfolks with the sole aim of explaining the dangers they posed to the BGS and why they had to vacate the area to the designated area for fishing.

November 18, 2019 – Meeting with Bongase Leaders on the eviction at the Bongase Palace

“The first of such meetings was held on October 10, 2019, at the location in question where a two-month notice to vacate the area was issued. On November 18, 2019, another meeting was held with the traditional leaders of Bongase to explain the need for the migrant-fisherfolks to leave that area. Subsequently, on December 4, 2019, at the request of the migrant fisher-folks, the deadline was extended to January 31, 2020.

“Consequently, the final warning was issued on April 1, 2020, with the inscription: ‘REMOVE BY MAY 15, 2020’ on ALL the structures. Most of them left during the notice period. U

“Unfortunately, some migrant-fisherfolks failed to adhere to the notice, prompting the Authority to issue a three-day ultimatum on May 15, 2020, which culminated in the demolition exercise, paving way for the Landing Site Development Project to continue,” he said.

Final Meeting on May 15, 2020 to mobilize and leave

Mr. Oware said the Authority sympathises with the affected people, but said: “It must be emphasised that we also have a responsibility to protect the reservoir and ensure the efficient running of the generating station.

“We pray that such encroachment would not happen again,” he concluded.