Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 31533
Resettlement and Livelihood Sustainability in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Bui Hydro-Power Dam Project, Ghana

Authors: Francis Z. Naab, Abraham M. Nunbogu, Romanus D. Dinye, Alfred Dongzagla


The study assesses the effectiveness of the Bui Dam resettlement scheme in the Tain and the Bole districts in Ghana. The study adopted a mixed approach in its data collection and analyses. Of the eight communities affected by Bui hydropower project, and thus require resettlement, four were purposively selected for primary data collection. Primary data was gathered through questionnaire administration to 157 heads of resettled households, focus group discussions with men and women and in-depth interviews with key informants. The findings indicated that the affected people had been sufficiently contacted at all levels of their resettlement. In particular, the Ghana Dams Dialogue, which served as a liaison entity between the government and the resettlement communities came up for praise for its usefulness. Many tangible policies were put in place to address the socio-cultural differences of traditional authorities. The Bui Dam Authority also rigorously followed national and international laws and protocols in the design and implementation of the resettlement scheme.  In assessing the effectiveness of the resettlement scheme, it was clear that there had been a great appreciation of the compensation regarding infrastructural development, but much more would have to be done to satisfy livelihood empowerment requirements. It was recommended that candid efforts be made to restore the lost identities of the communities resettled, and more dialogue is encouraged among communities living together.

Keywords: Resettlement, livelihood, hydro-power project, Bui Dam, Ghana.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 975


[1] World Commission on Dams, “Dams and Development: A new framework for decision-Making. The Report of the World Commission on Dams”. Earthscan Publications Ltd. London, 2000.
[2] R. Lata, M.S. Rishi, N. Kochhar, and R. Sharma, “Socio-economic impacts of Sorang hydroelectric power project in District Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, India”. Journal of Environment and Earth Science, 2013, 3(2), 54-61.
[3] L. Raschid-Sally, E.K. Akoto-Danso, E.A.K Kalitsi, B.D Ofori, and R.T. Koranteng, “The Resettlement Experience of Ghana Analyzed Via Case Studies of the Akosombo and Kpong Dams”. Paper Presented at the 9th Annual Symposium on Poverty Research in Sri Lanka; Exploring Experiences of Resettlement, November 2008.
[4] P.B. Obuor, K. Owusu, E.A. Agyeman, A. Ahenkan and A.N. Madrid, “The impacts of dams on local livelihoods: a study of the Bui Hydroelectric Project in Ghana”. International Journal of Water Resources Development, 2015, 32(2), 286-300.
[5] Bui Power Authority, “Resettlement Package”, 2011. Available from
(accessed 20.04.2014).
[6] C. Bates, “Environmental Refugees? Classifying Human Migrations Caused by Environmental Change”, Population and Environment, Human Science Series, Inc, 2002, 23(5), 465–477.
[7] M.M. Cernea, “The Risks and Reconstruction Model for Resettling Displaced Populations”. World Development, 1997, 25(10), 1569-1587.
[8] S. Thayer and E. Colson, “From Welfare to Development: A Conceptual Framework for the Analysis of Dislocated People”, in Involuntary Migration and Resettlement, A. Hansen and A. Oliver-Smith, Eds. CO, Boulder: Westview Press, 1982. pp. 267-287
[9] M. Mulugeta and B. Woldesemait, “The Impact of Resettlement Schemes on Land-use/Land-cover Changes in Ethiopia: a case study from Nonno Resettlement Sites, Central Ethiopia”. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa. 2011, 13(2),1520-5509.
[10] S. Shami, “The Social Implications of Population Displacement on Resettlement: An overview with a focus on the Arab Middle East. International Migration Review, 1993, 27(1), 4-33.
[11] D. Vaiou and M. Stratigaki, “From "settlement" to "integration": informal practices and social services for women migrants in Athens”, 6th European Urban and Regional Studies Conference, 21-24 September, Roskilde, Denmark, 2006.
[12] E.A.K Kalitsi, “Problems and Prospects for Hydropower Development in Africa”. Prepared for the Workshop for African Energy Experts on Operationalizing the NGPAD Energy Initiative 2-4 June 2003, Novotel, Dakar, Senegal. Available from (accessed 02.04.2014)
[13] Y. Tuan, “Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience”. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. 1977.
[14] P. Alula, “Revising Resettlement under Two Regimes in Ethiopia: The 2000s Programme Reviewed in the Light of the 1980s Experience”, in Moving People in Ethiopia, Development Displacement and the State, Alula Pankhurst and Francois Pigeut, Eds. Eastern Africa Series, Addis Ababa. 2009
[15] P.M. Valeth, “Internal Displacement and Other Forms of Forced Migration: Are Refugees and IDPs So Distinct”, in Researching Internal Displacement: State of the Art, C. Brun and N.M. Birkeland, Eds. Conference Proceedings, Acta Geographica, Series A, No. 6, NTNU, Trondheim, 2003, pp. 383-403
[16] M.M. Cernea, “Risks, Safeguards, and Reconstruction: A Model for Population Displacement and Resettlement,” in Risks and Reconstruction: Experiences of Resettlers and Refugees, M. M. Cernea, and C. McDowell, Eds. Washington, DC: The World Bank, 2000, pp. 11-55.
[17] Environment and Resource Management, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of the Bui Hydropower Project, 2007. Available from (on 20.04.2014).
[18] Daily Graphic, “Communities at Bui Dam Project Site Resettled”. Appeared in the 15 July, 2008 Edition of The Daily Graphic.
[19] Environment and Resource Management, “Resettlement Framework for the Bui Hydropower Project”, 2007. Available from (accessed 20.04.2014).
[20] M. Mettle, “Force Resettlement in Ghana: The Dam and the Affected People”. Thesis for award of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies. Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) Trondheim, Norway, 2011. Available from (accessed 12.5. 2014).
[21] Ghanaian Chronicle, “Bui Resttlement Programme”. Appeared in the 7 October, 2010 Edition of The Ghanaian Chronicle. Available from (on 12.5.2014).
[22] C. Otu-Tei, “Broken Promises: Ghana’s Bui Dam Resettlement”, 2014. Available from (accessed 12.6.2014).