Residents of Sanzule and other nine communities in the Ellembelle Municipality whose farmlands were taken for the construction of ENI’s Onshore Gas Receiving Plant, are gradually undergoing a restoration of their economic livelihoods under a four-point-two Million Dollar jointly-designed Livelihood Restoration Plan.
The Livelihood Restoration Plan (LRP) is part of sustainability activities that are being carried out in the Western Region by Offshore-Cape-Three-Point partners, Eni Ghana, Vitol and the Ghana National Petroleum Commission (GNPC).
The LRP will benefit 205 households, and a total of 1,412 people spread across Sanzule, Bakanta, Krisan, Eikwe, Anyinasi, Esiama, Azuleloanu, Azuleti, Baku, Ampain, with an overall investment of over $4.2M.
It aims at supporting households to restore them to the levels of economic activity they were engaged in prior to the commencement of the project.
The project encompasses livestock-keeping; which was chosen by 122 households, with 38 people opting for pig-rearing, 45 for poultry-rearing and 39 for sheep-rearing.
Each household is being supplied with pig sties, sheep shelters, chicken coops; supply of breeders, feed and veterinary drugs for one production cycle; and veterinary services. They are also benefiting from specific training, mentoring and coaching programmes.
Sixty-two households who also selected aquaculture under the LRP program, are benefiting from set-up and management of fish ponds to be harvested and sold to generate revenue.
Vocational and technical activities, also chosen by 60 households, include auto mechanics, accessory and dress-making, hairdressing, welding, carpentry, masonry, shoe-making/cobbler, vulcanizing and trading.
OCTP Partners to support Sanzule farmers for three years
The Managing Director of ENI Ghana, Giancarlo Ruiu, on a visit to some of the project sites expressed satisfaction with the pace of progress.
“The primary focus is to complement the compensation that has been paid by the Project for lost assets and enable households to continue or replace forms of livelihoods or adopt new ways of gaining a livelihood.
“The plan has been jointly designed with the interested households and includes activities in the areas of continuous cropping, livestock husbandry, aquaculture and fishing, processors, and training. Participants in the program chose one or two different economic options they wish to develop, and the LRP is providing capacity building, direct investment and support for 3 years, and would include developing a market for their yield or product.”
Eshun Elimaninya, a farmer from Sanzule who lost his farmland to the gas plant is now into poultry and fish farming, thanks to the ENI, Vitol and GNPC’s Livelihood Restoration Plan.
Mr. Elimaninya, while expressing his joy over the Livelihood Restoration Project told Citi News that “ENI has been supporting us because they took the land that we feed on. They paid us all right, but they got to know that we might misuse the money, so they had to restore our livelihood for us.”
“They asked us to choose what we wanted to do and I chose poultry and fish farming. So they did this for me and they are supporting me until I can harvest. I think it has already changed my life because now I don’t go to the old site to fight as I used to do.”
The LRP was developed in compliance with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) standards, and activities are constantly monitored by the World Bank and IFC.
Sanzule-Krisan-Bakanta water project
Also, as part of the 22-million-dollar Social and Environmental programme, the OCTP partners, at a ceremony in Sanzule, handed over a 150 liter-capacity Community Water System to provide potable water for some five thousand inhabitants of Sanzule, Krisan and Bakanta communities.
The project, which was implemented in the three communities by Jaldhaara Foundation, an NGO, consists of one water plant which treats groundwater to World Health Organization (WHO) Standards for the three communities that are 2-3km apart from each other, and all in OCTP Onshore Gas Receiving Facility catchment area.
The Managing Director of ENI Ghana, Giancarlo Ruiu, who jointly commissioned the facility with the Queen-mother of Sanzule, Obaahemaa Akua Deshie, said the Community Water plant is powered by solar energy, and is connected to the national grid to serve as a backup power source.
Mr. Guiu explained that “the Sanzule Water Project is a Pilot Community Water Project to have an instant impact on community members as well as serve as a foundation for future water projects in the other communities”.
Reacting to the potable water provision, the Queen-mother of Sanzule, Obaahemaa Akua Deshie, said “we have water here but not potable like what ENI has brought us today, so we the residents of the three communities are very happy about it”.
The MP for Ellembelle, Emmauel Armah Kofi Buah and the MCE for Ellembelle, Kwesi Bozo, who were present at the ceremony commended the OCTP partners in helping government to alleviate the social and health needs of the people with Potable water as well as the many CHPS centres the partners have provided in the area.
To ensure the sustainability of the community water system, community members are required to pay GHC 0.20 per 20L against the existing market price of GHC1.00.
This levy will be used to maintain the water system to ensure that it stays functional over a long period. Community members have also been selected and trained as water committee members to supervise the running of the facility.
By: Kwesi Agyei Annim | citinewsroom.com |Ghana