Preparations for the construction of an inland port for the oil and gas industry in the western Region are underway with the drafting of a Livelihood Restoration Plan and a Resettlement Action Plan(LRP/RAP).
The inland port will cover three kilometres along the coast of Atuabo and Anokyi and one kilometre inland to cover part of Asemda-Suazo, all in the Ellembelle District.
The draft plan would pave the way for Lonrho Ghana Ports Limited to begin the contruction of the oil services terminal (OST), hopefully in the first quarter of 2013.
The plan, a copy of which was shown to Daily Graphic at Atuabo, recommends various means by which the people of Atuabo, Asemda-Suazo and Anokyi will be compensated for the loss of their livelihoods as the construction of the estimated $1 billion project rolls out.
The committee which drafted the plan after five months of deliberations concluded its work last week to pave the way for the implementation of its recommendations.
Members of the committee included representatives of the three communities, the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Immigration Service, the Bureau of National Investigations, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, an environmental non-governmental organisation (NGO) and Lonrho.
The Plan indicates that although the main residential parts of Atuabo, Asemda-Suazo and Anokyi do not fall within the 2,000-acre project footprint to cause physical displacement, significant areas of their agricultural land will be acquires for the project.
Given that the affected agricultural lands are used for various activities, including cattle grazing and crop cultivation, it is envisaged that the project will lead to economic impacts, such as access to fishing grounds and loss of access to communal forest.
The purpose of the LRP/RAP is, therefore, to outline the framework for mitigating and restoring the impacts of the project on the livelihoods of the affected communities.
The, moderator of the LRP/RAP drafting committee, Mr Kingsley Kofi Mensah, thanked the members for their commitment and co-operation that ensured the success of the work.
At the end of their deliberations, Lonrho Ghana Ports Limited gave the members of the committee certificates of participation to underline its gratitude to them.
The oil services terminal is expected to become operational in May 2014 and yield about 2,000 jobs during construction.
Based on the requirements of upstream and downstream companies ,the port project will entail the provision of a logistics base to enable the companies to transport their goods and materials from onshore facilities to the offshore platforms and the Floating Production Storage and Offloading(FPSO) Kwame Nkrumah.