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Top Down Development

The Akosombo Dam



80,000 moved.

Not enough provided.

Conditions attached

The dam was expensive, increasing Ghanas

Part of the loan for the dam came from the USA,
as part of this deal the American company Valco
got the right to produce aluminium in Ghana,
using electricity from the dam.
Ghana was happy it had loads of Bauxite, so
promised cheap electricity to Valco for 50 years.

Did Valco keep its promise?

They imported alumina from Jamaica and

didnt use Ghanas Bauxite
Ghana had to continue to export its Bauxite
raw, earning very little money for it.
Valco accepted the cheap electricity for 40
years and when Ghana said in 2003 they
needed to pay more for the electricity, they
decided to leave Ghana.

Impacts of the dam

Ghanas industrial and economic expansion triggered an even

higher demand for power, beyond what could be provided by
the dam.
A trend of decreasing lake levels has been observed, which
sometimes results in the water level being below whats
required for the minimum operation of the dam.
A steady decline in agriculture along the lake - land
surrounding Lake Volta is not nearly as fertile as the formerly
cultivated land residing underneath the lake, and heavy
agricultural activity has since exhausted the inadequate soils.
The growth of commercially intensive agriculture has
produced a rise in fertilizer run-off into the river. This, along
with run-off from nearby cattle stocks and sewage pollution,
has caused eutrophication of the river waters -invasion of
aquatic weeds.

The weeds provide the necessary habitat for black-fly &

mosquitoes, which are the vectors of water-borne illnesses
such as bilharzia and malaria
The degradation of aquatic habitat has resulted in the decline
of shrimp and clam populations
Earthquakes have already become more common due to the
crustal re-adjustments from the added weight of the water
within Lake Volta
The loss of land by the 80,000 people forcibly relocated
meant the loss of their primary economic activities, loss of
their homes, loss of their loved ones grave sites, loss of
community stability. =The high death rate among the elderly
& one resettlement village in particular experienced a greater
than 50% population reduction in the 23 years following