In 1995, a combined effort between VRA and the Ghana Government realised the establishment of a special fund known as the VRA Resettlement Trust Fund, aimed at providing socio-economic interventions and economic empowerment solutions to 52-resettlement townships as approved by the Managing Trustees. VRA continues to contribute annually an equivalent of five hundred thousand United States Dollars (US$500,000) to the fund towards poverty alleviation initiatives for the people living in the 52-resettlement townships.
In addition to this fund, VRA has devoted extra resources to its CSR programme intended at improving standards of living through the provision of employability and entrepreneurial skills set to persons within the impacted communities. Thus, the Community Relations Unit was established in 2003 to endear a stable relationship with communities affected by the Authority’s operations and provide solutions to problems that were not catered for under the Resettlement Trust Fund.
Community Development Programme (CDP)
In 2012, VRA launched a CSR programme called the Community Development Programme (CDP) in communities impacted by its operations. The CDP represents a common ground for cooperation and partnership between VRA and the communities on the identification and provision of solutions to critical areas that stimulate economic and human capital development. The programme is also aimed at the development and implementation of social and economic activities in all communities and the transformation of these communities into 'opportunity communities'.
The Authority has provided interventions in the areas of:
- Education: Scholarships and internship opportunities have been provided to needy but brilliant students of impacted communities. A total of 315 students have so far benefited from the scholarship, which was instituted in 2011. The number comprised 220 beneficiaries at the Senior High School (SHS) level prior to the introduction of the Government of Ghana’s Free SHS Policy in 2017 and 95 beneficiaries at the tertiary level as at 2020. The Authority is considering the transfer of the SHS scholarship component to support Technical and Vocational Education Training(TVET) due to the free SHS policy.
- Socio-Economic Empowerment: VRA in its efforts to support Communities affected by its operations in riparian areas, provides training in bee-keeping and fruit tree planting through its Poverty Alleviation Programme. As at 2020, the total number of installed bee hives increased from 124 in 2019 to 134 for about 60 members of Community-Based Organisations in 5 impacted communities.
- Sanitation: VRA has provided over 90 biofil sanitation facilities in Central Tongu, South Tongu, Shama and Manya Krobo Districts. These facilities are part of preventive measures deployed towards disease eradication in communities along the Lower Volta Basin. Construction has also begun towards the provision of about 40 biofil sanitation facilities for the Kade Government Hospital in the Kade District and some communities within the Authority’s operational areas. The Authority in collaboration with the Project Maji Foundation has provided solar-powered mechanized borehole water facilities in five communities. Marginal reductions have been recorded in the bilharzia prevalence rates in endemic communities along the Volta Basin due to the provision of the potable water and sanitation facilities.
- Disease Eradication: The Authority maintains collaborative efforts with the Asuogyaman District Health Management Team in the eradication of malaria, bilharzia and other water-borne diseases. These activities are guided by a Memorandum of Understanding that details plans for the eradication of Malaria with support from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication. The Authority also provided fumigation and disinfection services for five (5) communities and all work locations as part of efforts in the eradication of the COVID-19 virus.
- Public Health: The Authority through its Schistosomiasis Control Programme undertakes a Mass Drug Administration Programme frequently in communities along the Basin. Studies by the Ghana Health Service in 2018, showed a reduction in the prevalence levels of Urinary schistosomiasis over the previous year in forty-two (42) communities within six districts namely - South, North and Central Tongu, South Dayi, Ada East and Shai Osudoku districts.
The VRA has earned an excellent reputation through its diverse CSR initiatives and activities, which has at its core the intense motivation to help the society while creating and enhancing business value, and increasing power generation through diversity to support the development of the Ghanaian economy. In 2020, the Authority was adjudged “CSR Company of the Year” at the prestigious Ghana Energy Awards. Ianmatsun Global Services Limited, organizers of the Sustainability and Social Investment Awards, also conferred on the Authority, Best Company in Clean Water Provision Project and Best Company in Project Providing Sanitation Facilities in 2020.