In 1995, the VRA, in collaboration with the Ghana Government, represented by the then Ministry of Mines and Energy, established a special fund known as the VRA Resettlement Trust Fund. The mission of the Fund was to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life in the 52-resettlement townships. The fund was mandated to carry out socio-economic projects such as the provision of educational, social, health and sanitation facilities, reliable and potable water supply as well as the economic empowerment of the people through income generating activities and any other projects and needs that are 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 expected to alleviate poverty and improve employability of the people living in the 52-resettlement townships.
In addition to this fund, VRA devotes extra resources to a CSR programme, which has been at the heart of its business in most communities that are impacted by its operations. The Authority has made no secret its main motivation for its very prominent CSR focus, which is to help the society, while creating and enhancing business value, and improving and raising the living standards of people in the impacted communities.
As part of the VRA's CSR strategy, it established a Community Relations Unit in 2003 to improve its relationship with communities affected by its operations and not catered for under the Resettlement Trust Fund. In consonance with its values and principles, VRA also became a signatory to the United Nations on 26th July, 2000. The Compact sought to promote responsible corporate citizenship so that business could become part of the solution to the challenges of globalization, and help to realize a more sustainable and inclusive global economy (United Nations Global Compact 2011).
Community Development Initiatives
In 2012, the VRA launched a CSR programme called the Community Development Programme in the communities impacted by its operations. It was an initiative that sought to invest in the enhancement of human capital with the support of the communities. The programme also aimed to develop and implement social and economic activities in all communities, and turn them into notable 'opportunity communities'.
Under the Community Development Programme (CDP), there is a Scholarship Scheme for Senior High School and tertiary beneficiaries of the impacted communities.
The VRA further affirms that, its Community Development Initiative (CDI) represents the common grounds for cooperation and partnership agreed between VRA and the communities, and VRA is committing resources to critical areas of support identified together with the communities to help build capacity and stimulate economic development.
Over the past 20 years, the VRA has undertaken various CSR activities including the following:
- sponsored national priority programmes on health, water resources, education, capacity building, culture, governance and rural electrification.
- commissioned the University of Ghana to conduct research into the maximization of the benefits and mitigation of the problems of the Volta Basin; and collaborating with a number of agencies to implement appropriate socio-economic programmes to enhance the quality of life of the communities in the Lower Volta Basin.
The VRA has earned an excellent reputation and respect through its diverse CSR intitatives and activities, and has made no secret of its main motivation for this very prominent CSR focus, which is to help the society, while creating and enhancing business value, and increasing power generation through diversity to support the development of the Ghanaian economy.