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18.01.2005 Regional News

Impasse Between BOST And Communities Resolved

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The stalemate between communities along the Buipe-Bolgatanga petroleum product site and the Bulk Oil Supply and Transport, BOST, has been resolved. The impasse was broken when a high powered delegation from the Ministry of Energy, BOST, the Police, and S.K Engineering and Construction Company Limited, the firm implementing the project among other stakeholders met members of the communities last Friday. The communities, namely Yipala, Chanpe, Zjabalpe, Zamzugu, Kurubampe and surrounding areas halted the project because it would destroy their dam, which is their only source of drinking water.

According to them, the laying of the pipe was also an impediment to their intention of expanding the dam in future, as their population is increasing. They therefore called for diversion of the project to at least 50 feet away from the dam or n! ew dam be excavated for them. Bu upon deliberations among all the stakeholder at the meeting, a consensus was reached that BOST would provide an excavator to help the communities expand the dam. This is based on condition that they write an official letter to BOST requesting for the expansion of the dam. The communities have agreed to widen the dam towards a direction that would not affect the pipeline project. The earlier they forwarded the letter the quicker their request would be met. The communities would also serve copies of the new agreement to all those petitioned about their plight. They have heaved a sigh of relief as their grievance is being addressed. This has paved way for S.K. Engineering and Construction Company Limited, the firm implementing the project, to continue with its work. But after the meeting, the communities told Radio Justice that, they wished the dam was expanded before the continuation of the project.

President Kufuor cut sod for commencement of the project last November at Buipe, which is valued at 40-point two million US dollars. It would transport petroleum products, through an eight-inch diameter pipeline from Buipe in the Northern region to Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, a distance of over 275 kilometres. BOST is executing the project, which is being financed by the Korean government with 38 point two million dollars and the rest by the government of Ghana. It is expected to be completed in November this year. BOST would earn not less than five million dollars from the transaction and after completion it will earn about 10 million dollars every year.

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