Ghana's Head of State, General Ignatius Acheampong, on Thursday (1 December) officially launched construction of the country's second hydroelectric dam at Akuse, 8.
SV EXTERIOR: Ghanian Head of State, General I.K Acheampong, arriving in limousine, gets out and walks onto canopied dais (2 shots)
SV PAN: to crowd
CU: General Acheampong watching.
SV: people in native costumes.
GV PAN ACROSS: open area to dignitaries on dais
GV: General Acheampong delivering speech
BACK VIEW PAN: across dais TO General Acheampong speaking, crowd applauds (2 shots)
SV: General Acheampong and other officials walking to commemorative plaque and Head of State unveils it.
SV: crowd watching
SV AND GV: General Acheampong depresses plunger to set off explosion on far side of body of water
The new dam will be 700 metres along and 20 metres high and will flood a total area of 2,650 hectares (6,547), a minute area compared to the spread of the immense Volta Lake. In the six new townships, the government will build new homes for 5,500 people, who will be displaced from the surrounding areas to be flooded. This rehousing will cost some $6 million. While areas of agricultural land now growing rice, sugar cane and cotton will be submerged, up to 6,000 hectares (14,850 acres) of new land will come under irrigation for the first time.
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Background: Ghana's Head of State, General Ignatius Acheampong, on Thursday (1 December) officially launched construction of the country's second hydroelectric dam at Akuse, 8. kilometres (50 miles) north-east of A???, the capital.
SYNOPSIS: General Acheampong's limousine arrives for the ground-breaking ceremony, which was attended by government officials and dignitaries. The new project will cost about $260 million, which is $50 million more than both construction phases of the first dam, 24 kilometres (15 miles) upstream at Ako???.
General Acheampong has assured villagers living near this site the government will not repeat errors made in resettling people displaced by the Volta River Project in the Akog??? region. Six new townships have been planned to resettle people living in 65 existing villages.
The new scheme had two purposes: to provide Ghana with the electricity needed to diversify her production, and to lessen the impact of oil price rises. Construction, which was originally due to begin last July, will be in five major parts and continue until 1980. First the dam and reservoir will be built; then a hydro-electric power station; then a high-tension line will link the power station with an existing sub-station at Tema.
General Acheampong left the dais to unveil a commemorative plaque for the ground-breaking ceremony. Two major bodies are responsible for electricity distribution: The Volta River Authority (VRA) and the Electricity Corporation of Ghana (ECG). The VRA is in charge of construction and management of this dam. It also supplies power to Ghana's mining industry, which extracts gold, diamonds, manganese and bauxite.
After the unveiling, the Head of State depressed a plunger, setting off an explosion to deepen the riverbed and set construction work under way.