Ghana's emerging oil and gas industry. Livelihood impacts of Ghana gas processing plant at Atuabo in western region, Ghana
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The discovery and subsequent production of oil at Ghana's Jubilee fields came with euphoria and heightened expectations of the oil and gas sector to provide quality jobs, revenue for investment in infrastructure, education and health. Many have cautioned for proper management of expectations following the resource curse lessons in African and the failure of Ghana's own mining sector to transform the economy. Mindful of the expectations and cautions, the government decided to build a gas infrastructure at Atuabo, a small coastal community in the Western Region. The community has attracted several oil and gas related businesses including Lonrho's oil servicing port. Consequently, land acquisition for various oil and gas related projects has resulted in loss of farming land by local farmers thus altered their livelihood options. This study, examines the livelihood impacts of the Ghana Gas Plant at Atuabo. It explores the impacts that the project has had on the farmers who lost their farms to the project. Most particularly, the study asks questions of compensation to the farmers including: to which extent the affected farmers participate in the determination of compensation; whether the compensation package adequately compensates for the lost livelihoods; and if the gas project provides new livelihoods for the farmers. To answer the above questions, I use concepts of the livelihood approach as guiding theoretical tool. In addition, I mobilize the participatory and institutional approaches to guide my analysis. The study used a qualitative research methodology. Specifically, I employed interviews, observation, cases studies, category interpretation and thematic analysis to produce, interpret and analyse data to answer the research questions. The study found that, farmers' involvement in the compensation process ended after farms had been identified and measured. The unfair compensation processes led to farmers feeling inadequately compensated for their lost livelihoods. Moreover, the Ghana Gas project at the construction stage failed to provide the jobs for the farmers. The study thus concludes that, Ghana Gas and it related businesses produced losers and winners. While other segments of the community are benefiting in vary degrees from the project through the capital investments and the Corporate Social Responsibility projects, the farmers have lost their most important capital, the source of livelihoods without adequate compensation. This failure to adequately compensate the farmers the study shows is partly because of the institutional weaknesses within the state.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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