First Community Engagement Event for 225 MW Ayitepa Wind Farm
More than 300 people gathered in the village of Ayitepa, Greater Accra Region, Ghana, on the 6th February 2015 to be informed on the progress of the 225 MW wind park project in their neighbourhood. Following an official invitation issued by the Ningo/Prampram District Assembly, the attendees showed huge interest in collecting information about the implementation, impacts and benefits of the project.
The Community Engagement Event was organized commonly by the District Assembly, NEK Umwelttechnik AG and Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd. in order to release clear and up-to-date information on the progress of the project. Land owners, community chiefs, politicians, authorities and the local population were present. They have been informed about the advantages of the project and the fact that it will assist in overcoming the actual energy crisis in the country.
The involved communities are highly interested that this project will create local labour opportunities for skilled and less skilled persons. Apart from that, a sensere request for support to get a local medical centrum with educated staff in the area was released to us.
The later operator of the wind park, Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd. , assured the attendees to allocate financial resources related to the needs and demands of the population. From Mainstream’s side, Mr. Liam Leahy, the development manager for this project, and Mr. Chris Matthews, head of new businesses, were present and explained to the interested audience the facts around the largest wind farm project in Western Africa. From NEK’s and Upwind’s side , the country manager, Mr. Michael Wuddah-Martey, together with several of our Ghanaian engineers, technicians and employees were attending, while the delegation from Switzerland embraced Mr. Stefan Schneeberger, Mr. Michael Spoerri and Dr. Christoph Kapp.
Apart from the promise given for local labour opportunities, it was stated that already ahead of the effective start of construction, NEK / Upwind will employ local people for the preparatory work, land survey, measurements, geotechnical work and so forth. The audience also was assured of employment during and after construction.
In order to coordinate the needs of the population, a Community Engagement Plan will be undertaken, while the coordination between the population and us will be done by a CLO (Community Liaison Officer) whom we will engage in the near future and who will be located in a new office to be opened by us in the region.
The meeting was closed with a firm comment by the District Chief Executive, Hon. Sa Rhack Nartey, that they have great interest to join NEK / Upwind and Mainstream to fully support and implement the project as quickly as possible in the interest of the local population.