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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Volta River Project and Tongu Ewe communities along the Volta Lake: a case of development's unintended consequences?
Author:Tsikata, DzodziISNI
Periodical:Research Review (ISSN 0855-4412)
Notes:biblio. refs., maps
Geographic terms:Ghana
West Africa
Subjects:social change
gender relations
Akosombo Dam (Ghana)
Human ecology
Environmental quality
Abstract:The Volta River Project (VRP), conceived in Ghana's colonial period and implemented in the early postcolonial period, was to provide cheap electricity to catalyse rapid industrialization. The resultant dams were the Akosombo Dam, which produced the Volta Lake, and the Kpong Dam. Based on research into the livelihoods of Tongu fishermen and their families along the Volta Lake, this article argues that, as a result of the ecological changes in the Lower Volta in the aftermath of the building of the dams, there was wholesale out-migration of Tongu fishermen and their families from the Lower Volta to the Volta Lake. The new livelihoods fashioned by men and women around the Volta Lake had some similarities with pre-dam livelihoods, but differed in highly significant ways. Migration meant that access to land and the Volta Lake had to be continuously negotiated with host communities and the Volta River Authority (VRA). While fishing and farming continued to be the main livelihood activities, clam picking (Tongu women) and creek fishing (Tongu men) were no longer possible. Even more important, there was a transformation of livelihood activities from being organized around the seasonal flooding of the Volta River to being organized around lakeside fishing, a male-dominated activity. This had implications for the autonomy of women's livelihood activities and created tensions in gender relations. Also, the organization of livelihood activities around the Volta Lake has resulted in labour relations and practices between kin and non-kin which have flourished outside the purview of labour legislation in Ghana. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract, edited]