International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 547

Full Length Research Paper

Can communities close to Bui National Park mediate the impacts of Bui Dam construction? An exploration of the views of some selected households

Jones Lewis Arthur
International Relations and Institutional Linkage Directorate, Sunyani Technical University, P. O. Box 206, Sunyani-Ghana.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Received: 24 July 2017
  •  Accepted: 22 September 2017
  •  Published: 31 January 2018

Abstract

This paper explores the perceptions of families and households near Bui National Park, on the impact of Bui dam on their capital assets and how they navigate their livelihoods through the impacts of Bui Dam construction. The mixed methods approach was applied to sample views of respondents from thirteen communities of which eight have resettled as a result of the Bui Dam construction. In-depth interviews were conducted with 22 key informants including four families to assess the impacts of Bui Dam on community capital assets and how these communities near Bui Dam navigate their livelihoods through the effects of the dam construction, and whether the perceived effects of the Bui Dam differed for families in the different communities who were impacted by the dam construction. The results of the study showed that the government failed to actively integrate policies and programmes that could build on the capacity of communities to navigate their livelihoods through the effects of Bui Dam construction and associated resettlement process. Also, dam construction can have both positive and negative impacts on the livelihood opportunities of nearby communities. Conservation efforts, including the establishment of Bui National Park, will not always result in positive effects on people's livelihoods, because conservation efforts limit community access to livelihood resources such as fishing grounds, arable land for farming and game. It is recommended that countries that intend to construct dams conduct relevant and case sensitive needs assessment to ensure that the livelihoods of nearby communities are not necessarily adversely impacted.
 
Key words: Community, capital assets, dams, resettlement, livelihoods, conservation, protected area.