The Bui Power Authority has denied burning shelters at Lapla, a fishing community in the Bono region.

The Bui Power Authority has defended the demolishing of properties at Lapla, a fishing community at Bongase in the Banda District of the Bono region.

The exercise left many residents who claimed their homes were burnt after they were pulled down by officials of the Authority and armed security personnel, stranded.

But the Authority denies burning the properties but said it had the right to conduct the demolition exercise.

In a statement copied to JoyNews, CEO of the Authority, Fred Oware said the exercise was in accordance with the BPA policy of evicting unauthorized persons within the buffer zone around the Bui Reservoir to save the operations of the Bui Generating Station (BGS).

Mr Oware indicated that the encroachers were informed about the demolition months before the exercise was undertaken.

“The first of such meetings was held on October 10, 2019 at the location in question where a two-month notice to vacate the area was issued.

“On November 18, 2019, another meeting was held with the traditional leaders of Bongase to explain the need for the migrant fisher folks to leave that area.

“Subsequently, on December 4, 2019, at the request of the migrant fisher folks the deadline was extended to January 31, 2020.”

He added that when a final warning was issued on April 1, 2020, most of the fisher folk left during the notice period but some failed to adhere to the notice, prompting the Authority to issue a three-day unltimatum on May 15, 2020 which culminated in the demolition exercise, paving way for the Landing Site Development Project to continue.

The Landing Site Development Project, began in 2019, to facilitate the work of the Ghana Naval Team of the National Security Detachment deployed at BGS.

Mr Oware stressed that “there was no and will never be prejudices against any particular tribe or political affiliations. BPA only carried out its legal mandate in the administration of its acquired lands.”

While sympathising with the affected persons, the Authority says “it must be emphasized that we also have a responsibility to protect the reservoir and this ensure the efficient running of the generation station.”