Mr. Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity. Mr. Speaker, developments generally affect communities, and sacrifices are made here and there. It is just proper that the economic activities of the people, espe- cially within the area are seriously taken care of so that they will not be seriously disadvantaged.
Mr. Speaker, as the maker of the Statement made us aware, many of them who are educated today were educated through the moneys that were raised through the sale of the oyster, called Afoli or Adode.
Mr. Speaker, it is true -- those of us
who drive through the Akosombo road, at Adome Bridge, actually remember with nostalgia in those days how we would always buy these Afoli or Adode to our villages, because anytime you were coming from Accra, what the people expected was that you brought these things. But today, it is history, and it is not forthcoming. Therefore, it is proper that as he rightly said, the issue is seriously looked at so that their economic activities would not be seriously affected; and they will also be able to educate their children through that resource.
Mr. Speaker, as we are talking about compensation -- and he has rightly stated that it may not necessarily be in the form of cash but creating alternative livelihoods for the people to make life meaningful. Mr. Speaker, if you look at this Volta Lake or the Volta River, for that matter, it is a very important asset for us, that if it is properly harnessed, it can improve our living conditions, especially on tourism potentials.
We have talked about the silting of the Volta Lake. If proper desilting and for that matter dredging is carried out, cruising activities can take place which will attract tourists to the place and it will be another way of increasing their economic activity.
Mr. Speaker, secondly, with regard to irrigation activities, we have very fertile lands over there, and if irrigation activities are improved, I think that the production of vegetables can also be improved, and it can also go a long way in improving their living conditions.
Mr. Speaker, it is sad to actually note that fresh water like the one from the Volta Lake is just allowed to flow freely into the sea. I think that something can be done to re-channel this water to improve our
economic activities instead of allowing this fresh water to just flow into the sea.
Mr. Speaker, talking about the Volta Lake -- the lower basin -- I think that as we are talking about this basin, we must also look at what happens upstream. My constituency also happens to be within the Volta Basin, in the northern part, and the growth of water hyacinth actually impedes the smooth movement of water transport. Actually, it is even affecting the Dam, upstream. It is therefore, my wish and suggestion that as we are talking about the lower basin, we also look at the northern part, and try to improve upon water transport too, by removing this water hyacinths, which actually impede movement.
Mr. Speaker, I also want to mention that because of the low rainfall, a lot of islands are being created within the lake, and it can affect river transport. For that reason, it is very important that dredging is seriously considered, and also farming activities along the lake are curtailed in order to increase the lifespan of our all- important River Volta.
With these comments, I also lend my support to the Statement.