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THE VOL'FA RIVER- PROJECT
I: Report of the Preparatory Commission
Reports of the Preparatory Commissionfor the Volta River Project
Report of the Preparatory Commission
Appendices to the Report of the Preparatory Commission
Engineering Report to the Preparatory Commission
(by Sir William Halcrow & Partners, MM.I.C.E.)
BA UXITE MINES AT A YA .. DAM AT AJENA
Proposed = m m m
SMELTER NEAR KPONG
S : ...... 7,
THE VOLTA RIVER
REPORT OF THE
PUBLISHED FOR THE GOVERNMENTS
OF THE UNITED KINGDOM AND OF THE GOLD COAST
BY HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE
HER MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE
To be purchased in the United Kingdom from
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or through any bookseller
and in the Gold Coast from the
GOVERNMENT PRINTING DEPARTMENT
(Publications Branch), Accra
Printed in Great Britain under the authority of Her Majesty's Stationery Office by
The Liverpool Printing and Stationery Company Limited, Liverpool
VOLTA RIVER PROJECT
ACCRA, GOLD COAST
31st December, 1955
My dear Prime Minister,
The Report on the Volta River Project containing the results of
the investigations made by the Preparatory Commission is submitted
herewith for consideration by the Government of the Gold Coast.
Copies of the Report are being sent to the United Kingdom
Government, Aluminium Limited, and the British Aluminium Company.
It is hoped that the information which is now available will permit
the Governments and the aluminium companies to decide whether they
wish to proceed with the Project.
On behalf of the Commission, I wish to thank you personally and
all the people in the Gold Coast with whom we have come into contact
for the assistance we have received in our work, and for the courtesy
which has been shown to us at all times.
R. G. A. JACKSON
Hon. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, LL.D., M.L.A.,
Prime Minister of the Gold Coast,
Chapter i. INTRODUCTION (Paras.-1-26) .
Description of the Project-Terms of Reference and Work of the Preparatory Com-
mission-Consultation with the Governments and Aluminium Companies-Gold Coast
National Committee-Assistance from Other Authorities-Responsibility for State-
ments and Opinions-General Considerations-Basic Approach to the Project-
Analysis of the Project-Results of Investigations-General Conclusions-Estimated Cost.
TECHNICAL ASPECTS AND HUMAN FACTORS
Chapter 2. TECHNICAL ASPECTS (Paras. 27-49) 7
General Description-The Bauxite Deposits and Mines in the Aya/Yenahin Area-The
New Railways-The Dam and Power Installation at Ajena-The Alumina Factory and
Smelter near Kpong-The New Port at Tema-Technical Investigations-Resources-
Co-ordination with Gold Coast Development Plans-Estimates-Timetable for Con-
-struction-" Construction Phase and Operating Phase ".
Chapter 3. TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE DAM AND POWER
INSTALLATION (Paras. 50-86) Io
Power from the Volta.
SECTION A: POWER AT AJENA II
Conclusions of the Consulting Engineers-Main and Ancillary Works-Available
Power-Disposal of Power Generated-Development of the Project-Flood Warning
-Compensation Water-Cost of the Project-Construction Programme-Require-
ment of Labour and Materials-Preliminary Works-Form of Contracts-Endorse-
ment by Aluminium Limited-Endorsement by Dr. A. E. Morgan-Endorsement
of Estimates by Cooper Brothers & Co., Chartered Accountants-Allocation of
Power-Evaporation-Variation of Power Output in Thousands of Kilowatts-
Permanent and Temporary Townships at Ajena-Design of Power Station-
Landscaping the Approaches to the Site of the Dam and Power Installation-
SECTION B: POWER AT BUI 17
SECTION C: POWER POLICY IN THE GOLD COAST .17
Available Power-Possible Grid.
Chapter 4. COMMUNICATIONS AND LOGISTICS (Paras. 87-127)
SECTION A: INTRODUCTION 18
Gold Coast Facilities in Existence or under Construction-Geographical Pattern-
The Operating Phase and the Construction Phase.
SECTION B: REQUIREMENTS DURING THE OPERATING PHASE 19
Alternative Methods of Transportation-Exports and Imports.
SECTION C: REQUIREMENTS DURING THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE 20
Imports-Heavy Lifts-Movement from the Port to Site.
SECTION D: OTHER FACILITIES FOR COMMUNICATIONS 21
Telecommunications-Postal Services-Feeder Roads-Helicopters-Spare Parts-
Efficient Use of Roads-Railway Crossings.
SECTION E: CO-ORDINATION WITH GOLD COAST GOVERNMENT
DEVELOPMENT PLANS 21
SECTION F: EFFECT OF THE NEW LAKE ON COMMUNICATIONS 22
Roads-Ferries-Lake Transport Services-Navigational Charts-Clearing
Approaches to Lake Ports.
Volta River Project: Report
Chapter. TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE NEW Page
RAILWAYS (Paras. 128-142) 22
Policy-Route-Surveys-The Alternative Route around Kumasi-Acceptance by
Aluminium Limited of the Consulting Engineers' Recommendations-Equipment-
Timetable of Construction-Estimated Costs-Endorsement of Estimates by Cooper
Brothers & To.
Chapter 6. MATERIALS (Paras. 143-148)
SECTION A: REQUIREMENTS 25
Total Materials Needed for the Construction Phase.
SECTION B: PROVISION OF MATERIALS 25
Chapter 7. MANPOWER (Paras. 149-164) 26
General Policy-Economic Aspect-Technical Aspect-Sociological Aspect-Employ-
ment Policy-Mechanisation-Maintenance-Manpower Requirements-Total Man-
power Required during the Construction Phase-Total Manpower Required during the
Chapter 8. HUMAN FACTORS (Paras. 165-186) 28
Importance of Human Factors-Economic Aspects of Human Factors-Method of
Investigation-Policy in Relation to the Families of the Labour Forces-Productivity-
Security-Conclusions and Recommendations.
Chapter 9. RECRUITMENT AND EMPLOYMENT
OF LABOUR (Paras. 187-213) 31
Analysis of Requirements-Phasing of Labour-General Availability of Labour in the
Gold Coast-Decline of Labour Forces after the End of Construction-Recruitment-
Effect of the Project on Other Employers of Labour-Professional and Technical
Staff and Skilled Labour-Foremen-Training-Feeding-Overseas Staff-Labour-
Management Relations-Health of Workers-Medical Research.
Chapter o1. LIVING CONDITIONS IN THE
NEW COMMUNITIES (Paras. 214-235) 35
Implications of Family Policy-Education-Recreation and Welfare-Racial Partner-
ship and Committee on Human Relations-Housing Design and Layout-Rents-Town
Planning-Shopping Facilities-Health and Sanitation-Administration.
Chapter II. SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE PLANNING
OF NEW COMMUNITIES (Paras. 236-263) 38
Smelter Township-Administration-Financial Implications-Impact of Industry on
Local Communities-Permanent Township at Ajena-Temporary Township at Ajena.
Chapter 12. CONCLUSIONS AS TO TECHNICAL ASPECTS AND
HUMAN FACTORS (Para. 264) 41
EFFECTS OF THE DAM AND THE LAKE
Chapter 13. EFFECTS OF THE DAM AND THE LAKE (Paras. 265-270) 45
Introduction-Effects of the Project in the Area Subject to Inundation-Effects of the
Project on the Riparian Communities Living Downstream from the Dam-Problems of
Health and Sanitation Associated with the New Lake-Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries.
Volta River Project: Report
Chapter 14. EFFECTS OF THE PROJECT IN THE AREA Page
SUBJECT TO INUNDATION (Paras. 271-336)
SECTION A: INTRODUCTION 45
The Problem-Extent of the Problem-Inter-relationship of Communities-The Lake.
SECTION B: METHOD OF ENQUIRY 47
Objectives-Information Available-Collection of Information-Surveys-Date of
Observations-Precedents-Approach to the Local Population.
SECTION C: PRINCIPLES GOVERNING COMPENSATION 48
Basic Decisions-Loss of Public Rights-Policy in Relation to Public Rights-Loss of
Private Rights-Local Factors affecting Rights-Classification of Private Rights-Prin-
ciple on which Compensation for Loss of Private Rights should be based-Disturbance
Element-Cost of Rebuilding-Speculation.
SECTION D: DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA SUBJECT TO INUNDATION 50
Division of the Area-Ecology-Population-Occupations and Incomes-Housing-
Land Tenure-Existing Road Communications-Vehicular and Passenger Ferries-
Forests-Perennial Crops-Food Crops-Schools.
SECTION E: COMPENSATION 51
Detailed Analysis-Compensation for Loss of Public Rights-Compensation for Loss
of Private Rights-Administration.
SECTION F: RESETTLEMENT 51
Possible Lines of Approach-Basic Philosophy-Conditions for Resettlement- Pro-
vision of Land, etc. for Resettlement-Land Available-Aids to Housing-Financial
Incentive-Kete Krachi-The Tongu Fishing Communities-Cost of Resettlement-
SECTION G: ADMINISTRATIVE ASPECT OF COMPENSATION
AND RESETTLEMENT. 53
Chief Resettlement Officer and Staff-Riparian Communities-Burden on the Gold
Chapter 15. EFFECTS ON THE RIPARIAN COMMUNITIES
LIVING DOWNSTREAM FROM THE DAM (Paras. 337-382)
SECTION A: INTRODUCTION 54
Present pattern of the River Flow-Changes in the River Flow-Need for Investi-
gation-Surveys-Claims for Compensation-Responsibility for Dealing with the
Problems-The Inter-relationship of the Riparian Communities with other Com-
SECTION B: PRESENT FEATURES 56
The River-Sociological Aspects-Economic Aspects.
SECTION C: THE TERRITORIAL SURVEY 57
Pattern-Basic Needs in the Future-Installation of Flood-Warning System-Back-
ground to the Territorial Survey.
SECTION D: MAIN CONCLUSIONS OF THE TERRITORIAL SURVEY 57
Upper Sector-Central Sector-Lower Sector-Keta and Songaw Lagoons-Keta
Sea Fishing-Erosion of the Coast.
SECTION E: GENERAL CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 58
Agriculture-Fishing-Keta and Songaw Lagoons-Health-Water-Communica-
Volta River Project: Report
Chapter 16. PROBLEMS OF HEALTH AND SANITATION Page
ASSOCIATED WITH THE FORMATION OF THE
NEW LAKE (Paras. 383-415)
SECTION A: INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL CONCLUSION GO
SECTION B: PRESENT CONDITION OF HEALTH IN THE
AREA SUBJECT TO INUNDATION .
Lack of Information-Specific Diseases-Malaria-Trypanosomiasis-Onchocerciasis
-Bilharziasis-Other Diseases-Resettlement of People Living in the Lake Area.
SECTION C: METHOD OF APPROACH AND ORGANISATION .63
Two Stages-Allocation of Responsibility-Organisation-Costs.
SECTION D: ACCEPTANCE BY THE GOVERNMENTS AND ALUMINIUM
Chapter 17. AGRICULTURE, FORESTS AND
FISHERIES (Paras. 416-436) 64
Introduction-Effects of the Project-Supplies of Local Foodstuffs-Reserve Supplies
and Availability of Meat and Fish-Firewood-Erosion and Conservation-Clearance
of Vegetation-Major Opportunities for Increased Food Production-Fisheries in the
Chapter 18. CONCLUSIONS AS TO THE EFFECTS OF THE
DAM AND THE LAKE (Para. 437) 66
FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS
Chapter 19. FINANCIAL AND .ECONOMIC ASPECTS:
INTRODUCTION (Paras. 438-446) 69
Chapter 20. CAPITAL COST OF THE PROJECT (Paras. 447-504) 69
Method of Analysis.
SUMMARY OF ESTIMATES 70
Responsibility for Preparing and Checking Estimates--The Work of Cooper Brothers
& Co.-Work of Aluminium Laboratories on Power Estimate-General Approach
to the Estimates-Basic Assumptions for Estimating-Margin for Contingencies-The
ESTIMATE A. DAM AND POWER INSTALLATION 72
Preliminary Surveys-Main Works-Temporary Township at Ajena-Permanent
Township at Ajena-Compensation and Resettlement-Volta River Authority-
Transmission Lines from Ajena to the Smelter-Switchgear and Metering-Interest-
Effect of Different Interest Rates on Cost of Dam and Power Installation.
ESTIMATE B. CAPITAL COST INCURRED IN SETTING
UP THE SMELTER AND MINES 75
Scope of the Estimate-Estimate B-Housing for Construction Force-Permanent
Township-Installations at Tema.
ESTIMATE C. CAPITAL COST OF THE RAILWAYS 76
Scope of the Estimate-Estimate C-Choice of Routes for New Lines-Interest-
Locomotives and Rolling Stock.
ESTIMATE D. GOLD COAST GOVERNMENT : OTHER DIRECT
COMMITMENTS ARISING FROM THE PROJECT 77
Scope of the Estimate-Estimate D.
Volta River Project: Report
ESTIMATE E. GOLD COAST GOVERNMENT: OTHER POSSIBLE Page
INVESTMENT ARISING FROM THE PROJECT 78
Scope of the Estimate-Estimate E.
ESTIMATE F. GOLD COAST GOVERNMENT: ALLIED DEVELOPMENT
Seope of the -Estimate-Estimate F.
GENERAL COMMENTS ON ESTIMATES 79
Subjects for Further Consideration or Negotiation-Comparison with the White Paper
Figures-Reasons for Increases in Estimates for Power Project and Smelter- Com-
parison of Gold Coast Government Estimates for Port, Roads, Rail, etc.-Provision
Chapter 21. ANNUAL CHARGES ARISING FROM
THE PROJECT (Paras. 505-516) 8o
Cost of Power-Evaporation-Interest Rates-Cost of Power in Pence per Unit: Vari-
ation with the Rate of Interest-Railway Freight Rates-Port Dues-Mines and
Chapter 22. REVIEW OF ESTIMATES IN THE LIGHT OF
GENERAL EXPERIENCE (Paras. 517-522) .82
Introduction-Review of Projects in Other Countries and the Gold Coast-Addit-
ional Allowance-Estimates with 45 % Added-Effect on Cost of Power-Cost of Power
in Pence per Unit (with 45% Added).
Chapter 23. EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL ECONOMIC FACTORS
AFFECTING THE PROJECT (Paras. 523-540)
SECTION A: EXTERNAL ECONOMIC FACTORS 83
World Price Levels-World Construction Activity-Interest Rates.
SECTION B: INTERNAL ECONOMIC FACTORS 84
Wages and Prices-Gold Coast Currency-Financial Resources of the Gold Coast-
Strain on the Gold Coast Economy-Local Inflationary Pressures.
Chapter 24. ADDITIONAL EFFECTS OF THE PROJECT ON
THE GOLD COAST ECONOMY (Paras. 541-548) 86
Chapter 25. GENERAL ECONOMIC CONSIDERATIONS (Paras. 549-567) 87
Introduction-Factors influencing Estimates-Delays during Construction-Policy for
Employment and Living Conditions of the Labour Forces-Economic Stability in the
Gold Coast-Exchange Rates-Special Factors affecting Investment of Aluminium
Companies-Relationship between the Gold Coast Government and the Overseas
Investor-Taxation-Economic Soundness of the Project as a Whole-Power-Freight-
Chapter 26. FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS:
CONCLUSIONS (Paras. 568-570) 90
OTHER FACTORS WHICH COULD INFLUENCE THE PROJECT
Chapter 27. OTHER FACTORS WHICH COULD INFLUENCE
THE PROJECT: INTRODUCTION (Paras. 571-575) 93
Factors involving Government of the Gold Coast-Other Factors.
Volta River Project: Report
Chapter 28. RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO THE GOLD COAST Page
GOVERNMENT (Paras. 576-598)
SECTION A: FUTURE DEVELOPMENT PLANS 93
Introduction-Current Plan-Probable Limits for Next Development Plan-Detailed
Consideration of the Next Development Plan.
SECTION B: ADMINISTRATIVE AND TECHNICAL MANPOWER 95
Administrative Staff-Supervisory and Technical Manpower.
Chapter 29. OVERSEAS INVESTMENT IN THE
GOLD COAST (Paras. 599-607)
SECTION A: POLICY FOR CAPITAL INVESTMENT 96
SECTION B: NATIONALISATION AND EXPROPRIATION 97
Chapter 30. FUTURE ADMINISTRATION OF TOGOLAND UNDER
UNITED KINGDOM TRUSTEESHIP (Paras. 608-612) 97
Effects of the Project-Policy of the British Government-Policy of the United Nations-
Chapter 31. CONTROL OF HEADWATERS OF THE
VOLTA (Paras. 613-614) 98
Chapter 32. FUTURE OF ALUMINIUM (Paras. 615-619) 98
Chapter 33. GENERATION OF POWER FROM NUCLEAR
ENERGY (Paras. 620-621) 99
Chapter 34. OTHER FACTORS WHICH COULD INFLUENCE
THE PROJECT: CONCLUSIONS (Para. 622) Ioo
ADMINISTRATIVE AND LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Chapter35. ADMINISTRATIVE AND LEGAL
FRAMEWORK (Paras. 623-628) 103
Administrative Framework-Legal Framework-Debate in Legislative Assembly of the
Chapter 36. VOLTA RIVER AUTHORITY (Paras. 629-655)
SECTION A: THE DRAFT BILL 103
Constitution and General Objective during Construction Phase-Policy after Com-
pletion of Construction Phase-Co-ordination-Health and Sanitation-Land-
Permissive Functions-Abstraction of Water-Flood Warning and Compensation
Water-Research-Financial Provisions-Administration-Volta Electricity Board.
SECTION B: THE BOARD AND STAFF FOR THE
VOLTA RIVER AUTHORITY o6
Chapter 37. DRAFT MASTER AGREEMENT (Paras. 656-677) 107
Nature of the Master Agreement-Main Structure-Financial Provisions-Land-
Construction-Operation-Disposal of Effluents-Sale of Aluminium-Reciprocal
Undertakings-Undertakings by the Aluminium Companies-Arbitration.
Chapter 38. DRAFT POWER CONTRACT (Paras. 678-687) 110
Obligation to Provide Power for the Smelter Company-Financial Provisions- Tech-
Volta River Project: Report
Chapter 39. OTHER LEGISLATIVE AND CONTRACTUAL Page
DOCUMENTS (Paras. 688-697) I
Land Acquisition Bill-Leases-Local Government Bill-Mortgages and Debentures-
Terms for Sale of Reserved Power-Railway Agreement-Port Agreement-Works
Contracts and Accompanying Documents-Accounting Control.
Chapter 40. FUTURE ACTION (Paras. 698-699) 15
Chapter41. NEGOTIATIONS AND DECISIONS
ON POLICY (Paras. 700-709)
SECTION A: NEGOTIATIONS 115
Preliminary Discussions-Negotiations at the Ministerial Level-Initialling a Memo-
randum of Agreed Conclusions-Publication of White Papers.
SECTION B: DEBATE IN THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
OF THE GOLD COAST .. I6I
Chapter42. ACTION AFTER THE DEBATE IN THE
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (Paras. 710-719) 117
Calling for Tenders-Form of Contract-Preliminary Works-Decision on Tenders-
Establishment of the Volta River Authority and Signing of the Master Agreement and
Power Contract, etc.-United Kingdom Legislation.
Chapter 43. POSSIBLE TIMETABLE OF EVENTS AFTER
THE COMPLETION OF NEGOTIATIONS (Paras. 720-727) 118
Introduction-Stage A-Stage B-Stage C-Stage D.
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Chapter 44. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS AND
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS (Paras. 728-792)
SECTION A: GENERAL OBSERVATIONS 123
Objective of the Preparatory Commission-Implications of Success or Failure-The
Special Position of the Gold Coast-Control of the Project-Assessment of the Pros-
pects-Period of the Agreement and Timing of the Project-Commonwealth
SECTION B: ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 126
IND EX 129
ILLUSTRATIONS AND MAPS
Geographical distribution of the component parts of the Project
Proposed construction programme
Photographs of a model of the proposed power station
Artist's impression of the proposed smelter township
Map of the area subject to inundation
Map of the lower reaches of the Volta River
Map of the Gold Coast
Facing page 16
S,, ,, 38
,, ,, 50
,, ,, 56
Sat end of book
(Published in a separate volume)
I. White Paper on the Volta River Aluminium Scheme (Cmd. 8702 of 1952).
II. The Work of the Preparatory Commission.
III. Evaporation from Lake Volta, by H. L. Penman, M.Sc., Ph.D., F.Inst.P., Rothamsted
IV. Evaporation and the Volta River Project, by H. O. Walker, B.Sc. (Chief Meteorologist,
Gold Coast Government).
V. A Landscape Design for the Volta River Project, by G. A. Jellicoe, F.R.I.B.A.,
VI. The Effects of the Project in the Area Subject to Inundation. Report by the Preparatory
VII. The Effects of the Project on the Riparian Communities Downstream from the Dam.
Report by the Preparatory Commission.
VIII. Problems of Health and Sanitation associated with the Formation of the New Lake.
Report by the Preparatory Commission.
IX. Relationship of the Volta River Project to Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries. Report
by the Preparatory Commission.
X. Communications and Logistics. Report by the Preparatory Commission.
XI. Resources of Manpower and Materials needed for the Project. Report by the Preparatory
XII. Human Factors. Report by the Preparatory Commission.
XIII. Financial and Economic Aspects of the Project. Report by the Preparatory Commission.
XIV. Report by Cooper Brothers & Co.
XV. Statement on Capital Investment made in the Legislative Assembly on Ist March, 1954,
by the Prime Minister of the Gold Coast.
XVI. Volta River Authority Bill : draft.
by Sir William Halcrow & Partners, MM.I.C.E.
(Published in a separate volume)
I. This report is made by the Preparatory Commission which was set up in 1953 to carry
forward the work which had already been done in investigating the Volta River Project, and to
advance the planning of the scheme to a stage where a decision could be made whether it should
2. The report is supported by sixteen appendices which are being published simultaneously
in a separate volume. A list of them will be found at page xv of this volume.
3. The Engineering Report of the consulting engineers, Sir William Halcrow & Partners,
is also being published separately. It deals with the technical aspects of the dam and power
installation and the new railways.
Description of the Project
4. A general description of the Project, which envisages a partnership between the Gold Coast
Government, the United Kingdom Government, Aluminium Limited of Canada, and the British
Aluminium Company, in order to develop large-scale aluminium production in the Gold Coast,
is contained in a White Paper (Cmd. 8702) which was issued in November, 1952. A copy is
reproduced as Appendix I.
5. The main works involved in the Project would be the development and operation of new
bauxite mines; the building of approximately 83 miles of railways to transport the bauxite and
ingot, etc; the construction of a large dam and power station (which would create a lake covering
an area of approximately 3,500 square miles); the development and operation of an alumina
factory and a smelter with an ultimate annual capacity of about 210,000 tons' of aluminium ;
new roads to provide access to the main works and to replace those submerged by the lake; a
new port to handle the flow of imports and exports associated with the scheme; and new townships
at the site of the bauxite mines, the dam and the smelter. The geographical distribution of these
works is shown on the frontispiece.
6. The fundamental element in the Project is the possibility of developing about 600,000
kilowatts of power from the Volta River cheaply enough to enable aluminium to be produced
at an economic price from the great deposits of bauxite in the Gold Coast.
7. Exploratory discussions were held in late 1951 and during May and June, 1952. Both the
United Kingdom Government and the Gold Coast Government favoured the scheme in principle,
and believed it to be soundly conceived, but considered that the magnitude was such that it
should not be embarked upon without every practical assurance that it can be carried through
to a successful conclusion."' The aluminium companies agreed with this view, and it was decided
to establish a Preparatory Commission to follow up the work which has been done already
and to examine in greater detail the chief problems which would have to be overcome."'
Terms of Reference and Work of the Preparatory Commission
8. Broadly speaking, the Preparatory Commission was expected to survey the Project as a
whole and to report on its feasibility. The original terms of reference in the White Paper were
subsequently elaborated by the two Governments. These directions to the Commission, together
with a description of its work, will be found in Appendix II.
9. In 1954, the two Governments agreed that, in order to preserve continuity, the Commission
should remain in existence after it had reported and until a decision was taken about the Project.
If there was agreement to proceed, the Commission would continue to function until a Volta
River Authority was established on lines envisaged in the earlier discussions.
Consultation with the Governments and Aluminium Companies
io. In all the work of the Commission, constant touch was preserved with the Gold Coast
Government by means of regular discussions with the Prime Minister and the two Ministers who
were primarily responsible for dealing with the Project, and as a result of official meetings which
affected virtually every Ministry and Department.
SThe White Paper envisaged that there would be three stages of development. At the initial stage there would be capacity
to produce 80,ooo tons of aluminium annually; the intermediate and final stages would provide for 120,ooo tons and
2 White Paper (Cmd. 8702) Summary of Proposals."
Volta River Project: Report
S1. The progress of work was discussed periodically in London with the British Government
and the British Aluminium Company, and in Montreal with Aluminium Limited. Reports were
sent regularly to the Governments and aluminium companies throughout the life of the Com-
Gold Coast National Committee
12. In July, 1953, the Gold Coast Government established a National Committee for the
Volta River Project which included members of the different political parties. One of the main
reasons for setting up this Committee was the desire of the Government to make the Project a
matter of national concern. The background to the formation of the Committee is given in
Appendix II. The Government arranged for all reports and documents prepared by the Com-
mission to be considered by this Committee in order to have the benefit of its advice. Members
of the Committee visited aluminium installations in Canada and the United Kingdom in 1953
Assistancefrom Other Authorities
13. In preparing its programme of work and in all its subsequent investigations, the Com-
mission endeavoured to take advantage of knowledge and experience gained from major projects
in other parts of the world, especially those undertaken since the end of the last war. Personal
liaison was maintained with those concerned with the construction and administration of many
of these schemes, and valuable assistance and guidance was received. Similarly several national
Governments helped the Commission with its investigations of particular problems, and certain
of the specialised agencies of the United Nations were consulted. Appropriate acknowledgements
are made later in this report. These arrangements not only provided the Commission with
valuable technical information; they often made it unnecessary to investigate to a further stage
particular aspects of individual problems, and thus reduced the cost of the Commission's own
Responsibility for Statements and Opinions
14. The Commission received a great deal of help and advice in its work, but responsibility
for statements and opinions expressed in this report rests with the Commission unless specifically
15. Throughout its work, the Preparatory Commission kept certain general considerations
constantly in mind. Since the Project would be constructed and operated in the Gold Coast,3 it
would be essential for it to be acceptable, both politically and economically, to the Gold Coast
Government. The Project would have a greater relative importance to the Gold Coast Govern-
ment than to the other parties, and some problems have therefore been discussed at length in
this report (e.g. in Chapters 14 and 15) in order to assist the people of the Gold Coast and all
others concerned to obtain a full understanding of the scheme. Furthermore, because of the
close inter-relationship of many of these problems, certain statements have been repeated in
various parts of the report in order to present a complete picture of each topic.
16. It was always appreciated that from the point of view of the British Government, and
the aluminium companies, it would not be enough to demonstrate the technical and economic
soundness of the Project; the great overseas investment involved in the scheme would also depend
on the climate for investment in the Gold Coast. Another important factor was that the failure
or success of this scheme could have a profound influence on the possibility of raising finance for
the development of other large-scale schemes in the less developed parts of the world.
Basic Approach to the Project
17. These considerations, and experience with multi-purpose projects undertaken in other
countries since the end of World War II, reinforced the Commission's basic policy of consider-
ing every aspect of the Volta River Project on a very conservative basis. The Commission requested
the consulting engineers and the aluminium companies to adopt a similar policy, particularly
when preparing estimates and making technical calculations. Whenever alternative estimates or
possible developments were placed before the Commission, the least favourable was always
accepted for the purpose of planning and analysis. In short, the Commission made no optimistic
assumptions at any time about any aspect of the Project.
3 Those readers who may desire to obtain more general information about the Gold Coast are referred to Report on the
Gold Coast for the Year 1954 published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
Analysis of the Project
18. The Commission first studied the Project as a whole, and then, for purposes of analysis,
divided it into five main component parts:
(a) the survey, development and operation of the bauxite mines in the Aya/Yenahin area;
(b) the analysis of the problems of communications and logistics involved in the moving of
materials associated with the Project; and, in particular, the survey, construction and
operation of the proposed new railway links between the mines and the smelter;
(c) the detailed investigation, construction, and operation of the dam and power installation
at Ajena, and its effects on the surrounding country;
(d) the construction and operation of the alumina factory and smelter near Kpong;
(e) the construction and operation of the new port at Tema, which had already been
authorised by the Gold Coast Government.
19. From the outset, it was decided that the analysis of these five component parts, and of
the Project as a whole, should be carried out in three distinct stages.4
First: to demonstrate that each component part was sound from a technical point of view;
Second: to analyse all the economic and financial aspects of the Project;
Third: if the two earlier stages indicated that the scheme was technically sound and econom-
ically acceptable, to consider certain general factors which could exercise a decisive
influence over the Project as a whole.
Results of Investigations
2o. The results of the Commission's investigations are contained in this report and its
appendices and in the Engineering Report of the consulting engineers. This report is divided
into seven parts:
Part I: Technical Aspects and Human Factors.
Part II: Effects of the Dam and Lake.
Part III: Financial and Economic Aspects.
Part IV: Other Factors which could influence the Project.
Part V: Administrative and Legal Framework.
Part VI: Future Action.
Part VII: General Observations, and Acknowledgements.
21. A large number of detailed recommendations have been made in the Commission's
reports dealing with specific subjects; they are contained in the appendices.
22. In this report, six general conclusions are reached:
One: The Volta River Project can be regarded as technically sound, and could be
carried out successfully.
Two: The Commission on the evidence available to it considers that the Project as
conceived in the various technical reports is not capable of significant im-
provement from an economic point of view.
Three: Since the cost of power and rail freights would diminish sharply with increasing
aluminium production, the greatest return from the Project would be derived
by achieving maximum production as soon as possible.
Four: The Project should be competitive in relation to other schemes, provided
(a) it was completed according to the timetable of construction;
(b) a sound policy was adopted in the employment and provision of living
conditions for the labour force;
(c) economic stability in the Gold Coast was maintained;
(d) the aluminium companies were satisfied that the internal cost of operating
the smelter would be acceptable.
Five: The local effects of the dam and the lake could be dealt with satisfactorily.
Six: The Commission considers that the other factors enumerated in the report
which might influence the Volta Project should not affect it adversely, provided
4 Another advantage of analysing the Project in this sequence is referred to in Appendix II, paragraph 2o.
Volta River Project: Report
that the future development plans of the Gold Coast Government were
effectively co-ordinated with the Project, and that the efficiency of the Gold
Coast Government was not prejudiced by serious shortages of administrative
and technical personnel; and provided that the climate for investment in the
Gold Coast was attractive; and assuming that the level of future world demand
for aluminium and future developments in the generation of power from
nuclear energy did not make the Project uneconomic.
These conclusions are amplified in Chapters 12, 18, 26 and 34, and should be read
against the background of general observations made in Chapter 44.
23. The financial and economic aspects of the Project are examined in Part III of this report
but, for ease of reference, a summary of the estimated costs is given here.
Aluminium Production: Initial Stage Intermediate Stage Final Stage
8o,ooo tons 120,000 tons 210,000 tons
m m m
A. Dam and Power Installation 60.2 64.0 67.6
B. Smelter & Mines 43.1 57.9 91.2
Gold Coast Government Financed
C. Railways 15.9 I6.6 18.I
D. Other Direct Commitments 2.5 2.8 5.0
E. Other Possible Investments
Arising from Project 1.5 4.2 1o.o
F. Allied Development
Expenditure6 39-4 39.4 39.4
Total 59.3 63.0 72.5
TOTAL 162.6 I84.9 231.3
24. These estimates are based on an interest rate of 5 % (which is above what the market
rate has been in the United Kingdom in recent years) and indicate that at the final stage of
development power would cost o.199 pence per unit. The Commission believes that power at this
price would be fully competitive with that produced from any other schemes of similar magnitude
which have recently been completed, or those now under consideration for which estimates have
25. The two Governments and the aluminium companies have always insisted that the
Volta Project should be investigated with particular care, and this report indicates (amongst
other things) the attention which has been given to every aspect of the costs which it is estimated
would be involved in construction. As noted in paragraph 17, a conservative approach to the
scheme has invariably been adopted by the Commission and its consultants, and it is believed
that the estimates shown above now represent as accurate an assessment as can.be prepared in
advance of actual construction. Construction could not be completed for about another ten
years, however, and the Commission feels that an effort should be made to predict possible
increases in the ultimate cost of the scheme so as to assist the Governments (particularly the
Gold Coast Government) and the aluminium companies in their planning of investment.
26. Having regard to world economic conditions during the past decade, and to experience in
other parts of the world in building large projects over the same period, it is considered that it
would be prudent to allow for an increase of the order of 40% to 50 % in the estimates for the
power project, the smelter and the railways, in order to obtain a realistic appreciation of the
possible ultimate cost of the scheme. This problem is considered in detail in Chapter 28. Such an
increase in the cost of the Project would, of course, be offset to the extent of any increase in the price
of aluminium, and the competitive position of the Project would remain unimpaired since any
increase in world prices would affect proportionately the cost of all other similar schemes.
5 The spectacular increase in world production and consumption of aluminium during the last ten years is shown in the
table in paragraph 6I5.
6 The heading Allied Development Expenditure covers investment in port, town and road development which the
Gold Coast Government has already decided to undertake for the general benefit of the country irrespective of the decision
on the Volta Project. The expenditure would therefore form part of the normal development programme of the Gold
Coast, but is included in the above table since all the works concerned would be essential for the operation of the Project.
Technical Aspects and
27. The geographical relationship of the five component parts of the Project (paragraph 18)
may be observed on the frontispiece. A general description is now given of the main features of
The Bauxite Deposits and Mines in the Aya/Tenahin Area
28. Bauxite for the operation of the smelter company' would be obtained from deposits in a
range of hills rising to over 2,000 feet about 35 miles west of Kumasi. It has been estimated that
there are about 200 million tons of bauxite in this general area. Exploratory drilling by the
aluminium companies in 1945/46 and in 1953/54 has so far indicated the existence of about
140 million tons.
29. The bauxite would be extracted by opencast mining operations of a type similar to that
already employed in the Gold Coast at the bauxite mines at Awaso operated by the British
Aluminium Co., Ltd. The ore would be reduced to 5" size in a crushing plant, and then conveyed
by belt to storage bins which would feed into the buckets of an aerial ropeway system, leading
to the railhead. At that point there would be large storage bins from which the bauxite would
be drawn off by special ore-carrying railway wagons.
30. A new village would be needed to house the mine workers; it is referred to in Chapter io.
The New Railways
31. The railways required to bring the bauxite to the smelter, and to connect the smelter
with the new port at Tema are considered in Chapter 5. Three new links would be required:
one from the area of the deposits to the existing railway at Kumasi, a second from Koforidua
to the smelter near Kpong, and a third from the smelter to the existing railway which runs
between Shai Hills and Tema.
The Dam and Power Installation at Ajena
32. A full description of the hydro-electric project is given in the Engineering Report of the
consulting engineers; the most important aspects are summarised in Chapter 3 of this report.
The Alumina Factory and Smelter near Kpong
33. Earlier investigations suggested that the best location for the smelter would be in the
general area of Kpong. During 1954 representatives of the aluminium companies examined the
area in greater detail and selected a site immediately north of the road between Somanya and
Akuse, and just to the north-east of Krobo Hill. The site is suitable for a large industrial plant
(the total area needed for the smelter being slightly over a square mile), since it is extensive,
level, and well-drained, and has a rock foundation sufficiently firm to carry heavy plant and
structures. In addition, it provides suitable ground for the disposal of red mud, the main effluent
from aluminium manufacture, and can readily be provided with the ample supply of good water
required for the various processes by pumping from the Volta below the Kpong rapids. The
site is readily accessible from the road which the Gold Coast Government is building from
Tema to the new bridge across the river at Adomi, and could be reached by new railways
without difficulty. There is at present very little habitation or cultivation in the immediate
34. The works would consist of an alumina plant which produces aluminium oxide (i.e.
alumina) from the bauxite, and a smelter which extracts aluminium metal from the oxide. In
addition there would be numerous ancillary buildings. The processes in both the alumina plant
and the smelter would be carried on 24 hours a day throughout the year.
35. It is anticipated that the working force (estimated at about 9,000) required for the full
development of aluminium production, together with its dependants, as well as the people who
would provide goods and services and undertake other activities normal to an urban community,
would ultimately lead to the formation of a township with a population of about 50,ooo. This
major development is considered in Chapter 1.
I It has always been envisaged that a single company would operate both the bauxite mines and the smelter.
Volta River Project: Report
The New Port at Tema
36. If the Volta Project was undertaken, a new port would be essential. The Gold Coast
Government decided in 1952, irrespective of the decision on the Volta scheme, to go ahead
with the construction of a deep-water harbour at Tema, about 17 miles east of Accra, to
supplement Takoradi (which has just been expanded to its maximum capacity). The adequacy
of port facilities in the Gold Coast, including the development at Tema, is discussed in relation
to the Project in Chapter 4 as part of the general problem of logistics.
37. This site has an entrance depth of 42 feet of water with a small tidal range, with good
foundation conditions and little risk of siltation. The plans for the new harbour provide for
enclosing an area of about 500 acres of water between two breakwaters. Ultimate development
would comprise io deep-water berths at the main breakwater, and three oil berths on the lee
breakwater. In the first stage of construction the two breakwaters will be fully completed; but
only one finger quay will be built giving four berths, one of which will handle passenger traffic.
One oil berth will also be provided at the lee breakwater, and a fishing harbour will be
constructed alongside this breakwater. The main contract for this work was let in July, 1954, the
contract price being 7 million. A new township is in course of construction at Tema.
38. When considering the technical aspects of the five component parts of the Project, the
decisive effect of cheap power on the economic feasibility of the scheme made it imperative for
the Preparatory Commission to ensure, to the best of its ability, that the dam and power
installation was investigated with exceptional care and thoroughness. This procedure was
reinforced by an arrangement which was made with Aluminium Limited, immediately after the
Commission was established, by which the consulting engineers worked in close collaboration
with the staff of Aluminium Laboratories (a subsidiary of Aluminium Limited) thus permitting
their very wide knowledge and experience in the development of hydro-electric schemes to be
applied to the Volta Project.
39. The Preparatory Commission also made arrangements for the problems of communica-
tions and logistics involved in the Project to be investigated carefully in order to ensure that the
method of transport finally selected for the movement of bauxite and ingot, etc. would be the
most economic and efficient. The technical factors associated with the proposed new railway
links for the movement of bauxite and ingot, etc. were investigated with particular care by the
consulting engineers, the Gold Coast Government, and the aluminium companies.
40. The exceptional experience of the aluminium companies in many parts of the world in
mining bauxite, and in constructing and operating alumina factories and smelters, made it
unnecessary for the Preparatory Commission to investigate the technical features of these
component parts. Nor did the Preparatory Commission investigate the technical features of the
new port at Tema since the primary responsibility for this work lay outside the Commission,
and tenders for construction were invited very shortly after the Commission was set up.
41. The Preparatory Commission was thus primarily responsible only for the technical
aspects of the dam and power installation and of the communications system which are dealt
with in Chapters 3, 4 and 5; but it was vitally concerned with all five components of the Project
in analysing the resources of materials and manpower which would be required for its con-
42. The earlier discussions about the Project in 1951 and 1952 had rightly emphasised the
importance of ensuring that the necessary resources required for construction-particularly
local manpower-could be provided, and the Commission therefore paid special attention to
these problems. The materials needed for the Project are analysed in Chapter 6, and a wide
range of problems relating to manpower, which the Commission believes could exercise a
decisive influence over the success of the whole scheme, is considered in Chapters 7 to I I.
Co-ordination with Gold Coast Development Plans
43. The determination of materials and manpower required for the Project was also of
major importance in analysing the effect it would have on the development plans of the Gold
Coast Government. The need for ensuring that the requirements of materials and manpower
for the scheme would be effectively co-ordinated with all other demands on those resources in
the Gold Coast was fully recognized by the two Governments and the aluminium companies
during their earlier discussions. The problem is considered in Chapter 28, which deals specifically
PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION PROGRAMME
YEAR 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
PORT OF TEMA
AJENA POWER DEVELOPMENT
Pre m,n.n r Acce.s 3 Clearance
O- e,'son k o, s & Sench. Cut 4 e I e,
016m m0 0 D
Po.e, St aon r lilaker
S p i/.o' .
6cine rat.nJ Plat i e 3 ran.tche.-J r m,' sston L ,r.n re
Permanent H.ous 2
R ser. oir F.I r,, au I' a" *- re,, 9 ( lr
Tu, P 1n &7 _ .c_ .n
. h l HII/ Smelter
Kumas, A y
Kojorduo-Tu r, r. l
Smelter a a ': h.n
M.ne: I j ,ge
Year oF Construction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Volta River Project: Report
with one aspect that could exercise a major influence on the Project, the availability of adminis-
trative and technical manpower to the Gold Coast Government.
44. In this part of the report, certain estimates of cost are given, but are not discussed in
detail. All financial and economic matters are considered in Part III. The costs given have been
based on prices ruling at 30th September, 1955.
Timetable for Construction
45. It is thought that consideration of this report might be assisted by reference to the diagram
overleaf which shows the main stages in the construction of the Project. The diagram is based on
a decision about the Project being taken in sufficient time in 1956 to permit construction to
commence in 1957. Throughout this report and its appendices, and in the Engineering Report,
1957 has been used for planning purposes as the base year for starting construction, since it is
the earliest date by which work on the Project could begin. If a decision about the scheme was
not reached in 1956, there would naturally be a consequential delay in starting construction,
and all dates used in this report would need to be adjusted correspondingly.
46. As the dam and power installation would require the longest period for construction,
this component part naturally determines the timetable for the Project as a whole. First power
should be available early in 1964; the railways would have to be ready by that date; and the
smelter would have to be sufficiently advanced to enable production to start.
47. In considering the phasing of construction of all five component parts, careful con-
sideration was given to those arrangements which would contribute most to the development
and maintenance of stable labour forces and would simultaneously ensure that the several parts
of the Project were completed at the right time.
48. The effect on interest charges of the timing of the construction of each of the component
parts was also borne in mind constantly when arranging the programme of construction for the
" Construction Phase and Operating Phase"
49. References in this report to construction phase cover the period of eight years
(ending in 1964) during which the construction of all components of the Project should be
completed to the initial stage. Operating phase indicates the period which would start on
the completion of the construction phase," i.e. for the purposes of planning, 1965. It should
be noted, however, that the smelter would be brought into operation progressively from the
time when first power was available.
TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE DAM AND POWER INSTALLATION
Power from the Volta
50. When considering the proposed power development at Ajena, the Commission was
sensitive to the fact that about 90% of the power generated would be required for aluminium
production. Although it was obvious that the economic justification for the hydro-electric scheme
at Ajena depended entirely on the use of a great proportion of the power for the manufacture
of aluminium, it was apparent that genuine doubts might arise whether the long-term power
requirements of the Gold Coast would be prejudiced by the Volta Project.
51. Accordingly, the Preparatory Commission in December, 1953, proposed to the two
Governments that a general survey should be made of the power potential at another site,
higher up the river, at Bui (about I2o miles north of Kumasi), so that a better picture could be
obtained of the total power which might be generated from the Volta, and the Gold Coast
Government thus enabled to plan its power policy on a much firmer foundation. The Govern-
ments approved this proposal, and the results of the investigations made by the consulting
engineers at Bui are contained in Part III of their Engineering Report and are summarised in
Section B of this chapter.
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
A. POWER AT AJENA
Conclusions of the Consulting Engineers
52. Detailed investigations into the technical aspects of the proposed dam and power
installation at Ajena were made by the consulting engineers in accordance with a programme
of work approved by the Preparatory Commission and the two Governments. The results of the
consulting engineers' investigations are contained in the Engineering Report in which their
conclusions are summarised as follows:
As a result of five years of work on the Volta River Project and our deliberations
with the Preparatory Commission and the aluminium interests, we are now able to
present firm proposals for the development of the power potential of the Volta River.
With the considerable fund of information now available, we have prepared designs
and estimates of costs of the various components of the Project, and have conducted
detailed analyses of the likely requirements of labour and materials. Our proposals are
given in detail in the following chapters of this (Engineering) report and are summarised
Main and Ancillary Works
i. We consider that the water power resources of the River Volta can be developed
most economically by the construction of a dam and power station at a site at Ajena
2. After a detailed investigation of site conditions and careful consideration of the
various factors, technical and economic, affecting choice of site and alternative
designs, we recommend the construction of a rockfill dam, with a crest 4,100 feet
long and with a height of 310 feet above the river bed in the deepest part, to be
made impervious on the upstream face by a layer of compacted clay contained
between filters of sand and graded crushed rock.
3. We propose a power system on the eastern flank of the dam, to consist of a forebay
with control gates, and of.steel-lined tunnelled penstocks leading to a power station
and tailrace, which would discharge into the river channel immediately downstream
of the dam. A natural saddle on the east flank, to be deepened by excavation and in
which there would be constructed a concrete weir with control gates, would provide
a spillway capable of dealing with all possible floods. Discharge from the spillway
would be returned to the river downstream of the power station.
4. A small township for the accommodation of the station operating staff could be
sited on a hill above the lakeside immediately to the north of the spillway. A new
road could be constructed on the east bank of the river, leading northwards from
the new Volta Bridge at Adomi to the Power Station and Township.
5. We recommend that the spillway weir should be designed so as to retain the
reservoir water level at a maximum of 276 feet O.D., and that the crest of the dam
should be at 290 feet O.D. Under normal conditions of inflow and usage the
reservoir level would be controlled between levels 276 feet O.D. and 252 feet O.D.,
giving a drawdown of 24 feet. Under conditions of exceptional flood inflow into the
reservoir the water level could rise to 280 feet O.D. but, except in extremely remote
circumstances, no higher.
The influence of the reservoir on river flow below the dam would be to even
out the seasonal variations, and to reduce the frequency of normal floods and the
magnitude of abnormal floods.
It is proposed to increase the head produced by such a dam by cutting a channel
300 feet wide and 28 feet deep through Senchi Rapids, eight miles downstream of
the dam, and at a later stage in the development of the Project, by forming an
additional small cut in the crest of Kpong Rapids, five miles below Senchi.
6. Available Power
With a normal reservoir drawdown of 24 feet and after allowing for an annual
abstraction of water for irrigation not exceeding 710,000 acre-feet, we consider
that the flow from the reservoir can be regulated to provide a firm output of 617,000
KW. of continuous power. Alternatively, if the project were allowed to develop
its full power and any irrigation water needed were to be pumped using power
derived from the station a firm output of 633,000 KW. could be generated.
Volta River Project: Report'
7. Disposal of Power Generated
It is proposed that the bulk of the energy produced should be used for the
smelting of aluminium at a site near Kpong to which it would be carried by over-
head line at a voltage of 165 KV. It would be metered at this voltage and made
available to both the aluminium industry and public supply, at a sub-station near
the aluminium smelter, subject to agreement between the Gold Coast Government
and the Aluminium Companies operating the smelter.
8. Development of the Project
It has been agreed that the Project should be developed in three stages, the
first to provide for the production of 80,000 tons of aluminium annually.
We recommend that the first stage of development should provide for the
installation of four units, each consisting of a Francis turbine and generator of
90 MW capacity, and for one double-circuit transmission line to Kpong. Each of
the succeeding stages of development would require the provision of two additional
units of the same size. The transmission would be supplemented by the erection of
one additional double-circuit line which would suffice for both additional stages.
The proposed cut in the crest of Kpong Rapids would be carried out for the final
stage of development.
Provision would be made in the civil engineering structures for space for one
additional unit, should this at some future date be required to deal with any change
of load factor in the public supply.
9. Flood Warning
In order to assist in effective operation of the spillway whereby abnormally
high levels in the reservoir and high flows downstream of the dam might be avoided,
we consider it essential that arrangements should be made to enable the power
station superintendent to anticipate unusually high inflows to the reservoir.
This would involve maintenance of some existing river gauges and the establish-
ment and maintenance of additional gauges on the larger tributaries. It would
require an assurance of prompt collection, co-ordination and despatch of rainfall
records from all recording stations, both in the Gold Coast and adjoining French
Territories, to an engineer who might be established at the power station and who
would be responsible for assembling and evaluating the information, forecasting
probable inflow into the reservoir, and advising the station superintendent,
io. Compensation Water
Investigations have shown that during the conditions of continuous low flow
which would prevail during the period of filling of the reservoir there would be
penetration of salt water up river which would affect the drinking water supplies
of riverside villages for some miles above the estuary. To counteract this, it is
proposed that during the filling of the reservoir and until the first power unit is
placed in regular operation provision should be made for passing a constant flow
of 5,000 cusecs compensation water past the dam. Such loss of water must increase
the time of filling the reservoir and accordingly delay the date of production of
first power, and consideration should be given to the possibility of a periodic
flushing of the river by regulation of the amount of compensation water being
passed, so as to reduce the total quantity of water lost.
I 1. Cost of the Project
We estimate the capital cost of the works, embodying all our recommendations
and including transmission to Kpong and the provision of H.T. metering and
switchgear there, and inclusive of interest on construction costs during the estimated
period of construction, to be 6o0 millions for the first stage, an additional M3
millions for the second, and a further C3g millions for the final stage of development.
These costs are calculated on prices ruling at 3oth September, 1955, and make no
allowance for any rises in prices in any country.
12. Construction Programme
We consider that the first stage of the development can be completed in seven
years, and that if construction of the dam be commenced not later than mid-1957
Technical Aspects and Human Factors 53-54
and, given normal rainfall in the catchment, the reservoir should fill to a level
sufficient to produce first power early in 1964 and full power for the first stage of
development by the middle of 1966.
13. Requirement of Labour and Materials
The construction of the works would require a labour force which we estimate
may reach a peak of about 5,000 by the fourth year, of whom we must expect some
250 to be overseas staff required for supervision and for certain highly skilled trades
which cannot be filled locally. In order to keep this force stable, to reduce turnover
and thereby to assist in ensuring a satisfactory rate of productivity, it is the policy
of the Preparatory Commission to make provision for family life and to establish a
normal community for the force during the period of construction. In our proposals
we are therefore making the necessary provision, as recommended by the Com-
mission, for the desired standards of living and for the amenities which are calculated
to aid these objectives.
14. The community would not be required to outlast the period of construction, and
accommodation of a temporary nature only would be required. With this in mind,
and in order to reduce to a minimum the manpower required for its erection, we
recommend that only prefabricated structures be used for the housing and ancillary
15. We estimate that the cost of the temporary housing, inclusive of hospitals, schools,
community centres and other amenities, of roads and other services, and of the
supply of water and electric power, would be about 421 millions. Allowing for
contingencies, engineering and interest during construction this figure wbuld
amount to nearly 7 millions. A further investigation is being made in an effort
to reduce the cost of such housing.
16. Preliminary Works
In order to ensure that the construction of the dam may be started without
delay, it would be advisable to complete the provisions for access to the works, and
for housing for the initial labour force, in advance of the main works, and we
strongly recommend that, subject to a decision that the Project will proceed,
contracts should be placed for the proposed new road from the Volta Bridge to
the site, and for about 5 % of the housing, not later than the end of the first quarter
of 1957. The cost of these preliminary works is not expected to exceed 400,000.
17. Form of Contracts
We recommend that all civil engineering contracts and others, where appro-
priate, should be placed by competitive tender, on a schedule-(or unit-) price
In view of the length of time of construction and uncertainty with regard to
prices, we consider it essential that the contract should contain rise and fall clauses
to allow for fluctuations in the basic costs of labour and materials outside the
Endorsement by Aluminium Limited
53. As indicated in paragraph 38, arrangements were made at an early stage for Aluminium
Laboratories to co-operate closely with the consulting engineers in their investigations (particu-
larly as the aluminium companies would be paying for so much of the power) and the Commis-
sion asked Aluminium Limited to indicate, at the proper time, whether it agreed with the
investigations and conclusions of the consulting engineers. In addition to working with the
consulting engineers, Aluminium Laboratories carried out independently a wide range of
investigations into the power potential at Ajena.
54. Aluminium Limited informed the Commission in November, 1955, that "........as a
general observation, Aluminium Limited is satisfied that the consulting engineers have carried
out a very thorough engineering investigation and that the conclusions and recommendations
based upon their findings are sound in the light of the data now available. It is also considered
that the preparation of relevant data, of associated general plans and report drawings, and the
draft 'Agreement, General Conditions of Contract, Specifications, Descriptions of Works, Bills
of Quantities and Tender and Bond for the Power Development Works' have been advanced
as far as was possible within the time available........."
SThis figure excludes recurrent costs of medical and education services which, if included, would increase the total to
4.9 millions (see paragraph 463).
Volta River Project: Report
55. Aluminium Limited have expressed differences of view on a small number of individual
technical points, but they do not in any way invalidate the company's basic acceptance of the
consulting engineers' work. Aluminium Limited has also expressed reservations on a small
number of individual estimates; they are dealt with in Part III of this Report, but, again, do
not basically affect their endorsement of the Engineering Report.
Endorsement by Doctor A. E. Morgan
56. Doctor A. E. Morgan visited the Gold Coast in the latter portion of 1953, to survey the
scheme generally on behalf of the Gold Coast Government, and, in particular, to study the
proposal for the dam and power installation. Subsequently, he has been kept fully informed of
the Commission's investigations. He has said:
It is my considered opinion that the Project is sound and desirable from a technical
engineering standpoint and from the standpoint of public policy. Taken all together, the
studies and preparations for it have a degree of completeness and thoroughness which
are unusual outside the well industrialized countries of Western Europe, the British
Commonwealth and the United States, and compare favourably with the better
planned projects in those countries........"
Endorsement of Estimates by Cooper Brothers & Co., Chartered Accountants
57. The consulting engineers' estimates of capital costs and operating charges have been
examined by Cooper Brothers & Co. Their report is reproduced as Appendix XIV, and is
discussed in Chapter 20 of this report. It is relevant to note here that (subject to detailed
elaboration in their report) Cooper Brothers & Co. state that accepting the technical foundation
of the estimates as sound, we consider that the estimates examined by us have been properly
compiled and fairly represent the probable cost of the capital and operating charges of the
Allocation of Power
58. At the time of the earlier discussions in 1951 and 1952, it was anticipated that 564,000
kilowatts of power would be available. Of this, 514,ooo kilowatts would be used by the smelter
company to produce 210,000 tons of aluminium; the balance of 50,000 kilowatts being reserved
by the Gold Coast Government for other uses. During the course of the Commission's work it
became apparent that a misunderstanding existed between the Gold Coast Government and
the aluminium companies whether this 50,000 kilowatts should represent average or maximum
demand. However, the later investigations into the potential at Ajena now show that (assuming
evaporation at 55" per annum) 617,000 kilowatts could be developed there-representing an
increase of about o0% over the earlier estimate-quite apart from the possibilities at Bui. It
should not be difficult, therefore, for the Gold Coast Government and the aluminium companies
to agree on the division of available power.
59. The Commission wishes to draw attention to the importance and also the difficulty of
determining the rate of evaporation which may be expected from the new lake.2 The consulting
engineers have always been aware of the particular importance of this problem, and the Chief
Meteorologist of the Gold Coast Government, Mr. H. O. Walker, B.Sc., has rendered most
valuable service in seeking to ensure that as much information as possible was obtained so that
the likely limits could be estimated with as great a degree of accuracy as possible.
60. Dr. H. L. Penman, M.Sc., Ph.D., F.Inst.P., of the Rothamsted Experimental Station,
who has done outstanding research on evaporation, visited the Gold Coast in 1955 at the
invitation of the Preparatory Commission and studied at first hand the problems of evaporation
associated with the Project. Dr. Penman's report is reproduced as Appendix III. He concludes
that the evaporation would lie in the range of 58" to 70" a year, and proposes that 66" should
61. Arrangements were also made to consult authorities in various parts of the world on this
subject, particularly the Air Ministry Meteorological Office in the United Kingdom, and the
2 The Commission's general attitude was reinforced by the following observation made by the Task Force on Natural
Resources in the Report to the United States Congress (in March, 1949) of the Commission on Organisation of the
Executive Branch of the Government:
The really disturbing thing is that so little progress has been made in obtaining reliable hydrologic data in
advance of project planning and construction. Though the necessity for more adequate data has long been
recognized, we find ourselves embarking (in the U.S.A.) on the most gigantic water projects ever devised with
alarming gaps in our knowledge of the probable behaviour of the waters we are trying to control and utilise.
So serious are these deficiencies that it is estimated on the basis of experience that the limit of error or ignorance
in present water developments is rarely less than 25% and is frequently greater than that."
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
U.S. Weather Bureau. The Chief Meteorologist in the Gold Coast co-ordinated the results of
these enquiries with his own research, and his report is published as Appendix IV. He concludes
that a figure of 65" a year should be used.
62. Aluminium Limited have received all these reports. They have also conducted an
exhaustive study of probable evaporation losses based on evaporation pan data from world wide
sources, from the-evaporation pan data secured for the Volta reservoir area and environs by the
consulting engineers, and upon all known empirical methods and basic approaches." They
conclude that in order to be conservative, Aluminium Limited is prepared to accept a probable
mean annual evaporation of 60"."
63. The consulting engineers and all other authorities involved in the investigation of this
problem of evaporation have worked together very closely, and the difference in opinion simply
reflects a difference of judgment in analysing a problem which does not lend itself to accurate
64. Both evaporation and the incidence of rainfall on the lake would affect the amount of
power which could be developed.3 The estimate of evaporation on which the consulting engineers
have based their assessment of available power is 55", rainfall on the lake surface being taken as
50.3" per annum. The following table shows the effect on power output, in terms of gains or
losses relative to the figure of 617,000 kilowatts, which would result from various combinations
of evaporation and rainfall on the lake.
VARIATION OF POWER OUTPUT IN THOUSANDS OF KILOWATTS
Long Average -
Long from Lake
Average Surface 50" 55" 6o" 65" 70"
45" o -18 -35 -53 -71
50" +17 -- I -19 -37 -54
55" +38 +15 2 -20 -38
6o" +49 +32 +14 4 -22
65" +66 +48 +30 +12 -5
The effect of different rates of evaporation on the cost of power is considered in Part III,
Permanent and Temporary Townships at Ajena
65. A permanent township to accommodate approximately 150 people required to operate
the dam and power station, together with their families, and to provide normal Government and
commercial services, would be needed at Ajena. A suitable site was selected, and preliminary
plans prepared by Mr. Thomas Scott, O.B.E., F.R.I.B.A.
66. The temporary township required for the labour force building the dam and power
project (which is described in paragraphs 258 to 263 and in Appendix XII) presents special
difficulties. The only possible site is not ideal, for it is limited in area and on a relatively steep
slope (the site selected for the permanent township could not, for technical reasons, be used for
the temporary township). The labour force would have to live in this area for upwards of eight
years and it is apparent, having regard to the great importance which the Commission attaches
to the successful employment of all labour forces required during both the construction and
operating phases of the Project (see Chapters 7 to i1), that particular care would be necessary
to ensure that the standard of accommodation and amenities provided in the temporary town-
ship was satisfactory.
67. The consulting engineers carried out considerable surveys and investigations, and
estimated that it would cost approximately 4.9 million to accommodate the labour force (at a
peak of approximately 5,ooo Africans and 250 overseas staff)-65 % of them with families-in
housing of a standard desired by the Gold Coast Government.
68. It was agreed by all parties to the Project that this cost should be reduced without
seriously departing either from housing standards or, even more important, from the general
working and living conditions advocated by the Commission (Chapter i ). Additional investiga-
tions were therefore carried out by Architects' Co-Partnership and by Dr. O. H. Koenigsberger,
3 No doubt all concerned with the Project would continue to keep under review the results of research now being undertaken
in various parts of the world into artificial rain making and the control of evaporation by the use of surface microfilm.
Volta River Project: Report
Dr.-Ing., F.I.I.A., M.I.E.(India), A.M.T.P.I., of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical
Medicine, working in close collaboration with the consulting engineers and the Gold Coast
Government. As a result of these investigations which were only completed at the end of
December, 1955, it is estimated that the cost could be reduced by about 850,ooo. This assumes
some modification to standards and making provision for the families of 50 % of the labour force.
69. It was thus not possible to take into account this reduction in the total cost of the Project
when anarysing the financial and economic aspects in Appendix XIII, which was prepared in
Design of Power Station
70. Early in 1955, the consulting engineers asked the Commission whether the power station
should be of the traditional indoor type, or the more modern and cheaper outdoor type.
The Gold Coast Government clearly had a special interest in this matter since the Project would
be carried out in the Gold Coast. The Government emphasised that the scheme, if undertaken,
would have special national significance and the various works and installations should, there-
fore, be of good appearance. Accordingly, the Government desired that an indoor station should
be built rather than the more utilitarian structure.
71. The British Government and the aluminium companies recognized the position of the
Gold Coast Government, and the Preparatory Commission retained the services of Mr. G. A.
Jellicoe, F.R.I.B.A., P.P.I.L.A., M.T.P.I., to prepare general layouts and perspectives of the
power station. This was done, and subsequently a model of the proposed power station was made.
Photographs appear opposite this page.
72. The general layout of the power station had to be prepared in advance of a decision
about the Project so that the consulting engineers could be informed of the extent of excavations
which would be necessary, and in order to permit the sub-structure to be designed. The prepara-
tion of detailed plans and architectural drawings would not be undertaken, however, until a
decision had been taken to proceed with the Project.
73. The Gold Coast Government has, for the purposes of planning, approved Mr. Jellicoe's
proposals. The consulting engineers estimate that the cost of the proposed indoor station might
exceed that of an outdoor station by 330,ooo for the first stage of development, and a further
50,ooo for each of the two later stages.
Landscaping the Approaches to the Site of the Dam and Power Installation
74. The Commission considered that the Project would present an unusual opportunity for
landscaping the approaches to the dam and power installation as well as providing a safeguard
against erosion. The area primarily concerned is between the site of the new bridge at Adomi
and the dam about eight miles further upstream. Relatively little would need to be done in the
positive sense; it would be more important to prevent the present landscape being spoilt. Another
opportunity for effective landscaping would exist above the dam site.
75. Mr. Jellicoe was good enough to provide the Commission with a report on landscaping,
and this is reproduced at Appendix V. Mr. Jellicoe recommends, amongst other things, that a
specific locality (marked on the general plan at the back of his report) should be treated as a
National Landscape Area. The draft Bill for the Volta River Authority (Appendix XVI) makes
provision for a landscaping function similar to that given to town planning authorities. None of
Mr. Jellicoe's proposals would involve any appreciable direct expenditure in landscaping, but
he recommends a route for the transmission lines which would cost about 40,000 more than
that originally proposed by the consulting engineers. The matter should be settled at the time
of negotiations about the future of the Project.
76. The size of this hydro-electric project, and the probable conditions under which it would
be constructed, make it essential that the contractor or consortium of contractors carrying out
the work should be of proven experience and efficiency, and strongly backed by all the necessary
financial and material resources. This matter is discussed in Chapter 11 of the Engineering
Report, and again in paragraph 711 of this report.
77. As to the preliminary works which the consulting engineers recommend should be under-
taken in advance of the main works, the Commission recommends that this proposal should be
considered by the parties to the Project during the course of negotiations. In paragraph 703 (e)
the Commission recommends that the technical advisers of the Governments and aluminium
companies should meet with the Preparatory Commission and the consulting engineers
immediately a decision had been reached, in principle, to proceed with the scheme, in order to
decide the detailed procedure for inviting tenders and awarding contracts.
A MODEL OF THE PROPOSED POWER STATION
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
B. POWER AT BUI
78. The investigations made by the consulting engineers at Bui are recorded in Part III of
their Engineering Report. They have summarised their conclusions as follows:
After consideration of all hydrological, topographical and geological data at present
available, we consider that the Black Volta at Bui can be economically developed by
the construction of a concrete buttress dam in the lower Bui Gorge. Water from the
reservoir thus formed would be passed through turbines situated in an underground
power station in the right bank of the gorge. The Bungase saddle would require to be
sealed by the construction of an earth embankment.
We propose a maximum retention level for the Bui reservoir of 580 feet O.D., which,
with a drawdown of 50 feet, would allow the utilisation of a storage of some 5.1 million
acre-feet. We consider that an average output of power to the value of 65 megawatts
continuous could be produced by this development and propose an installation of 12o
megawatts, but the civil engineering works should allow for the possible installation at
some future date of an additional set of 40 megawatts capacity.
The electricity generated at Bui would be delivered by a transmission line, 140 miles
in length, to Kumasi. At this point, the electricity could be fed into our proposed ring
grid, should this come into existence.
The total capital cost of the generation and transmission works would be 19,351,000
based on prices ruling on 3oth September, 1955.
The Bui Gorge development will result in the additional supply to any future
electrical system in the Gold Coast of some 550 million kilowatt-hours per annum. The
average cost of supplying this power at Kumasi would be 0.57 pence per kilowatt-hour."
C. POWER POLICY IN THE GOLD COAST
79. In order to assist the Gold Coast Government in assessing the value of the Volta Project,
an appreciation was made of the possible long-term needs of the country for power. The Pre-
paratory Commission co-operated with the Government in this work, and, as a first step, a
short-term policy was evolved which would provide for immediate needs.
80. A short- to medium-term plan has also been approved, the central feature of which is the
construction of a new thermal station at Tema with an installed capacity of 2o,ooo kilowatts
which could subsequently be expanded by another Io,ooo kilowatts. Additional capacity is
also being installed in Accra and other centres, which should cover the minimum needs of the
Gold Coast until a decision is reached, possibly in 1956, about the Volta Project.
81. It is anticipated that the first stage of power from Tema, which should be available by
about 1959, would, when added to the existing supplies, be adequate to meet requirements in
Accra and Tema until (if the Volta scheme went ahead) power could be provided at Ajena
about 1964. If the Volta Scheme was deferred, the Tema station and facilities in other important
centres would need to be expanded as necessary.
82. As soon as a decision is taken about the Volta Project, the Gold Coast Government will
be able to expand its medium-term power policy into a long-term plan. If the Volta Project was
constructed, the Government should have an ample margin over its needs for many years to
come. With a potential at Ajena of 617,000 kilowatts, there would be sufficient power at Kpong
for the 514,ooo kilowatts required by the aluminium companies to produce the 210,ooo tons of
metal originally contemplated, with about Ioo,ooo kilowatts in hand. The Government might,
of course, decide that the national interest would best be served by allocating part of the additional
power now expected at Ajena to the production of increased supplies of aluminium, provided
that the companies were in agreement. In the background, a further 65,ooo kilowatts would be
available at Bui.
83. The Gold Coast Government, for its own part, also arranged with its consulting engineers
to make a further study of the possibility of providing a grid which would connect the main
areas of demand in the Gold Coast. A report was submitted to the Government in June, 1955.
A considerable amount of work has now been done in this field, but there is general agreement
between the Gold Coast Government and the Preparatory Commission that the grid proposal
cannot usefully be taken further until a decision has been taken to proceed with the Volta River
Project, since it would depend basically on a supply of power from Ajena.
Volta River Project: Report
84. The Gold Coast Government agreed, therefore, that the grid should be reconsidered
after a decision has been taken about the Volta Project. If the Project was undertaken, the
prospects for the grid (which could be considerably influenced by the needs of the mining
industry) could be reviewed in 1959. A policy decision could be taken about 1960, and if it was
decided to go ahead, the grid could then be built in about four years, thus synchronising with
the availability of power at Ajena.
85. If a decision was taken in 1956 to defer the Project, or in 1959 not to proceed with the
grid, then the Government's policy for providing power in the main centres would need to be
adjusted accordingly. In the meantime, the Gold Coast Government has asked the Technical
Assistance Administration of the United Nations to send a Mission to the Gold Coast to review
the power position generally, (excluding the power potential of the Volta which is now known)
and with particular reference to rural as well as urban needs. Such a survey could also consider
the feasibility of producing fertilizers based on cheap power (paragraph 436). The Preparatory
Commission believes that this general enquiry would pose complicated technical and economic
questions, and its importance is such as to merit special arrangements being made for expert
and detailed investigation.
86. It is apparent, of course, that if the Project was undertaken, the Gold Coast Government
and the Volta River Authority would need to work together so as to ensure that the national
power resources were used to the best advantage. Policy in relation to the power potential at
Bui would be settled at an appreciably later stage and in the light of policy adopted towards the
COMMUNICATIONS AND LOGISTICS
87. One of the potential advantages of the Volta Project is the relatively short distance
between the very large deposits of bauxite and an important source of potentially cheap power.
The Commission therefore arranged for all aspects of the problems of communications and
logistics involved in the scheme to be investigated with particular care in an effort to ensure that,
if the Project was eventually undertaken, the maximum economic advantage would be obtained
from this concentration of resources.
88. In the operating phase it would be necessary to ensure the economic procurement and
continuous supply of the materials used in the manufacture of aluminium. The process continues
24 hours every day, and any break in the supply of materials would have expensive consequences.
The method of transporting materials would therefore have a special importance in making the
89. During construction, it would be essential for each of the five major component parts
which make up the Project (paragraph 18) to be phased correctly with the others, and then
carried out on schedule. Failure to achieve this objective would undoubtedly lead to a substantial
increase in the cost of the Project as a result of large assets lying idle until one or more of the
other components was completed and the scheme brought into operation. There are many
examples in other parts of the world where insufficient attention to the provision of necessary
facilities (e.g adequate port and rail capacity, access roads) at the right time has resulted in
delays and in large increases in capital costs.
90. Within the framework of these general requirements for construction and operation, it
can be said immediately that two fundamental objectives would have to be achieved. First,
adequate port, rail, and road facilities would need to be provided in sufficient time to ensure
that all materials and equipment required for construction could be moved efficiently. Second,
during the operation of the Project, the large amount of bauxite would need to be moved by the
most efficient and economic method.
Gold Coast Facilities in Existence or under Construction
91. Although the Gold Coast is a relatively underdeveloped country it already possesses
facilities which could assist very appreciably in the construction of the Project. The existing
and planned road system makes access to the construction sites a simple matter. Port facilities
already in operation, and those being developed, should prove adequate and convenient. A
railway system which could be suitably developed is also available.
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
92. Since the publication of the White Paper in 1952 improvements in the communications
system of the Gold Coast, undertaken as part of the general development of the country, have
greatly increased the facilities available for the Project. In particular, work has started on the
new port at Tema (which is now joined by rail to Accra and the Shai Hills); the road system
has been improved and extended, particularly in the Tema area and between Accra and Takoradi,
and is being supplemented by additional roads to the north and by the bridge over the Volta
at Adomi (which will greatly improve communications with Togoland); and the Achiasi to
Kotoku railway link which reduces appreciably the rail distance between Takoradi and Accra
is virtually complete.
93. The ports, railways, posts and telecommunications in the Gold Coast are operated by
the Gold Coast Government. The continued efficient working of these services would be vital to
the successful construction and operation of the Project as a whole and to the economic production
94. Four of the five component parts of the Project determine the fixed geographical points
which control any consideration of the problems of logistics and communications associated with
the scheme. They are:
(a) the bauxite mines;
(b) the dam and power station;
(c) the smelter; and
(d) the new port.
(Although not regarded as a component part of the Project, the port of Takoradi with its road
and rail links could make an important contribution to the success of the scheme).
95. The positions of these fixed points have been described in Chapter 2 and can be seen on
the frontispiece and in the general map at the back of this report. More detailed maps are included
in Appendix X, which records the results of the Commission's investigations in this field. The
smelter is the focal point in the operation, and the distances separating it from the othet sites
(a) the bauxite mines-2o7 miles,
(b) the dam and power station-16 miles,
(c) the port of Tema-34 miles.
The Operating Phase and the Construction Phase
96. The long-term requirements for operating the Project would determine the physical
pattern of the communications system, and they are therefore considered first so that the
transportation needs at the construction stage can be considered against a background of the
ultimate pattern of development.
97. The construction phase covers the period up to the initial stage of aluminium production.
There would be further construction when the time came to expand production; but the greater
part-the building of the dam to its full height, the completion of the spillway, the railways, the
opening of the industrial and housing areas and the initial provision of services to them-would
all be carried out in the construction phase.
B. REQUIREMENTS DURING THE OPERATING PHASE
98. During the operating phase the requirements would be:
(a) the movement of bauxite from the mines to the smelter;
(b) the movement of materials between the smelter and the port (this would involve
both outward traffic of aluminium ingot for export and inward traffic of imported
(c) port facilities at Tema;
(d) road communications to supplement the new railways and to serve the new com-
(e) postal and telecommunication services.
99. Of these, the largest element would be the movement of bauxite. With aluminium
production at 80,ooo tons annually, about 500,ooo00 tons of bauxite would need to be moved.
SThese figures are slightly higher than those shown in Appendix X and other appendices. The aluminium companies
informed the Commission in December, 1955, after the appendices had been despatched for printing, that recent surveys
had shown that 51 tons of local bauxite (as opposed to the original estimate of 5 tons) would be required for each ton of
aluminium. This development would mean a small increase in the amount of railway equipment which would be required,
and would also affect freight rates slightly. The matter could be dealt with easily during negotiations.
Volta River Project: Report
Just over 1,200,ooo tons of bauxite would need to be transported in order to permit aluminium
production at 21o,ooo tons per annum.
Alternative Methods of Transportation
Ioo. Three basic methods of transporting the bauxite were considered by the Commission;
(a) by rail,
(b) by road,
(c) by rail or road to the new lake, and then by water.
1oi. It became apparent at an early stage that road transport would be appreciably more
expensive than other possible methods of transportation. The difference in costs between (a)
and (c), however, would probably not be so marked. The aluminium companies indicated that
they would prefer railways to be used for transportation and this arrangement was accepted by
the Gold Coast Government as it would fit in with the general programme of national develop-
ment. A through railway movement would have the advantage of keeping to a minimum the
need for handling between the mine and the smelter, and it would thus achieve simplicity which
is a fundamental factor in a good transport system. The new railways are considered in detail
in the next chapter of this report.
102. In analysing these alternative methods of transport, the Commission received valuable
assistance from Major-General G. N. Russell, C.B., C.B.E., Chairman of British Road Services.
103. Other new methods (for example, conveyor belts for long distances, pumping materials
either dry in powder form or in suspension in liquids) were considered, but they have not yet
reached a stage of development where the aluminium companies would contemplate them as
economic alternatives to conventional methods of transport between the mines and the smelter.
Exports and Imports
104. In broad terms, the amount of exports at full scale production of the smelter (just over
200,000 tons) would be very close to the quantity of imports needed for production. There should
be no difficulty in handling these amounts at the port of Tema, when completed to its first stage,
but the remaining capacity might not be sufficient to meet the natural growth of traffic resulting
from the general development of the country, and the Gold Coast Government may desire to
proceed to a second stage of port development if a decision is taken to go ahead with the Volta
105. Consideration is being given by the Gold Coast Government to allocating the smelter
company one or more berths permanently so that the company could equip it to meet its own
special needs. The arrangements finally agreed between the smelter company and the Govern-
ment would be reflected in a Port Agreement (paragraph 695).
Io6. Movement between the port and smelter would be by rail in the early years of
aluminium production, but the possibility of ultimately supplementing rail by road transportation
is not ruled out. As part of the development of Tema, the Gold Coast Government is building a
new trunk road from the port to Adomi, where a bridge over the Volta is being constructed,
thus improving communications with Togoland. This new road would be of great importance to
the smelter township and might possibly also have a significant value to the smelter itself.
C. REQUIREMENTS DURING THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE
107. It is estimated that about 50,ooo to 70,000 tons of imports would be required annually
during the first three years of construction, rising to a peak of just over Ioo,ooo tons in the sixth
year (1962); details are shown in paragraph 145. The existing and planned port capacity at
Takoradi and Tema should be quite adequate to handle this material, but great advantage
would be obtained if the first berth at Tema could be available by the contract date of mid-1957.
There is still a margin of about 500,000 tons capacity at Takoradi and the completion in February,
1956, of the Achiasi to Kotoku railway will appreciably shorten the rail distance between Takoradi
and Accra. There are obvious reasons for making the maximum use of Tema, however, at the
earliest possible date.
o18. Heavy lifts in the early stages of construction would be in the order of 25 tons and no
difficulty is anticipated in handling them. Later on, the heaviest lift would be transformers of
about oo tons, and it would be necessary to use a vessel equipped with tackle capable of handling
such a lift without shore assistance. At present there is one ship trading on the West African
Coast which is capable of handling such lifts.
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
Movementfrom the Port to Site
o09. Imports of construction material and equipment would be moved to the various sites
by rail and road. The present resources of locomotives and rolling stock on the Gold Coast Rail-
ways are fully extended and it would be essential to order more, immediately a decision was
taken to proceed with the Project. It would be even better if some could be procured in advance
and the Gold Coast Government is now-considering this proposal.
I o1. The Volta Project would impose a very considerable burden on many roads; fortunately
the Government's present programme of construction and improvement should be of major
assistance in this respect. The matter is examined in detail in Appendix X. Some improvement
of existing bridges would also be necessary.
D. OTHER FACILITIES FOR COMMUNICATIONS
I I1. It would be essential for all important centres of activity to be provided with first class
telecommunication facilities during both the construction and operating phases. These require-
ments could be met by a system of telephones and radio-telephony. The matter has been discussed
in detail with the Gold Coast Government, and it would be essential to order equipment
immediately a decision was taken to proceed with the Project. There would be advantage in
procuring some equipment in advance of a decision; if not required for the scheme it could soon
be used in the Government's own system.
112. It would be necessary for the Gold Coast Government to provide adequate postal
facilities at all construction and operating sites.
113. The Gold Coast Government allocated a sum of Ioo,ooo in 1952 in order to construct
feeder roads which were designed to improve communications in certain outlying areas, and
with the particular objective of facilitating and encouraging agricultural production. Good
results have been obtained from the work already done. An extension of such roads could play
a major part in opening up food-producing country, and in providing access to forests in the
area subject to inundation which could become valuable sources of firewood. (See paragraph 425).
I 14. The use of helicopters is contemplated as part of the programme of health control
(paragraph 401) and it may well be that they could provide additional communication services
over the fairly dispersed area covered by the Project.
115. The Commission recommends that adequate stocks of spare parts should be carried by
all authorities and contractors associated with every aspect of the Project, both during the con-
struction and operating phases. This policy could also have a special importance in helping to
ensure the general efficiency of all the communication system.
Efficient Use of Roads
116. The Commission also stresses the necessity of ensuring that all roads which would in
any way be affected by the Project should be used and controlled efficiently. There are consider-
able opportunities for improving present traffic conditions and the Gold Coast Police could give
material assistance in achieving this objective.
I17. The Commission recommends to the Gold Coast Government that all open road and
rail crossings throughout the area which could be affected by the Project should be eliminated
by the construction of bridges.
E. CO-ORDINATION WITH GOLD COAST GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT PLANS
118. The Volta River Project would obviously place a heavy burden on the Gold Coast
Government in providing the necessary railway, port and road facilities.
Volta River Project: Report
119. In addition to the work on the port at Tema which has already started, a major
programme of new railway construction, described in Chapter 5, would need to be carried out
by the Government between 1957 and 1963, in order to complement the construction of the
other component parts of the Project. Besides ensuring that the physical task of constructing
these new railways was completed on schedule, the Government would need to take equally
great care to ensure that the.new locomotives and rolling stock were available when required.
120. The Government would also need to carry out a very extensive programme of road
construction. An appreciable amount of this is already under way. The largest new items would
be two trunk roads to the north which would be made essential by the creation of the new lake,
but which are already included in the normal development programme.
121. All these demands point to the necessity for future Gold Coast development plans
being co-ordinated most carefully with all aspects of the Project. This problem is dealt with
more fully in Chapter 28.
F. EFFECT OF THE NEW LAKE ON COMMUNICATIONS
122. The effect of the new lake on existing communications is considered in detail in
Appendices VI and X. The interruptions to the present main roads would be compensated by
the two new trunk roads to the north to which reference has just been made. Some secondary
roads would suffer, but here again alternative routes are already under consideration, and new
roads would be constructed after a decision had been taken to proceed with the Project.
123. Some ferries would be affected and consideration has been given by the Gold Coast
Government to the form and site of replacements which would be needed.
Lake Transport Services
124. The creation of a lake over 200 miles in length would provide opportunities for the
growth of a water transport system in the Gold Coast. The lake, however, would not lie along
any existing transport route, and there would be no ready-made traffic for a service to tap. It
might well be some years before any great use would be made of the new water highway,
although from places such as Kete Krachi, where road communications would be completely
changed, there might be a tendency for lake traffic to develop at an early date as part of the new
pattern of transport. Another possibility would lie in the use of the lake for the distribution of
agricultural produce from the Gonja district.
125. Preliminary consideration has been given by the Gold Coast Government to places
where lake ports might ultimately develop. Further action would be required after a decision to
go ahead with the Project had been taken; the Volta River Authority and the Gold Coast
Government would, no doubt, jointly watch the possibilities for development.
126. It would be a relatively simple matter to produce navigational charts from the existing
aerial survey maps of the area.
Clearing Approaches to Lake Ports
127. Terminals for the possible lake services and the new ferry services would have to be
decided as soon as a decision had been reached to proceed with the Project, so that vegetation
could be cleared before flooding took place. Adequate fairways would be required for each port
and should be as wide as consistent with the site. The clearing of vegetation would be co-ordinated
with the removal of undergrowth for health purposes, to which reference is made in paragraph
392. The subject is also considered in paragraphs 429 and 430.
TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE NEW RAILWAYS
128. In the preceding chapter, and in Appendix X, it has been indicated that the aluminium
companies and the Gold Coast Government have agreed that railways should be used in
preference to any other method of transport for linking the bauxite mines to the smelter.
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
129. In order to implement this policy, 39.8 miles of new railway would need to be con-
structed from the bauxite mines to the existing railway at Kumasi, and another 28.7 miles from
Koforidua to the smelter near Kpong. A further new link, 14.6 miles in length, would be required
from the smelter to the railway which already runs as far as the Shai Hills from Tema. The
routes for the new lines can be seen on the frontispiece.
130. Arrangements were made with the consulting engineers to survey these routes and in
the Engineering Report the results of their investigations have been summarised as follows:
The result of our surveys and investigations into new railway routes required for
the Volta River Project, to link the site of the bauxite mines near Aya, via the existing
line from Kumasi to Koforidua, with the smelter site, and the latter, via the recently
constructed line between Shai Hills and Tema, with that port is that we estimate that
these works can be carried out for a total cost of I0,495,000oo. This figure includes
engineering costs, contingencies and interest during construction.
Of two alternative routes considered between Aya and Kumasi we recommend,
from an engineering standpoint, the more southerly one.
We have adopted for our plans and estimates, in deference to the wishes of the local
Town Planning Authority, a route around Kumasi by-passing the town to the south,
but estimate that a shorter route passing to the north would save 502,000 in construc-
tion costs and 60,700 per year in operation when the project has reached a stage when
the transport of I million tons of bauxite is required annually.
After consideration of three alternative routes to cross the Akwapim Scarp between
Koforidua and the Smelter, we recommend the shortest of these, almost 29 miles in
length, including a tunnel 2- miles long. It is estimated that this tunnel, including a
conservative allowance for contingencies and for construction interest, may cost as much
Before commencing work on the tunnel and deciding upon its exact alignment, we
consider it essential that a further investigation of the rock conditions in the ground
through which it would be driven should be carried out. We recommend a programme
of exploratory drilling or pilot headings or possibly a combination of both, and consider
that this should be put in hand soon after any decision is taken to go ahead with the
We consider that the constructions can be carried out satisfactorily concurrently
with the other works of the Project, to provide a through rail route from the Mines to
the Smelter and from the Smelter to the Port of Tema, by the time that aluminium
production is due to commence, without undue strain on other demands for labour,
plant and materials."
The Alternative Route around Kumasi
131. The Gold Coast Government considers that the by-pass north of the centre of Kumasi
would be unsatisfactory in relation to the planned development of the town. The alternative
route, as indicated by the consulting engineers, would involve a higher capital cost and would
increase freight rates. The interest of the aluminium companies naturally lies in restricting the
total length and cost of the bauxite haul as far as possible. This matter would need to be
negotiated between the parties to the Project at the appropriate time; and account taken of the
ultimate decision when finally drawing up the Railway Agreement (paragraph 694).
Acceptance by Aluminium Limited of the Consulting Engineers' Recommendations
132. Apart from the alternative route around Kumasi, Aluminium Limited has indicated
that the technical recommendations and proposals for construction made by the consulting
engineers are satisfactory.
133. It is at present proposed that the bauxite trains would be hauled by diesel-electric
locomotives. The units would be of 1,000 h.p. and for the movement of bauxite they would work
in pairs. These locomotives are only just being introduced in the Gold Coast, but several years
of experience in working them would have been gained before bauxite haulage started if the
Project went ahead. So far local experience is satisfactory. (A recent report made to the Govern-
ment of Nigeria indicates that diesel-electric traction should show substantial advantages over
the other types of rail traction in that country.) While plans are based on diesel-electric traction,
Volta River Project: Report
it would be important to watch any future developments in other forms of traction which might
with advantage be used later for this traffic.
134. As to the most suitable design for bauxite wagons, consultation would take place
between the Gold Coast Railways and the aluminium companies. The design would have to
suit both the type of loading arrangements proposed at the mines and the tipping arrangements
to be installed at the smelter. It is proposed that wagons with a capacity of 36 tons should be
used. (Consideration is also being given to the design of rolling stock required for the movement
of exports and imports between the smelter and the port.)
135. For bauxite movement at the first stage of aluminium production ten diesel-electric
locomotives and about 136 wagons with appropriate shunting engines and brake wagons would
be required. At the final stage of aluminium production it would be necessary to have 25 diesel-
electric locomotives and 206 wagons. Additional locomotives would also be needed for the
traffic between the smelter and the port.
Timetable of Construction
136. In deciding the timetable of construction of the various new rail links, the fundamental
requirement is that they should all be available for traffic when the smelter came into operation.
However, there are a number of other considerations which determine the particular order in
which the separate sections should be constructed.
137. One of the earliest jobs would be the programme of drilling necessary to prove the
route for the tunnel on the line between the smelter and Koforidua; but the actual construction
of the tunnel would not be carried out until the main work on the river diversion tunnels at the
dam site had been completed, thus avoiding competition for skilled tunnellers between two
components of the Project.
138. The existing line from the Shai Hills to the smelter site would be extended at an early
stage in order to provide rail access when opening up the industrial and housing areas. This
extension would then be carried through to the eastern portal of the tunnel to facilitate its con-
struction. The aluminium companies have indicated that they would not need rail access for
opening up the mines.
139. The general timetable for railway construction is shown in the diagram on page 9.
In order to minimise interest costs on railways before they came into operation, it is planned
that the installation of the permanent way would be deferred where practicable until the later
stages of the construction phase.
140. The cost of constructing the new railways is estimated by the consulting engineers to
be about 10.5 millions. The Gold Coast Government assesses the cost of making essential
improvements to the existing railway between Kumasi and Koforidua at about 3 millions.
The Government also estimates that the cost of locomotives and rolling stock for the first stage
of aluminium production would be about 2.3 millions and that an additional 2.2 millions
would be required for the equipment needed for the final stage of aluminium production.
141. The estimated costs are considered in Part III of this report, which deals with the
financial and economic aspects of the Project. It should be emphasised here, however, that they
are very considerable and indicate the necessity for doing everything possible to keep freight
rates to a minimum in order to preserve the basic advantage of having the bauxite deposits
close to the potentially cheap power. The Gold Coast Government would undoubtedly study
carefully any opportunities for getting more traffic on this route.
Endorsement of Estimates by Cooper Brothers & Co.
142. Cooper Brothers & Co. have analysed these estimates in consultation with the con-
sulting engineers and the Gold Coast Railways and state that the estimates examined by us
have been carefully and properly compiled and fairly represent the capital charges relating to
the new railways on the basis of prices, wages and other costs ruling at 3oth September, 1955."
(The detailed report made by Cooper Brothers & Co. is reproduced at Appendix XIV).
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
143. As indicated in paragraph 41, one of the first and most important tasks undertaken by
the Commission was to determine what materials and manpower would be required for the
construction of each of the five component parts of the Project. This Chapter deals with materials.
Manpower is discussed in Chapters 7 to 11.
144. Estimates of the material resources needed for the dam and power installation and for
the new railways and the port of Tema were prepared for the Commission by the consulting
engineers. The aluminium companies similarly provided estimates of materials which would be
required for the development of the bauxite mines and the smelter together with their townships.
145. The detailed figures for each component are tabulated in Appendix XI. They are
summarised in the table below and indicate that a total of 532,000 tons of imported materials
and 44,000 tons of local materials, excluding the much larger quantities of materials such as
sand and rock which would be obtained at the construction sites, would be required during the
period from 1957 to 1964 (the construction phase). The figures for 1957 and 1958 contain an
element for the completion of the first stage of Tema harbour.
TOTAL MATERIALS NEEDED FOR THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE
Year Cement Steel Oil Equipment Other Total
1957 13,000 3,ooo 14,000 8,000oo 9,000 47,000 2,000
1958 0,000 4,ooo000 17,000 6,oo000 7,00ooo 44,000 1,000
1959 27,000 7,000 17,000 11,000 5,000 67,000 5,000
1960 40,000 9,o00 21,000 5,000 5,000 80,ooo 0o,ooo
196I 53,000 9,000 20,000 9,000 5,000 96,000 I,ooo0
1962 53,000 9,000 19,ooo 16,ooo 5,000 102,000 8,ooo
1963 15,000 26,o000 5,000 20,000 1,000 77,000 5,000
1964 6,000 3,000 4,000 6,000oo 19,000 2,000
TOTAL 217,000 70,000 127,000 8I,000 37,000 532,000 44,000
Note: The calculation of these resources was, of course, a basic preliminary to the Commission's study of the problems of
communications and logistics involved in the Project. (See Chapter 4 and Appendix X).
B. PROVISION OF MATERIALS
146. The provision of materials (including plant and equipment) required for the dam and
power installation and the new railways is dealt with fully in the Engineering Report. Respons-
ibility for the provision of the necessary material resources for the mines and the smelter would
naturally rest with the aluminium companies.
147. No serious difficulties are anticipated in the provision of these supplies, nor is it thought
that any special difficulties would arise in moving them.
148. In the Commission's report on communications and logistics (Appendix X, paragraph
84), it is observed that contractors might wish, or be required, to stockpile adequate supplies of
certain materials as an insurance against shortage, or interruption in transit.
Volta River Project: Report
149. The starting point ofthe Commission's investigations into manpower was the establish-
ment of the total requirements for the five component parts of the Project. These requirements
were estimated in detail and the Commission then studied the implications of recruiting and
maintaining the various labour forces. This led to the consideration of a group of inter-related
problems which became known as Human Factors and which were to form a major part of
the Commission's work. The investigations are fully described in Appendix XII, and the main
findings are summarized in this and the following four chapters.
150. Bearing in mind the experience gained in other underdeveloped countries which have
carried out large-scale development projects in recent years, the Preparatory Commission from
the outset of its work emphasised the necessity for keeping the labour forces to a minimum. This
policy was dictated by economic, technical and social reasons.
151. From the economic aspect, although daily wage rates in the Gold Coast may appear
low in comparison with wages prevailing elsewhere, the cost of labour in the country is not equally
low when considered in relation to local productivity, which is generally recognized as being
capable of substantial improvement. Moreover, account must be taken not only of direct wage
costs, but also of the substantial indirect costs in providing housing and health and other services
for workers, and in the administration and supervision of labour. The cost of housing alone is
a significant factor in the total investment as appears from the consideration of the estimates in
152. Another argument on the economic side is that reduction of the labour forces to a
minimum would reduce the vulnerability of the Project to local wage increases during the con-
struction phase in so far as wage increases in the Gold Coast might outstrip the trend of general
rises in external wages and prices. Apart from the world-wide tendency in recent years for wages
to increase, there have been particularly striking increases in certain countries in a state of rapid
political transition or economic instability. The economy of the Gold Coast has been remarkably
stable in recent years, but avoidance of unnecessarily large labour forces would in any case be a
wise insurance against the inflation of the cost of the Project through any disproportionate rise
in local wage rates during the construction phase.
153. From the technical point of view, much of the construction work would be carried out
on sites which are restricted geographically. This is particularly noticeable at Ajena where
construction of the dam would take place in a narrow gorge and where there is only a limited
area suitable for housing the construction workers. Any increase in the total labour force above
the minimum requirements could lead to even greater difficulties in finding suitable housing
areas near the place of work.
154. The main sociological consideration is that the number of workers engaged on con-
struction would be much higher than the number required later for operation. This factor is
of particular importance at Ajena where the construction force would run into several thousands,
whereas the only workers permanently required in the area would be about 150 needed for the
operation of the power station. There would therefore be a considerable movement of population
during and immediately after the construction phase, and it is obviously desirable to minimise
the scale of the many attendant problems by the greatest possible reduction in the number of
155. Against these powerful arguments for reducing the labour forces there are no reasons
of any weight for increasing the number of workers above the essential minimum. The Project
would offer welcome opportunities for employment to the people of the Gold Coast, but the
major opportunities in this field would be in the operating phase rather than in the construction
phase, and would apply to skilled workers rather than to large numbers of unskilled labourers.
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
The construction of the Project has never been regarded as a means of creating employment
over a short number of years for unskilled workers; the primary purpose of the construction
works would be to create the foundation of an economically sound scheme, leading to the
establishment of a prosperous industry as a source of permanent employment.
156. Certain other countries with entirely different labour situations from that in the Gold
Coast have undertaken major construction projects with the provision of large-scale employment
as one of the primary objectives. It has almost always proved a costly objective and has very
often rendered the project itself uneconomic. Fortunately the Gold Coast Government is not
obliged to consider such a policy.
157. For all these reasons the two Governments, the aluminium companies, and the con-
sulting engineers, have all supported the Commission's policy of keeping the labour forces to
158. The most effective means of reducing the original estimates for the labour forces has
been the decision to use mechanised methods of construction. These methods add a relatively
small number of skilled workers to the labour force, but their major effect is to achieve a great
reduction in the number of unskilled labourers.
159. The full implications of using mechanised methods of construction have been carefully
considered bearing in mind experience of similar methods in other parts of Africa, which has
not always been satisfactory. The Commission and its consulting engineers are satisfied, how-
ever, that general conditions in the Gold Coast and the particular conditions of the Project would
permit the successful employment of a very high degree of mechanisation.
160. Many skilled workers in the country have already demonstrated that they are competent
to handle the various types of machinery that would be employed in large-scale construction.
In the Gold Coast, as in other parts of West Africa, it is now common experience to observe
local staff handling efficiently such equipment as cranes, railway locomotives, tractors and
scrapers, and a variety of workshop equipment. The Railway and Harbours Administration in
the Gold Coast provides outstanding examples.
161. Difficulties have often arisen in the use of mechanised plant because of insufficient
knowledge of the physical conditions in which the plant would be used. For the Project, how-
ever, the materials to be excavated and moved at the dam site (mainly earth and rock) have
been tested and proved in great detail by the consulting engineers so that the conditions under
which the machines would operate are known. Moreover, the construction areas are all relatively
easy of access so that there should be no problems (such as have occurred in other schemes)
through the remoteness of the construction site and the consequent complexities involved in
maintenance and overhaul.
162. The use of mechanisation on a large scale carries with it the absolute necessity of
establishing an efficient maintenance organisation as soon as the contractor undertakes the task
of construction; and of ensuring that the organisation functions efficiently until construction is
completed. The Commission has been greatly impressed by the manner in which failure to
provide adequate maintenance organizations in sufficient time has led in many projects-even
on certain recent schemes in North America which is the home of modern mechanical con-
struction-to delays and increased cost.
163. It would be essential, therefore, as part of the policy of mechanisation, to ensure that
all concerned with the Project were trained in the importance of maintenance and in the
requisite techniques. Provided that the importance of maintenance is fully recognized, the
achievement of a high degree of mechanisation appears entirely practicable. The effect on
productivity is discussed in paragraphs 182 and 183.
164. Working on the above principles, estimates of the manpower required for the five
component parts of the Project were prepared, and the Commission found that it was possible
to reduce substantially the original estimates of the total labour forces. The consulting engineers
helped to secure a major economy by means of further study which reduced the maximum labour
force required for the dam and power installation to about 5,000 compared with the earlier
estimates in the region of 1o,ooo. The peak labour force for the construction of all five com-
ponent parts of the Project is now estimated at about 15,000, showing a reduction of some io,ooo
Volta River Project: Report
from the earlier figures. Requirements of manpower both for the construction and operating
phases can be summarised as follows:
TOTAL MANPOWER REQUIRED DURING THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE
Year and Skilled Semi-Skilled Unskilled Total Staff
1957 1,020 535 2,720 4,275 21o
1958 1,845 1,020 4,170 7,035 340
1959 2,300 1,230 3,630 7,16o 325
1960 3,575 1,790 6,140 11,505 470
1961 4,630 2,265 7,835 14,730 66o
1962 4,650 2,340 8,305 15,295 785
1963 4,IIo 1,830 7,825 13,765 770
1964 1,390 575 2,550 4,515 245
Notes: (a) Volta River Authority staff, including those engaged on lakeside health measures, are excluded from the above
figures. They would be relatively few in number.
(b) Labour figures include a io% allowance, based on Gold Coast experience, for sickness and absenteeism.
(c) The figures for 1957 and 1958 include the working force for completion of the construction of the first stage of
Tema harbour. No figures are included for extension of the harbour; if this was undertaken immediately after
completion of the first stage about I,ooo workers might be needed in 1959 and 500 in 1960.
(d) No figures are included for workers engaged in the construction of the township of Tema. This might involve
5,ooo to 7,000 up to 1959 and rather fewer thereafter.
(e) Separate tables for each of the five component parts of the Project are contained in Appendix XI.
TOTAL MANPOWER REQUIRED DURING THE OPERATING PHASE
Initial Stage Intermediate Stage Final Stage
Supervisory 20 30 40
Skilled and semi-skilled 290 410 560
Unskilled 160 180 220
Total 470 620 820
Supervisory 18 18 18
Skilled and Semi-skilled 49 63 67
Unskilled 48 55 6o
Total 115 136 145
Supervisory 170 240 400
Skilled and Semi-skilled 3,180 4,600 7,670
Unskilled 600 86o 1,430
Total 3,950 5,700 9,500
Note: The above table excludes the number required for the operation of the railways and the port of Tema. The port
would probably employ a total of about 1,200 (including marine workers and stevedores) in the four-berth stage, and about
2,400 after final development.
Importance of Human Factors
165. Throughout its work the Commission believed that the treatment of the basic problem
of human factors could exercise a vital influence on the success or failure of the Project. The
Commission therefore endeavoured to investigate the subject with particular care and to take
the maximum advantage of experience in the Gold Coast and elsewhere. It is abundantly
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
evident from the experience of major construction works in recent years that success does not
depend on technical achievement alone, but that it must be matched by equal effort in planning
and administration in the human field.
166. Relations between management and labour, between workers on the Project and
people already living in the areas concerned, and between people of different races and different
backgrounds, would need to be maintained and developed on a satisfactory basis if the Project
was to go forward free from the difficulties and interruptions which would follow from failure
in any aspect of these relations.
167. The Commission has regarded it as axiomatic that the Project would be undertaken in
the spirit of racial harmony which today characterises the Gold Coast, and that there would be
no question of segregation in the organisation of working or living conditions.
168. Speedy and economic construction must depend on the building up of stable and
efficient working forces, and this in turn requires constant attention to be paid to the working
conditions and training of the labour forces, to their needs for family life, and to their require-
ments for housing, feeding and maintenance of health.
169. Successful treatment of this wide range of human problems, together with the intro-
duction of mechanisation as described in the previous chapter, could pave the way to greater
productivity and lower costs, with consequent improvement in the economic basis of the Project.
Failure to handle effectively these human problems would lead inevitably to industrial unrest,
rapid turnover of labour and delays in construction, and finally to greatly increased costs.
170. In the Gold Coast, the question of human factors becomes of even greater importance
when considered against the present background of rapid political progress and significant
social developments, particularly the trend from rural towards industrial communities, which
the Project itself would accelerate. Another factor reinforcing the Commission's assessment of
the importance of human factors was that the understanding which could be created during the
construction phase between the Gold Coast Government and the other parties responsible for
building the Project could itself be a decisive influence in laying the foundation of a long-term
partnership between the smelter company and the Government and people of the Gold Coast.
Economic Aspects of Human Factors
171. As with all projects, whether undertaken by public or private enterprise or by a com-
bination of the two, cost is a limiting factor. The Commission therefore constantly considered
the financial implications of these human factors, and appreciated that the raising of standards
and social services beyond a certain point would make the Project uneconomic. Another factor
limiting the standards of housing and services is the need for the Gold Coast Government to
have regard to the standards generally prevailing in the country, and to the claims from other
parts of the country for improvements. When planning the working and living conditions for
permanent communities, therefore, the general objective was to create conditions which would
be in advance of those prevailing in the Gold Coast today and which took proper account of the
present rate of improvement in the country and of the aspirations of the people towards a better
standard; but which, nevertheless, did not represent extravagant ideals framed without regard
to cost, or involving such high expenditure as to imperil the economics of the Project.
172. It was also recognized that the improved conditions in the new communities would in
many cases be achieved only gradually over a period of years. Moreover, it was fully realized that
it is not possible by planning, however careful, to solve in advance all the difficulties which could
arise in the field of human factors in a scheme of this size. The important feature at this stage is
that there should be early recognition of the general objectives to be achieved, and that the
parties to the Project should agree on these objectives. It will be seen later that the Commission
believes this to have been secured (paragraph 185).
Method of Investigation
173. The Commission arranged for the problems associated with human factors to be
studied under five main headings:
(b) sociological factors;
(c) housing and town planning;
(e) health and sanitation of the new communities.
174. In order to investigate these questions in detail, the Commission set up five Working
Groups in conjunction with the Gold Coast Government, and with the collaboration of the
aluminium companies and the consulting engineers. The Working Groups consisted mainly of
experienced officials of the Gold Coast Government who were assisted by the various specialist
Volta River Project: Report
experts advising the Commission, notably Professor Hylan Lewis of Atlanta University, dealing
with labour and sociological aspects; Professor George Macdonald and the late Dr. Andrew
Topping of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who advised on the health
and sanitation aspects; and Dr. Koenigsberger, also of the London School of Hygiene and
Tropical Medicine, who examined the housing and town-planning questions. The Commission also
consulted representatives of commerce, industry and organized labour in the Gold Coast, and a
number of specialised agencies outside The country such as the U.S. Public Health Services, the
Human Nutrition Unit in the Gambia, various health authorities in Nigeria, and many organ-
isations throughout the world which had been confronted with similar problems in large-scale
construction projects. In addition other advisers, called in either by the Gold Coast Government
or the Preparatory Commission to assist in certain aspects of the Project, all recognized the
importance of human factors. Among these advisers was Dr. A. E. Morgan, who made a number
of suggestions in this field, based on his very wide experience.
175. The main recommendations of the five Working Groups are included in the Com-
mission's report on human factors which appears as Appendix XII. That appendix also includes
or summarises the reports of advisers who made special investigations into the planning of
particular communities, such as the smelter township near Kpong and the temporary and
permanent communities at Ajena (Chapter 1 ).
176. Throughout the consideration of the many problems associated with human factors
the principle of reducing the labour force to a minimum was always borne in mind. One other
policy of major importance in this field was advocated by the Preparatory Commission from the
outset, and subsequently accepted by all parties; that policy dealt with families.
Policy in Relation to the Families of the Labour Forces
177. In the Commission's view it should be possible to solve many of the problems associated
with the maintenance of stable and contented labour forces by providing facilities for families
to accompany those workers with reasonable prospects of long-term employment in the area.
This policy was endorsed by the Working Group on Sociological Factors, and then interpreted
by the other Working Groups in terms of housing, education, welfare and health services.
178. In the operating phase there would be decisive arguments for such a policy. The Com-
mission is also convinced, having closely investigated local conditions, that the policy should in
addition be applied to some degree in the construction phase, extending as it does for up to eight
years, in order to avoid a repetition of the very expensive and inefficient turnover of labour
which has characterized so many large post-war projects where facilities for families have not
179. An important aspect of rapid labour turnover is the unfortunate effect which can be
produced in the relations between labour and management, and between people of various
races. The more that confidence could be built up between all persons engaged on the Project,
obviously the better would be the prospects for its success. Continuity in individual relationships
would play a valuable part in building and maintaining such confidence. This has a direct
bearing on the efficiency with which the training of Africans could be carried out.
180. The Commission therefore recommends for the operating phase the adoption of a
comprehensive policy for the provision of facilities for family settlement; and that the policy
should apply also in the construction phase, though with some modification in degree so that the
extent of provision for families would diminish for the shorter construction tasks within the
Project. This policy would not only be essential for the establishment of satisfactory social con-
ditions; it would also be a sound policy economically as indicated in the fuller discussion in
paragraphs 552 to 556. It should be noted that a similar policy has been endorsed by a number
of authorities (consulted by the Commission) who have been responsible for recent large-scale
projects in underdeveloped countries; and it is becoming generally regarded as a most important
step towards the creation of stable and efficient labour forces.
181. The policy applies with special force to overseas staff where it would be most desirable
to keep turnover to a minimum in order to reduce costs and above all to preserve continuity in
labour-management relations. The presence of families could probably do more than anything
else to promote stability of overseas staff; especially when it is remembered that many of the
men would be required for practically the entire construction phase extending over eight years.
This problem is discussed in detail in paragraphs 89 and 90 of Appendix XII. A consequence of
the family policy would be that endeavours should be made to ensure that the wives of overseas
staff were suited to present-day conditions in the Gold Coast, and could play some part in the
general well-being of the new communities, e.g. by participating in welfare, education, or other
work. When selecting overseas staff for any element of the Project due consideration should be
paid to the suitability of the family as well as of the man.
Technical Aspects and Human Factors 182-187
182. It has been pointed out that the productivity of labour in the Gold Coast is capable of
substantial improvement, and many enterprises in the Gold Coast in recent years have achieved
remarkable results in this field. Much depends on the quality of management and on its attitude
to this particular problem. The Chairman of one of the large mining companies commented
early in 1955 that improved labour administration and plant layout had had the equivalent
effect of adding 2,000 men to the labour force of one mine. The manager of the largest construc-
tion job now under way in the Gold Coast has been very pleasantly surprised by the degree
of skill shown by local workers in handling mechanised equipment.
183. The Commission believes that if a stable, contented, and efficiently trained labour
force could be developed and maintained, and applied to a highly mechanised operation under
enlightened management and supervision, there could be striking improvements in the level of
productivity, with corresponding reductions in cost. It is probable that industrial consultants
with experience in the Gold Coast could provide valuable assistance towards achieving this
184. It is well known that in a number of recent large-scale projects in many parts of the
world, subversive elements have made very active efforts, often over prolonged periods, to
disrupt the progress of work by creating unrest among the labour force. This is a danger which
should be guarded against constantly by the Gold Coast Government and by all employers and
trade unions associated with the Project. The effects of malicious agitation would be minimised if
the opportunities for sowing discontent were reduced by the establishment of good working. and
living conditions. However, there would still need to be reasonable security measures. On certain
projects in other countries notable success has been achieved in this field by enlisting the full
co-operation of the trade unions in the maintenance of good labour relations and in the dis-
couragement of unofficial strike action.
Conclusions and Recommendations
185. The Commission's investigations into the problem of human factors resulted in over a
hundred conclusions and recommendations which are set out in full in Appendix XII. The
most important of these findings are referred to in the following three chapters. The full report
in Appendix XII was circulated to the Governments and the aluminium companies in 1955 and
was broadly accepted by them. The Commission feels that the acceptance of its general approach
to human factors by the parties concerned is encouraging, and could exercise a great influence
on the prospects of successfully constructing and operating the'Project. In one or two instances,
detailed recommendations as to specific standards would need further consideration by the
parties before commitments were made to proceed with the scheme, and in a few cases the
parties would need to study further the proper balance between the natural and understandable
desire of the Gold Coast to achieve higher standards and the need to preserve the economic
viability of the Project.
186. Another encouraging feature is the proved performance of the aluminium companies,
who have shown by their handling of construction schemes and their operation of facilities in
many parts of the world, that they are fully aware of the importance of human factors. Any
negotiation about the exact nature and scale of specific facilities would therefore take place
against the background of a common approach to human factors which would provide every
hope for a satisfactory settlement.
RECRUITMENT AND EMPLOYMENT OF LABOUR
Analysis of Requirements
187. At an early stage of its work the Commission carried out a detailed analysis of the
manpower requirements of the five component parts of the Project. These needs were analysed
separately for the construction and operating phases. For the construction phase they were
further divided into annual requirements, and for each year estimates were made of the numbers
of supervisory, skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers. Details are shown in the tables sup-
porting Appendix XI. Within the field of skilled workers an additional analysis was made of
individual trades and skills; the results of these investigations are summarised in Appendix XII.
Volta River Project: Report
The broad trend during the construction phase shows a total working force increasing gradually
to a peak of about 15,000 in the sixth year, and then declining to the 4,000 workers needed
subsequently for the operation of the first stage of aluminium production. Expansion to the final
stage of production would at some future date increase the operating force at the smelter to
about 9,000. Within these totals there would be high proportions of skilled and semi-skilled
workers, amounting to about 40% during construction and 75 % during operation.
Phasing of Labour
188. The Commission investigated the possibility of phasing the components of the Project so
as to reduce to a minimum the peak labour force and diminish the rate of growth and the rate of
decline. The phasing originally contemplated during the 1951 and 1952 discussions has been
greatly improved, largely through the Gold Coast Government's decision to start construction
of the port of Tema and ancillary communications in advance of any decision to proceed with
the Project. Limits to any further improvement in the phasing are set by the technical and
economic requirements of the Project. On the one hand, all components would need to be ready
for operation by the time power was available, while on the other, completion of sections
of the works at any appreciable period before they were required would involve the accumulation
of heavy interest charges. For these reasons there would necessarily be a period towards the end
of construction when relatively large forces would be employed both at Ajena and at the smelter
(see paragraph 193). It has been possible, however, to plan the building of the various rail-
way links in such a way as to even out the total labour requirements over the years of construction.
General Availability of Labour in the Gold Coast
189. The requirements of the Project have been examined against the known information
about the supply of labour in the Gold Coast. The total demand for the scheme is not large
compared with the total working population of the country; furthermore, the peak is reached
gradually over a period of years. Local experience shows that no difficulties have been found in
the recruitment of working forces amounting to some thousands for new construction projects.
Moreover, the adult male population is estimated to be rising by about 20,000 a year through
natural increase and net immigration from surrounding territories.
19o. The existence of a large source of migrant labour has undoubtedly assisted recruitment
for development works in the Gold Coast and it is probable that this source will continue.
Inquiries by the Commission indicate no reason to suppose that any developments in adjacent
territories would diminish the regular supply of workers to the Gold Coast. At the same time,
it is not thought that the Project would depend on migrant labour to an abnormal degree and
the supply from this source would be unlikely to exceed 30% to 40% of the total, the remainder
being recruited from those parts of the country in the neighbourhood of the Project and other
districts of the southern half of the Gold Coast.
191. The Commission concludes that provided there was no increase in the rate of other
development in the Gold Coast, and provided that high turnover of labour did not multiply
the number of recruits required, there should be no difficulty in obtaining the total labour
requirements for the Project. The special requirements of skilled workers are examined further
in paragraph 199.
192. Each of the provisos to the above conclusion should be satisfied, since in the first place
the Gold Coast Government has already given specific assurances to the Commission about the
rate of future development (paragraph 584), and in the second place the general recommend-
ations about working and living conditions should ensure that labour turnover was kept within
Decline of Labour Forces after End of Construction
193. The comparatively rapid fall in the total numbers employed as the construction phase
ended, and the operating phase began, would require careful consideration at the appropriate
time. It is probable that many of the skilled and semi-skilled workers employed on construction
would find employment in the operating phase, particularly at the smelter, but the Gold Coast
Government appreciates the importance of making the best use of any excess of construction
labour over the permanent requirements, and would consider the introduction of suitable develop-
ment projects at the proper time and place which might employ this labour to good advantage.
Another possible solution would be found if it was decided to extend the Project almost immed-
iately the first stage was completed. With careful planning, such a decision could lead to a relat-
ively steady level of employment until the operating force was built up to a figure considerably
higher than the 4,000 required for the initial stage.
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
194. The Commission concluded, in the light of advice received from the Gold Coast
Government, that labour would probably apply for employment in sufficient numbers without
any special or elaborate recruiting organisation. Normal publicity should ensure that adequate
numbers sought employment, and the only special measure might be to publicise the opportun-
ities for skilled employment among those leaving school or technical institutes. A labour organ-
isation would naturallybe required at the site, and the Government would open an office of
the Labour Department which would work in collaboration with the Volta River Authority and
the various contractors.
195. The Gold Coast Government has had under consideration for some time the establish-
ment of a transport scheme to assist the migrant labour from the north to overcome the present
hardships of the journey, which are liable to impair the health of workers. If the Government
should proceed with such an arrangement, the Volta River Authority should work in co-
operation with the system adopted and make valuable use of it. The Commission does not feel,
however, that in the absence of Government action there would be a convincing case for a
special recruiting and transport scheme to be adopted at the outset of construction solely for the
purpose of the Project. This, however, is a matter which should be kept under review, particu-
larly if it was found that large numbers of migrant workers were employed on construction, and
that the conditions of their journey to the site were impairing their health and reducing their
Effect of the Project on Other Employers of Labour
196. The Commission considered carefully whether the labour demands of the Project would
prejudice the labour supplies of other essential industries, thus adversely affecting the economy
of the Gold Coast. This problem was discussed with the Ministry of Agriculture and with the
Gold Coast Chamber of Mines, recognizing the vital importance of the cocoa and mining
industries to the Gold Coast.
197. The conclusion of the Commission is that no serious adverse effect on other industries
need be anticipated. There would naturally be temporary movements of workers from one sector
of the economy to another, as there are at present, but a reasonable wage policy throughout
the country should ensure that such movements were not appreciably to the disadvantage of
existing industries. In the long run the growth of a new and substantial source of employment
of skilled labour, with the opportunities for training which the new industry would offer, should
be to the general advantage of Gold Coast industry. This particular problem is referred to again
in paragraph 588.
Professional and Technical Staff and Skilled Labour
198. The general objective in the recruitment of supervisory and skilled workers should be
governed by the imperative need to secure economic success for the Project. The selection and
retention of responsible staff of high quality would be essential for efficient and economic con-
struction. It is clear, therefore, that the primary criterion for employment on the Project would
need to be that of efficiency without regard to race, creed or colour. This criterion has been
accepted by the Gold Coast Government and the other parties to the scheme, together with the
consequence that overseas countries would need to assist in the provision of supervisory staff.
Even if the field of recruitment were to be extended world wide, it would still not be easy to
recruit men of the outstanding qualifications needed for the supervision of a scheme as large as
the Volta Project; the general difficulties in the supply of key technical men are discussed
further in paragraph 598.
199. The bulk of the requirements of skilled workers should be found within the Gold Coast,
but the detailed study undertaken by the Commission in association with the Gold Coast Govern-
ment indicates that there might be difficulties in the supply of a few trades and skills in adequate
quantity and quality. (This problem is directly related to the size of the next Development Plan
in the Gold Coast which is discussed in Chapter 28.) The trades in question are those of elect-
ricians, fitters, welders and pipe-fitters, and shorthand-typists. The present training schemes in
the Gold Coast should go some distance towards remedying the shortages, but there would
remain the need to recruit a number of skilled workers from overseas.
200. The Commission regards the recruitment and employment of suitable foremen as a
crucial problem in the labour field. The relation between foremen and workers is one of the
most important links in the chain of efficient handling of labour and in the development. of
Volta River Project: Report
good labour-management relations. There would be marked advantages in employing trained
and competent African foremen if available in sufficient numbers, but here again it would be
necessary to supplement the local supply by a degree of recruitment from overseas. It would be
essential to provide opportunities for those skilled African workers who appeared to have the
necessary qualities to be trained for employment as foremen as the work advanced, and this
principle is endorsed by aU parties to-the scheme.
201. In accordance with normal practice on construction projects in the Gold Coast, em-
ployers would naturally introduce schemes of training on the job. By this means it should be
possible to diminish the dependence on skilled workers from overseas, and to reduce the cost of
construction by the consequent saving of passages, etc. As indicated in paragraph 162 it would
be necessary for any training in the operation of plant and machinery to place emphasis on
202. During the operating phase, there would be greater opportunities for training and
promotion of Gold Coast workers. Provisions are contemplated in the draft Volta River Authority
Bill (Chapter 36), and in the draft Master Agreement (Chapter 37), which would place obliga-
tions on the Authority and on the smelter company to institute training schemes with the object
of assisting Africans to fill skilled, technical and supervisory posts. It is suggested that this would
be a general objective shared by the Gold Coast Government and all concerned with the Project,
and that no specific targets or proportions would be stipulated in advance. This is in conformity
with the statement on foreign investment made by the Prime Minister of the Gold Coast in 1954
which is referred to in paragraph 604 and reproduced in full as Appendix XV.
203. In addition to schemes for training on the job, the Gold Coast Government, in form-
ulating its general plans for technical training, would take into account the needs of the Project,
in order that a greater number of Gold Coast workers in the technical and skilled grades would
be available for such employment. Normal employment in the construction and operating phases
would be determined by the criterion of efficiency, but in order to take advantage of the instruc-
tional opportunities offered by such a large scheme, it is proposed also that a number of qualified
Africans should be attached for training and experience in addition to those who obtained
employment in the ordinary competitive way. The draft contract for constructing the dam and
power installation (referred to in Chapter 39) provides for this.
204. In the Gold Coast and other parts of West Africa, an outstanding contribution to
increased production can be made by a balanced diet. Many employers have found that expend-
iture on improving the diet of workers is amply repaid by better performance. The Commission
recommends that supplementary feeding schemes should be introduced on all major con-
struction sites, and that at least one main meal per day of properly balanced dietary composition,
and including adequate protein content, should be available to workers. It would be important
not only that dietary considerations should be taken into account, but also that the type of food
provided should be acceptable to workers and not unfamiliar to them. In order to ensure that
the meal was generally accepted it would be necessary to subsidise the price at which it was
provided, at least to the lower paid workers.
205. In addition to the main meal, there would be advantage in providing drinks and snacks
and possibly other meals at certain times. Careful thought would need to be given to the admin-
istration of all organised feeding arrangements in order to obtain full co-operation from the
workers. Measures of control would likewise be necessary over the provision by local traders of
cooked food (often of inferior quality or poor nutritional value) in the vicinity of construction
sites, so that the health of workers would be protected, and so that they would not be discouraged
from buying the properly balanced meals offered by the employer. To ensure that proper atten-
tion was paid to catering and diet, qualified staff would need to be retained by the Volta River
Authority and by the contractors.
206. Special consideration has been given to the recruitment and employment of overseas
staff who although comparatively few in number (about 5 % of the total employed) would occupy
key positions in the supervision and technical execution of the Project. Great care should be
taken in ensuring that staff recruited from overseas were of adequate quality and were physically
and temperamentally suited to the conditions in the Gold Coast. Reference has already been
made in paragraph 181 to the advisability of ensuring that their families were likewise suited for
life in the Gold Coast.
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
207. Experience in the Gold Coast points to the advantage of employing overseas staff for
relatively short tours of not more than one year's duration, followed by a correspondingly short
period of leave. This should increase efficiency and should reduce to a minimum the discontinuity
caused by longer periods of absence. Reasonable continuity of supervision should assist in the
development and maintenance of good racial and labour-management relations. Such continuity
would also be aided by an acceptance, on the part of those employers with enterprises in other
parts of the world, 6f the value of keeping in the Gold Coast those members of their overseas staff
who had acquired local experience and had gained the confidence of workers.
208. The greatest attention should be paid to the development of good labour-management
relations, which could have an important effect in improving the efficiency of labour. The
aluminium companies have an outstanding record in this respect, and it would be vital that all
contractors engaged on the Project should likewise have a full understanding of the importance
of the matter. The Commission is of the opinion, judging from industrial experience in the Gold
Coast, that the development and use of labour incentives could promote productivity and im-
prove labour relations, and this is another aspect in which industrial consultants should have a
contribution to make (see also paragraph 183).
209. Relations with the trade unions are naturally of cardinal importance in the labour-
management field, and all employers would need to facilitate the speedy establishment of adequate
machinery for consultation and conciliation.
Health of Workers
2 o. The first essential in the safeguarding of the health of workers would be to institute a
system of medical examination on recruitment. This would ensure that no worker would be
engaged who would be unable to carry out his task for medical reasons and would also protect
the remainder of the labour force from infection.
211. A health organisation would also be needed to provide a general medical service for the
labour forces, and to protect them from ordinary industrial and construction risks. It is proposed
that full hospital facilities should be available on the main sites, adequate to provide not only
for the labour forces, but also for their families (as will be seen in paragraphs 231 and 232, which
deal with environmental sanitation in the new communities).
212. The Commission recommends that, as advocated by Professor Macdonald and by
Dr. Topping, the health arrangements for the whole Project during and immediately after the
construction phase should be under the charge of the Volta River Authority which would have
a Health and Safety Division for this purpose. The statutory responsibilities of the Authority in
regard to health are dealt with in Chapter 36.
213. The Commission has observed that there is little assembled knowledge about the con-
ditions which lead to the highest productivity in tropical climates either for indigenous or over-
seas staff. It may well be that research into this subject during both the construction and operating
phases of the Volta Project would lead to significant gains in the limited knowledge available,
which could then be put into practice with marked results in the improvement of productivity
and reduction of cost. Research is being carried out in West Africa at the Hot Climate Physio-
logical Research Unit near Lagos, and all concerned with the administration of the Project
would be well advised to keep closely in touch with the results of this organisation's work.
LIVING CONDITIONS IN THE NEW COMMUNITIES
214. The previous chapter has dealt with the necessary conditions governing the employment
of labour, but it is clear that those conditions alone would not be sufficient to produce the stable,
contented and efficient labour force necessary for the successful execution of the Project. It would
be essential to give equal attention to the problems of the worker as a member of the community
in which he lived, and to study the full implications of the recommendations about family life
which have been made in Chapter 8.
Volta River Project: Report
The Implications of Family Policy
215. In order to carry out the recommendations about families it would be necessary to
provide housing, education, welfare facilities, and health services on a family basis. The Com-
mission therefore estimated the size and population structure of the new communities that
would be likely to grow up around the labour forces and was thus able to assess the extent and
cost of the various facilities required. The objective was not to plan the provision of these items
to the last detail, but rather to establish a general framework within which the new communities
would be built in the light of experience in the earlier years; and to take account at the outset
of the full financial implications.
216. The problems would not arise with equal force for each of the five component parts of
the Project. For example, the construction force for the railways would be relatively mobile in
character owing to the nature of the work, and no appreciable provision for families would be
required. The planning of Tema township has been fully studied by the Gold Coast Government,
and has not been the subject of separate investigation by the Commission. The Commission,
however, initiated a special examination of the problems of the Ajena communities (both in
the construction and operating phase); and with the assistance of Aluminium Laboratories and
their town-planning consultants, conducted a similar investigation into the future of the smelter
township. The results of these three studies are included in the next chapter, which deals with
the application to specific areas of the general principles governing living conditions in the new
communities. No special investigation has been made at this stage into the planning of the
mining village since there would be adequate time after a decision had been taken to go ahead
with the Project, and the area is sufficiently remote from the other components of the Project
to enable its problems to be considered separately.
217. The people of the Gold Coast are naturally and vitally concerned with the education
of their children, and the provision of adequate schooling would therefore be an important
factor in stabilising the labour force. Detailed consideration has been given to the needs of the
new communities for primary, middle and secondary schools and for technical education.
Recommendations are set out in full in Appendix XII, which deals also with the contribution
which the mass education branch of the Gold Coast Government could make in the new com-
munities by encouraging communal activities and by promoting literacy.
Recreation and Welfare
218. Appendix XII also records the results of investigations made into the facilities for
recreation which would be needed by the new communities in the light of Gold Coast experience.
It is suggested that workers should pay a modest contribution from their wages towards the
provision of recreation facilities, and that they should be encouraged to organise such activities
themselves rather than leave everything to management.
219. Group welfare services should be provided by the various employers, and it is recom-
mended that proper clauses should be included in the contract documents to ensure that facilities
were available at the right time and of adequate quality. It is recommended also that the Volta
River Authority and other employers should engage responsible and suitably qualified welfare
220. Individual welfare and remedial services of the type normally provided by the Central
Government would naturally be the responsibility of the Gold Coast Government, which has
considered what extensions would be needed to their present organizations in order to deal with
the additional problems arising in the new communities.
221. Voluntary and religious bodies could play an important part in the new communities,
and it is recommended that they should be allowed every facility to do so.
Racial Partnership and Committee on Human Relations
222. Everything should be done to promote an active sense of racial partnership and to
maintain and improve the harmonious relations between people of different countries and races
which at present prevail in the Gold Coast. One means of fostering this would be to issue to all
staff-both overseas and local-on recruitment, a brochure explaining the main features of Gold
Coast life, and indicating the place of the Project in the Gold Coast. Another possible contribution
to the same objective might be the establishment in the Gold Coast of a committee made up of
members who were either directly associated with the Project or who lived in one of the localities
affected by it. This Committee could give early consideration to any problems likely to cause
friction before they became acute.
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
Housing Design and Layout
223. A special study was undertaken into the best design and layout for housing the new
communities, in the light of the particular conditions imposed by the local climate, the traditional
ways of life of the Gold Coast people, and the economic limitations. In making this study, full
advantage was taken of building experience in the Gold Coast over many years, of the specialised
knowledge of the Building Research Station in England, the West African Building Research
Institute, a number of other Technical research organizations, and of Dr. Koenigsberger's special
work on tropical housing. A number of specific recommendations for housing design appear in
Appendix XII, dealing with both temporary and permanent housing, and with low-cost and
more expensive housing. The Commission is impressed by the possibility of large savings in cost
that might be obtained as a result of applying the best technical results of continuing research,
and endorses Dr. Koenigsberger's recommendation that close attention should be paid to the
development of new and cheaper building techniques (Appendix XII, Chapter 8). This would
be of particular importance to the aluminium companies in view of the great investment which
they would make in the housing at the smelter township in future years.
224. The advisability of installing air-conditioning in a limited number of houses, offices and
public buildings, was examined. The use of air-conditioning in the Gold Coast is increasing
rapidly and the Commission considers that it could be used with advantage in some of the
buildings and houses required for the Project.
225. Study of housing problems must naturally include consideration of rents. The Com-
mission, in conjunction with the Gold Coast Government, examined the economic implications
of the housing standards proposed. It appears possible that fully economic rents might be charged
to the higher-paid workers, but that the unskilled worker might for some time need to be assisted
by subsidy since he could not meet the full rent for even the lowest-cost housing without setting
aside a disproportionate amount of his income. A rent policy would need to be developed which
took proper account of such practical limitations, which was broadly equitable, and which
approximated as closely as possible to economic reality. Dr. Koenigsberger put forward some
suggestions based on his experience of new communities in India (Appendix XII, Chapter 8).
This subject is already receiving further consideration by the Gold Coast Government and the
226. The Commission recommends that rent should be charged in the construction phase as
well as during operation, so that a system of paying rent could become well established, and the
difficulties of a sudden change of policy would be avoided. Tentative figures have been suggested
for the rent of types of temporary housing at Ajena. In the Commission's view, the parties to the
Project should take particular care to establish a sound rent policy from the outset, for failure
to do so would be a constant source of friction.
227. Systems for encouraging home ownership have also been considered, and the aluminium
companies would hope to introduce some such system for the smelter township.
228. Appendix XII sets out the main principles which should be followed in the planning of
the new communities in order to meet the sociological requirements indicated in this and earlier
chapters. One of the main principles should be the development of communities in such a way
as to provide to the individual the maximum freedom in choosing where and how he should
live, within the necessary limitations of his economic means. No attempt would be made to
allocate specific districts or types of houses to particular classes of persons because of the nature
of their employment or for any other reason. The detailed application of the principles of town-
planning would naturally differ in accordance with the geographical conditions of the site and
the nature and structure of the community that would live there. These factors vary greatly as
between the different communities, and the specific problems of Ajena and of the smelter town-
ship are described in the following chapter.
229. In planning the new communities it would be very important to have regard not only
to the layout of the communities themselves, but also to the conditions in the area surrounding
them and in particular to the impact which the Project would make on nearby existing com-
munities. This subject is vital in the area of the smelter township which would come into being
within five or six miles of a belt of thickly populated villages, with a total population of about
I8,ooo. The implications of this situation are discussed in the next chapter.
230. A vital feature in planning the new communities would be the provision in good time
of sufficient commercial facilities to supply the necessities of life to the workers and their families.
Volta River Project: Report
Attention should be given to this at a very early stage in construction, and it is thought that the
greater part of the necessary trading activities would be carried out in the normal course of
events by commercial firms in the Gold Coast. It would be necessary to provide them with
suitable sites on reasonable terms. As a safeguard, however, particularly in the initial period of
construction, it would be advisable for normal commercial facilities to be supplemented by
officially sponsored retail stores which could provide the basic necessities of life. Such stores
could also assist in ensuring that prices were maintained at reasonable levels.
Health and Sanitation
231. The sites for the new communities are regarded as satisfactory from the health point of
view, but precautions would need to be taken against insect-borne and water-borne diseases.
Recent research indicates that the most effective protection against insect-borne diseases would
be the application of residual insecticide to all low-cost housing, together with the construction
of effective mosquito proofing in the more expensive housing where insecticides could not be so
readily applied. Detailed recommendations on this subject appear in Appendix XII, which also
specifies the necessary steps to be taken to in the provision of water supplies and drainage and
sewerage. It is contemplated that all communities would have a good supply of piped water, but
the sewerage arrangements might vary from site to site.
232. Appendix XII also sets out in detail the hospital services that would be required for
the labour force and their dependants, including maternity and child welfare services. Major
hospitals would be needed at Ajena and near Kpong for the construction phase; the latter would
subsequently serve the needs of the smelter company. Another hospital would be required in
the general area of the smelter township to provide a Government health service for the increased
population.' The possibility of meeting the joint needs of Ajena and Kpong by a single hospital
was carefully examined, but proved to be impracticable (Appendix XII, paragraph 358).
233. The Commission was concerned not only with advocating desirable courses of action,
but also with the administrative implications of carrying out its recommendations. It is clear
that a strong and efficient local authority would be required in each of the new communities if
the town planning and the health recommendations were to be carried out, and if the substantial
expenditure on good standards and services was not to be wasted by poor maintenance or lax
administration. On the other hand, it would be desirable to associate the people of the new
communities as fully and as early as possible with the local administration so as to avoid creating
an atmosphere of dependence which would hamper the development of popular initiative. The
ultimate objective for all permanent communities would be to set up normally elected administra-
tions on the lines now generally accepted in the Gold Coast.
234. The situation would be relatively simple at Ajena where the circumstances of con-
struction would dictate that the Volta River Authority should have full powers of a local
authority during the construction phase. In the permanent smelter township the problem is
more complex and is further considered in the next chapter.
235. The special problems of health administration in the various areas of the Project have
been very carefully considered and one of the most important recommendations of the expert
advisers on this subject has been the selection of the Volta River Authority as the agency
responsible for the effective supervision and co-ordination of all health measures in the area of
the Project during the construction phase (see paragraph 212).
SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE PLANNING
OF NEW COMMUNITIES
236. The main permanent community that would arise in the Gold Coast as a result of the
Volta Project would be the township near Kpong which would house the employees of the
smelter company, the dependants of those employees and various other people who would find
a place in the new community. The population corresponding to the final stage of the aluminium
production has been estimated at about 50,000. An artist's impression of the new township
is shown opposite.
237. A careful study was made of the general sociological implications of setting up a large
z Subsequent to the preparation of this report, the Gold Coast Government has informed the Commission that the Second
Development Plan will provide for the .building of a new hospital at Somanya which would thus meet this requirement.
ALU MIN I U M
VOLTA RIVER PROJECT
MAYER & WHITTLESEY M. MILTON GLASS
31 UNION SQUA R NEW Y01RK ., N.Y.
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
new industrial community in what is at present a thinly-populated agricultural environment,
and the relationship of the new community to the country as a whole and to the immediate
neighbourhood in particular.
238. During 1954 a series of discussions about the smelter township took place in Accra
between representatives of the aluminium companies, the Gold Coast Government and the
Preparatory Commission. Aluminium Laboratories were assisted by their town planning con-
sultants, Messrs. Mayer and-Whittlesey, who have worked with the company in the planning of
townships in other parts of the world, and the Preparatory Commission had the benefit of advice
from Dr. Koenigsberger. These discussions resulted in general agreement about the objectives to
be attained and the means of achieving them.
239. The first principle adopted was that the township should be planned, in accordance with
the considerations in the previous chapters, without reference to race, creed or colour; and that
provision should be made for individuals to live in the place and fashion of their preference
within the economic limitations set by their family circumstances.
240. The main conclusion about the general social structure of the township was that it should
not be a one-industry town with its usual attendant disadvantages. It was proposed, therefore,
that housing accommodation should be provided for many others besides the employees of the
smelter company and that allowance should be made for the full development of local trade,
services, business and professions. On-this basis it was thought, judging from experience in the
Gold Coast and elsewhere, that ultimately about three-eighths of the total employed population
would be in occupations other than the aluminium industry. At the same time it was clear that
the smelter company, which would employ 9,000 people at the final stage of development, would
inevitably maintain a dominating position as the major industry in the township. No provision
has been made in the plan for any other major industry employing a labour force of comparable
order. It is possible that other independent industries would develop in or near the smelter town-
ship, but if any such industries were to employ a labour force running into thousands, then new
planning problems would arise and consideration would have to be given, before they were
established, to the question whether the better answer would be an extension of the smelter
township or the setting up of an entirely separate community.
241. The township would be laid out in accordance with modern practice so that the com-
munity would be grouped in a series of neighborhoods, each with ready access to the town
centre. A diagram of the proposed layout is contained in Appendix XII.
242. In considering the design of houses and their layout within the neighborhoods, study
was devoted to the problem of establishing a general framework that would be suitable for the
varying requirements of a society in a state of transition. It was recognized that the nature of
the social structure in the Gold Coast was changing with the development of urban communities
and that, in particular, the wider family responsibilities associated with traditional village life
were becoming modified. Possible housing layouts have been suggested, therefore, that would
be suitable either for traditional family grouping or for the separate life of individual families.
243. The companies have suggested standards of housing and services which are higher than
any prevailing in the industrial housing in the Gold Coast today. The Gold Coast Government,
while recognizing that the economic consideration would have to be carefully weighed, has sug-
gested that still higher standards might eventually be adopted in recognition of the general
progress which has taken place in the country over recent years and which would be expected to
continue in future. It should be noted that the township plan put forward by the companies
provides for the possibility of improved standards in the later stages of development.
244. The precise definition of standards would need to be agreed during negotiations. At the
same time it should be emphasised that the differences of opinion are very small in relation to
the total expenditure involved, and that the great majority of proposals in relation to the town-
ship, such as the recommendation to instal a water-borne sewage system, have been generally
accepted as satisfactory.
245. For the administration of the new township it is recognized that a special form of
municipal authority would be required until the community had settled down. Consideration
was given, therefore, to the constitution of a nominated body on which the aluminium companies
would be strongly represented, and to the methods by which over a period of time this special
authority would be superseded by a normally elected municipal council. It is generally agreed
that the objective should be to associate the people of the township with its administration as
soon as possible in order to foster a spirit of communal responsibility instead of one of dependence
Volta River Project: Report
which can so easily arise in a company town ",2; but the actual phasing of the transfer to an
elected authority would need to be carefully considered in order to reconcile this objective with
the efficient maintenance of essential services, and the preservation of satisfactory standards of
246. An area of responsibility for the smelter township authority has been provisionally
determined, extending for a radius of three to four miles around the industrial and housing sites
in order to prevent the development of undesirable conditions on the fringe. Final recommend-
ations on the composition, functions, and area of administration of the authority for the smelter
township would be set out in the ordinance (paragraph 691) for the establishment of this authority.
247. It is recognized that efficient administration of the township itself, even of the extended
area mentioned in the previous paragraph, would not be sufficient to prevent the development
of undesirable social conditions in those existing communities which lie just outside the perimeter
of the area suggested for municipal administration. It is recommended, therefore, that the admin-
istration of the existing towns and villages in the surrounding area should be strengthened
and that the Gold Coast Government, in association with the local authorities, should accept a
measure of responsibility for the maintenance of standards and the general development of
essential works in these communities. These responsibilities would be supplementary to the
public health duties envisaged in the draft Bill for the Volta River Authority, which would
extend over the area in question. Dr. Koenigsberger has made the further suggestion that a
regional plan embracing a considerable area which would include the smelter township and
the surrounding villages should be prepared as soon as a decision to proceed with the Project
was taken. He has suggested a number of preliminary steps that would be necessary for such a
plan to be formulated. The proposal is discussed in detail in Chapter 8 of Appendix XII.
248. The financial implications of building the smelter township, in particular the allocation
of responsibility for capital expenditure between the smelter company and the Gold Coast Gov-
ernment, are discussed in paragraphs 480 and 481.
249. Although it will be seen that much attention has already been devoted to the study of
the smelter township and its associated problems, a considerable amount of detailed elaboration
would be required if a decision, in principle, was taken to go ahead with the Project. For example
the problem of determining rents for houses would need to be settled without delay; again, there
might be considerable scope for economies in building costs as a result of further research.
Impact of Industry on Local Communities
250. The Commission has always been particularly sensitive to the basic problem caused by
the impact of a modern Western industry on an African society at a time of rapid political and
social transition. A large number of difficult questions would necessarily arise from this develop-
ment, but foresight and sympathetic understanding could do much to solve them. Undoubtedly
the Gold Coast Government, the Volta River Authority and the smelter company would all
co-operate in dealing with the problems (see also paragraph 222).
Permanent Township at Ajena
251. It is contemplated that the permanent community at Ajena would consist predominantly
of the small operating force of the power station (which would not exceed 150 at maximum
development), their dependants, and those people who would be essential for providing them
with goods and services. In spite of its comparatively small size, this community has been the
subject of special study in view of the significance to the Gold Coast of the dam and power station
and the immediately surrounding area. The Commission therefore engaged Mr. Thomas Scott,
an architect with extensive West African experience, to make a preliminary investigation of the
site, layout, type and quality of housing and approximate cost of the Ajena permanent township.
His report is summarised in Appendix XII and the following paragraphs indicate the main
252. The site for the permanent housing was originally selected by the consulting engineers,
and was confirmed by Mr. Scott as the most suitable. It is considered an excellent site for a
permanent township, which would have a magnificent view over the new lake and power station,
and would be within easy walking distance of the latter. The only drawback is that the site is
near the area in which blasting operations would be carried out during construction of the dam
so that it would not be practicable to build the township until construction of the dam was nearly
completed. This presents no difficulty in the phasing of the Project, but prevents the achievement
2 Dr. Koenigsberger has stressed the need to promote a constructive communal spirit, and has recommended the early
delegation of appropriate responsibilities to neighbourhood units, and the adoption of an agreed timetable for the
establishment of representative municipal government (Appendix XII, Chapter 8).
Technical Aspects and Human Factors
of the very small saving that could be obtained if the permanent housing could be built sufficiently
early to house a number of construction workers.
253. The sociological objective of the permanent community would be the establishment of
a small and contented group of reliable and efficient men whose primary responsibility would
be the operation and maintenance of the dam and power installation, the regulation of the water,
and the administration of certain public health measures. This settlement would thus be entirely
different in character from thle rural communities in the neighbourhood and, in view of the
special responsibilities of the workers who would live there, it is desirable that it should remain
so. It should not be merged with a village settlement of normal character.
254. It is possible that in the years to come after the creation of the lake, a new port would
be required at its southern extremity. The port would, however, probably be some distance from
the power station and would need to be planned independently from the Ajena community.
255. The township is planned on the basis of full provision for families and allowance is made
for sufficient markets and shops, for recreation facilities and for a small town centre; provision is
also made for a catering resthouse. There are certain services, however, which could not be
economically provided for so small a community, and it is assumed that use would be made of
facilities in neighboring communities, such as the smelter township, and that special transport
would be provided for the Ajena population. It is proposed that the township would have a
piped water supply and piped sewerage system.
256. The design and layout proposed by Mr. Scott take full advantage of the natural sur-
roundings. Trees and shrubs should be planted at the earliest opportunity, plans having been
made in advance for the maintenance of a nursery for this purpose. This is also referred to in
Appendix V which deals with landscaping.
257. Among the technical recommendations relating to housing, special emphasis is laid on
the need for protection against termites and on the importance of correct orientation of the
housing in relation to the prevailing breeze. The financial questions arising from the construction
of the township are dealt with in Chapter 20 where it is assumed, for estimating purposes, that
the Volta River Authority would be responsible for the cost of all accommodation required for
its own employees, but not for other houses.
Temporary Township at Ajena
258. In planning the temporary township to accommodate the construction force for the dam
and power installation, the first objective was to provide sufficient accommodation for families
as a pre-requisite of economic construction. If no provision were made for families there is no
doubt that, whatever measures of control were adopted, the dependants of workers would tend
to group themselves as near as possible to the housing for construction workers with the result
that a sociological and medical problem of the first magnitude would be created.
259. Another important consideration for this community is that there would be no per-
manent use at the site for the housing provided during the construction phase. The problem,
therefore, is to meet the requirements for the construction force and families at the minimum
cost. It should be noted that the temporary township at Ajena would form one of the first items
in the construction timetable, and it would be essential to have plans sufficiently advanced for an
early start to be made as soon as possible after a decision was taken to go ahead with the Project.
260. With these considerations in mind the Commission initiated a special investigation by
the firm of Architects' Co-Partnership, in association with Dr. Koenigsberger, who were set the
task of following up the earlier enquiries into the design and cost of the temporary township, and
of achieving the maximum economy consistent with the basic policy in regard to families recom-
mended by the Commission (paragraphs 177 and 181). Their terms of reference were more
flexible than those given originally to the consulting engineers.
261. The only possible site of any reasonable area within practicable distance of the con-
struction site is hilly and restricted. This physical condition imposes a pattern of fairly concen-
trated housing development. The construction timetable, which demands that a substantial
proportion of the total temporary housing requirements should be met within twelve months
from the start of construction, imposes a second condition, namely that some form of prefabric-
ation should be employed.
262. The report made by Architects' Co-Partnership to the Commission will be circulated
separately to the Governments and the aluminium companies as soon as printing has been com-
pleted; the most important conclusions can be summarised as follows:
(a) The inquiries confirmed decisively the two basic limitations, i.e. there is only one
practical site for this temporary township, and the time factor makes it inevitable that
prefabricated buildings should be used.
Volta River Project: Report
(b) Recognising the vital necessity for reducing to a minimum the possibility of any delay
in constructing the Project, it is considered essential that houses should be supplied from
a reliable overseas source, which could guarantee delivery dates to provide accom-
modation for up to 3,000 of the workers (with the appropriate proportion of families)
of the total of 5,000 required for the dam and power installation.
(c) This general-principle, however, would not exclude the full utilisation of the local
potential in the Gold Coast for producing prefabricated components. Indeed, pre-
fabricated floors for all houses should be constructed locally, and complete buildings for
at least 1,500oo workers with dependants should also be made in the Gold Coast. If
experience demonstrated quickly that more than this number could be constructed
locally at an economic price and with a satisfactory rate of delivery than the overseas
figure could be reduced proportionately.
(d) The requirements of temporary and permanent housing for the smelter township near
Kpong should be considered carefully in relation to the proven performance of Gold
Coast firms in providing housing for the temporary township at Ajena. The greater
demand might well lead to the possibility of reducing local costs.
(e) It would be desirable to erect as soon as possible a small number of prefabricated
dwellings of the type eventually selected in order to gain experience in erection, etc.
Such a small pilot project might serve to house staff who would be required very early
in the Project, e.g. health and sanitation experts, and those required for the resettlement
and compensation operation (paragraph 332).
(f) Arrangements should be made for the stock-piling in advance of an adequate supply
of essential fittings, etc. Experience in the erection of prefabricated houses on a large
scale has frequently indicated that considerable delays have been caused through a
shortage of particular fittings. This advance stock-piling could possibly be arranged by
the Volta River Authority, and transferred to the contractor for the township as soon
as he was established.
263. The result of this special inquiry, in which Architects' Co-Partnership and Dr. Koenigs-
berger received the full co-operation of the consulting engineers and the Gold Coast Government,
led to a reduction of 850,ooo compared with the original estimate. This was achieved in part
by modifying some of the original standards and making provision for the families of 50% of
the labour force. The Commission desires to record its appreciation of the valuable work carried
out by Architects' Co-Partnership and Dr. Koenigsberger.
CONCLUSION AS TO TECHNICAL ASPECTS AND HUMAN FACTORS
264. The Commission considers that the Volta River Project can be regarded as technically
sound, and that it could be carried out successfully, assuming that a contractor or consortium
of contractors of proven experience and efficiency was employed on the hydro-electric project,
that the aluminium companies efficiently developed the mines and constructed the smelter, that
the Gold Coast Government provided the necessary railways and roads at the right time, and,
most important of all, that throughout all aspects of construction the basic problem of human
factors was handled successfully.
Effects of the Dam
and the Lake
EFFECTS OF THE DAM AND THE LAKE
265. The construction of the dam at Ajena would have four main effects:
(a) An area of about 3,500 square miles' would be inundated;
(b) The pattern of flow of the river between the dam site and the sea would be changed;
(c) The new lake would create problems of health and sanitation;
(d) Agriculture, forests and fisheries would be affected in various ways.
266. In considering these problems, it is necessary to keep in mind the statement made by the
Prime Minister of the Gold Coast in 1953 that, if the Project was carried out, the Government
would ensure that no one was made worse off as a result of the creation of the lake.
Efects of the Project in tht Area Subject to Inundation
267. The problems of compensation and resettlement which could arise in the lake area
have always been recognized by all parties to the Project. The Commission carried out extensive
investigations into the existing conditions in the area, and the extent and nature of the measures
which would become necessary if the Project were to go ahead. The results are incorporated in
Appendix VI and described in general terms in the next chapter of this report.
Efects of the Project on the Riparian Communities Living Downstream from the Dam
268. The Commission was unable to find any evidence, however, that the effects which the
changed condition of the river would have on the riparian communities living along its lower
reaches had been considered previously. Investigations were therefore initiated by the Com-
mission and the results are recorded in Appendix VII. Chapter 15 describes these enquiries and
gives the main conclusions.
Problems of Health and Sanitation Associated with the New Lake
269. Before the establishment of the Commission, an appreciable amount of investigation
had been carried out into the problems of health and sanitation which could arise from the
formation of the new lake. It was apparent, however, that a more detailed analysis would be
required for each of the major individual diseases already existing in the area, and that detailed
plans for a control organisation, together with estimates of cost, would have to be prepared.
Chapter 16 summarises the results of the Commission's enquiries; Appendix VIII describes the
problems in detail.
Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries
270. A general survey of the effects of the Project on agriculture, forests and fisheries is
contained in Appendix IX. The salient features are summarised in Chapter 17 of this report.
It was convenient to consider under this general heading the demands for food and firewood
which the Project would make on the local economy.
EFFECTS OF THE PROJECT IN THE AREA SUBJECT TO INUNDATION
271. The creation of a great lake extending over some 3,500 square miles would obviously
create many problems. There are several examples in other parts of the world where a failure
to handle claims for compensation fairly and efficiently, and to arrange practical resettlement
policies, has led to political embarrassment and expensive economic consequences. Still more
important, human beings have often suffered unnecessary hardship. The sociological changes
z The approximate area of Kent, Surrey and Sussex.
Volta River Project: Report
inevitably forced on them by changes in their physical environment have frequently been made
worse by inadequate knowledge of the economic and social pattern of their lives, and of their
rights and possessions, and by a lack of foresight in providing opportunities for them to create
new homes and to obtain new sources of livelihood. Inefficient administration in resettlement
and in the assessment and payment of compensation have frequently still further aggravated the
272. This warning is given immediately for, although the parties to the Project gave some
consideration in their earlier discussions to the problems of compensation and resettlement
which might arise in the area of the new lake, the Commission feels their full implications need
to be re-emphasised.
273. In the White Paper (Cmd. 8702) it was proposed that compensation up to a total of
3,ooo,ooo would be borne by the Project, and that any excess up to a maximum of a further
1,ooo,ooo would be shared equally between the Project and the Gold Coast Government.
The maximum amount chargeable to the cost of power was thus limited to 3,500,000.
274. Later in this chapter the Commission estimates that the cost of compensation and
resettlement would be about 4,000,000, and in the next chapter it is recommended that a further
500,ooo should be accepted as a prospective liability for the effects on communities down-
stream from the dam. It must be emphasised, however, that these estimates are based on the
assumption that, as soon as a decision was made to proceed with the Project, the Gold Coast
Government would establish immediately an effective administrative organisation to deal with
all the problems of compensation and resettlement, and with the changed conditions amongst the
riparian communities. This administrative problem is directly related to the resources of ad-
ministrative and technical manpower available to the Gold Coast Government which are
considered in Chapter 28.
275. The economic implications of this problem can be illustrated by an example in another
country, which was brought to the attention of the Commission, where the ultimate cost of
compensation and resettlement was about eight times the original estimate.
Extent of the Problem
276. At present, almost 62,500 people inhabit the area which would be submerged by the
new lake. Their lives would be changed; much of the land they now farm would be lost and most
of them would lose their only homes. Compensation would have to be paid, and resettlement car-
ried out where necessary. Certain public roads and buildings would be inundated, and need to be
replaced. Fortunately, the greater part of the area is sparsely populated and there is relatively
little cultivation. Moreover, most of the population have access to land outside the area on which
they could resettle. With the possible exception of a small limestone deposit, no minerals of
commercial significance are known to exist.
277. The manifold effects of the changed conditions demand the most careful consideration.
An additional reason for such a detailed appreciation lies in the fact that, under the arrangements
contemplated in the White Paper, the Gold Coast Government could, in certain circumstances,
be with left an unspecified liability which might easily assume large proportions.
Inter-relationship of Communities
278. In considering the effect of the new lake on the present sociological pattern, it must be
remembered that there is an affinity between certain elements of the population (e.g. the Tongu
fishermen) who would be affected by the new conditions both above and below the dam. Again,
a relationship would already exist in some cases, and would develop in others, between people
who now live in the area and some of those who would assemble to form the labour forces at
Ajena and Kpong (paragraph 247). These developments would almost certainly have important
sociological effects which would require to be kept under constant and careful review both by
the Gold Coast Government and the Volta River Authority.
279. The Volta River Authority would aim at maintaining the level of the lake as near
276 feet above sea level as possible in order to generate maximum power. The level of the lake
would usually rise and fall over a range of about fifteen feet annually; the lowest planned draw-
down is to 252 feet. The design of the spillway permits some flexibility in operation, and this
factor, taken in conjunction with the development of a flood warning system, should prevent
the level of the lake from rising above 276 feet, save on exceptional occasions.
280. In conformity with its conservative policy, however, the Commission, on the technical
advice of its consulting engineers, has recommended that 280 feet should be taken as the maximum
level of the lake for the purpose of compensation and resettlement, although this level should be
Effects of the Dam and Lake
reached only on a very rare occasion. The reasons for this decision are given in the Commission's
report on the area subject to inundation, which is reproduced as Appendix VI. At the 280 ft.
contour it is calculated that 3,435 square miles of land would be submerged.
B. METHOD OF ENQUIRY
281. The main tasks of the Commission were:
(a) to ascertain the population and resources of the area which would be covered by the
(b) to estimate the value of the properties and other rights which would be lost, where
they could be assessed in financial terms.
282. Little information was available to the Commission when it began its investigations.
A census had been carried out in 1948, and aerial photographs of the area had been taken in
1950 1951. Apart from these sources, the only available information, generally speaking, was
contained in a few references to the area in a small number of technical reports compiled by
Departments in the Gold Coast Government.
Collection of Information
283. The Commission's enquiries spread over almost every field of Government activity.
At the outset of its work, the Prime Minister issued a directive to all Ministries and Departments
that every assistance was to be given to the Commission. Help and advice was at all times forth-
coming from every part of the Gold Coast Government, and is most gratefully acknowledged,
particularly in relation to the surveys to which reference is now made.
284. The following surveys were undertaken:
(a) counts of population in almost all villages which had been reported to contain more
than twenty houses;
(b) a detailed survey of cocoa;
(c) a detailed survey of oil palms in the particular area where they were known to be
(d) sample counts of perennial crops apart from cocoa, such as coconuts, mangoes, oranges,
pears and kola trees, in other selected sectors;
(e) an appreciation of the value of trees, particularly of teak and other trees of commercial
(f) a valuation of land, including its farming potential, and all rights pertaining to it,
other than such appreciable incidences of perennial crops as had already been valued
(g) fisheries in the area;
(h) public and private buildings, classified under separate headings recording the type of
structure and condition;
(i) current building costs in a number of villages which would be inundated;
(j) schools in the area;
(k) churches, mosques and prayer houses;
(1) the more important local fetishes;
(m) roads and ferries which would be affected (together with plans for their replacement);
(n) known geological wealth of the area;
(o) common rights of economic value such as hunting, snail collecting and firewood
(p) heights fixed at certain key points.'
Date of Observations
285. Most of the information recorded in Appendix VI describes the situation in the area
subject to inundation as it was in late 1954 and early 1955. Changes over the next few years
should not materially alter the picture.
SThe 280 ft. contour was not demarcated on the ground for it would have involved a distance of about 2,200 miles, and
the cost and time involved could not be justified at this stage. If the scheme went ahead, however, the demarcation of the
contour in certain sectors of the area would become a matter of urgency.
Volta River Project: Report
286. Efforts were made to draw on experience in other countries with similar problems;
several Governments made information available to the Commission. This assistance is
acknowledged at the end of the report.
Approach to the Local Population
287. In making enquiries, the approach was a matter of importance. The attitude adopted
by the Commission in its many contacts with the people concerned may be summarised as follows:
(a) there was no certainty that the Project would materialise although there appeared to
be a prospect of that eventuality;
(b) it would be to the benefit of all concerned if the maximum information was available
about the implications of such a development; and
(c) if the Project went ahead, what would be the reactions of the people as to the locality
of their future habitation?
C. PRINCIPLES GOVERNING COMPENSATION
288. Early in its programme of work the Commission, in consultation with the Gold Coast
Government, made (for the purpose of planning) two basic decisions:
(a) the maximum height of the lake should be taken as 280 feet;
(b) in order to obtain rights over the land which would be submerged, a policy of outright
acquisition involving the immediate payment of compensation for all valuable rights
which existed in the area on the operative date should be adopted.
The reasons for these decisions are explained in Chapter 2 of Appendix VI.
Loss of Public Rights
289. The creation of the lake would affect public rights in the following categories:
(c) buildings of the Gold Coast Government;
(e) local council buildings other than schools;
(f) places of religious worship.
Policy in Relation to Public Rights
29o. The Commission recommends that a policy of replacing all public amenities should be
adopted. To this general policy there might be two exceptions. Special action might need to be
taken in relation to fetishes and burial grounds. This is dealt with in paragraphs 49 to 52 of
Loss of Private Rights
291. Rights of a private nature which would be affected by the lake can conveniently be
classified under the following heads:
(a) rights to the surface of land and to what grows naturally upon it;
(b) rights to minerals;
(c) rights to perennial crops;
(d) rights to seasonal crops, including the rights to prevent others from cultivating land
(e) rights to buildings;
(f) rights to waterways;
(g) rights of passage;
(h) rights of a common nature such as the right to collect snails and firewood, to hunt
game and to fish.
Local Factors affecting Rights
292. Before entering into a more detailed analysis of these rights, two points should be
emphasised. The first is that local conceptions in such matters do not always exactly coincide
with the conceptions of the English law of real property. In the Gold Coast rights which in
Effects of Ihe Dam and Lake
English law would be deemed conflicting, are often held to exist over the same piece of land.
Current legislation in the Gold Coast makes it quite clear that, in land matters, local custom
shall prevail save where the parties have expressly provided that their transaction shall be
governed by English law. The second point is that local land tenure does not exist as a precise
legal code, but is rather a series of customs under constant process of evolution and modification
in order to meet changesrin local conceptions. Further, important differences in the approach
to this matter occur in various parts of the area.
293. These circumstances made it desirable, on two separate grounds, that a detailed study
should be made of land rights now existing in the lake area. Firstly, it would facilitate the smooth
working of the payment of compensation; and secondly, it would ensure that a proper framework
was provided in cases where whole villages as opposed to individuals had to resettle.
Classification of Private Rights
294. A detailed classification of private rights is given in Chapter 4 of Appendix VI. The
most important (and complicated) right is that to the surface of the land and what grows upon it.
All land in the Gold Coast is now considered to have a value, and permanent loss of land must
be a subject of compensation. Rights to perennial crops such as cocoa would involve special
payments of compensation. Mineral rights and common rights (e.g. firewood, hunting) are not
of much significance and normally can be conveniently classed with the rights to the surface of
the land. Rights to buildings should not present special problems in paying compensation, but
this matter has a special reference to resettlement policy.
Principle on which Compensation for Loss of Private Rights should be based
295. The principle governing acquisition for public purposes is that of payment for the right
affected at the current market rate which it would fetch if offered on the open market and the
subject of a transaction between a willing buyer and a willing seller. This concept has formed
the basis for all the valuations of private rights which have been recorded in this report and
296. Another element which would have to be considered on its merits in relation to each
type of compensation payable is that of disturbance. There are two aspects which require special
attention. The first is the cost of transferring household goods etc. to new premises. In recent
cases in the Gold Coast a figure of 20 0 of the compensation payable has frequently been added
to cover this aspect, and appears to be a fair and reasonable award.
Cost of Rebuilding
297. The second aspect of disturbance is one which arises in the particular circumstances of
the area subject to inundation. Housing is of poor standard, and market values are low. In these
circumstances, it is plain that the real value of buildings to their occupants (i.e. their use value)
is considerably greater than they could realise if they negotiated sales of the premises. The cost
of building new ones of a similar standard and design would also be appreciably greater than
the market value of the existing structures.
298. The total number of private buildings in the area is believed to be 18,594, and they
have been valued individually to give a total of 175,940 for the purposes of compensation.
Current costs of building in the area are estimated to be from 21- to 3 times the assessed market
value of the buildings. The Commission has therefore recommended that a further liability in
respect of housing, calculated at twice the market value (i.e. 351,880) should be accepted as a
charge on the Project in order to provide fair and equitable treatment. Payments from this
source would not be made to individuals as part of the legal entitlement, but as part of the
resettlement policy and used as an incentive to encourage individuals to move to the most
suitable new localities. This aspect of resettlement is elaborated in paragraph 324.
299. The Gold Coast Government issued a statement in November, 1954, that compensation
for such acquisitions as were found necessary in the event of a decision to proceed with the
Project would be paid upon the open market value obtaining at the date of the announcement,
or at such other date as might be considered appropriate. This, the Government pointed out,
was to prevent any speculation in local values with the object of raising extra charges against
Volta River Project: Report
D. DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA SUBJECT TO INUNDATION
Division of the Area
300. In order to facilitate its analyses, the Commission divided the land which would be
submerged by the lake into nine geographical areas. They were:
AI Kwahu Area Colony Eastern Region
A2 South Afram Area ,, ,,
A3 Akwamu Area ,, ,,
BI Ewe-Guang Area Trans-Volta-Togoland Region
B2 Buem-Akan Area ,, ,, ,,
B3 Pai Area ,,
B4 Krachi Area
C Volta River Confederacy Area Ashanti Region
D Gonja Area Northern'Territories Region
They are shown on the map2 facing this page. The letters denote the Administrative Regions in
which each of the nine Areas is situated. Boundaries between the Areas have purposely been
drawn in arbitrary fashion since in some instances they are in dispute.
301. Existing roads and forest reserves are shown on the map as well as new roads which
might be constructed and possible areas for resettlement. The general pattern of the lake can be
clearly observed. It follows the present course of the Volta from north to south. On the right
bank, three deep inlets occur and cause major barriers to communications. On the left, there is
only one major tributary, the Oti, which enters the lake from the north-east. Along the south
side of the Afram arm of the lake, for forty to fifty miles, is found the only comparatively densely
populated area. This is concentrated in ,a narrow belt in which cocoa is grown.
302. The entire area is classed as in the savannah-woodland zone of vegetation. More details
are given in Chapter 5 of Appendix VI.
303. Of the estimated 62,500 people in the area, it is thought about 40,000 live there
permanently, another io,ooo have dwellings in the area but also have homes in other parts of
the country, and about 12,500 are strangers in temporary residence (i.e. people who normally
live outside the area but are at present living there temporarily). Two large stranger populations
are the Konkombas, who are industrious yam farmers, and the Tongus who fish all along the
Occupations and Incomes
304. About 90% of the adult inhabitants look to agriculture as their main source of income.
About Io% obtain money from fishing. Most of the larger villages have a few tradesmen. Most
adult incomes probably lie between 20 and 40 a year.
305. The pattern and standard of housing varies appreciably, frequently reflecting the
different tribes who now live in the area. Further details and some photographs of typical
dwellings are given in Chapters 5 and 6 of Appendix VI.
306. There are important differences in respect of land tenure between several of the nine
geographical areas and they would, of course, have to be taken into account when assessing and
Existing Road Communications
307. The general effect of the new lake on existing roads has been referred to briefly in
paragraph 122, and is considered in detail in Appendix X. If the Project was carried out, and
the Gold Coast Government implemented the relevant parts of its development plans, there
would be little appreciable effect on the national road system. A detailed analysis of the effects
of the lake on roads is contained in Chapters 5, 6 and 7 of Appendix VI. Approximately 143
miles of roads would be flooded and about 160 miles would need to be built as replacement.
2 The map does not show the whole of the Gonja Area. This can be seen on the map facing paragraph 296 of Appendix VI.
VOLTA RIVER PROJECT
APPROXIMATE ETHNIC BOUNDARIES AND AREAS IN
WHICH SETTLEMENTS WILL POSSIBLY TAKE PLACE
S -i Ch-diri --- --
'-- \/ 8"00
-- ----- \740
AREA C. m-anfrom
S -- "40
-spa n U 0
Kw fao F. ome
Seka ua Frank a lua
___ Ko n.6 6'*------- e'I
K b pedwa Odurnasi o mnan 670
Sum Koforidea Akuse
\ Adukrom \,
0'55' '45' O'aS' 0'25' O 15s' '05 '0os 0o'S' 0'25'
Instrument Heights Taken
Existing Main Roads
Existing Subsidiary Roads
SCALE 1: 1,000,000
Indication of New Shelter Belts
Sectors in which sample counts were
taken of other Perennial Crops.
Possible Areas for New Settlements
Effects of the Dam and Lake
Vehicular and Passenger Ferries
308. Certain of the ferries which at present operate in the area would be affected by the
Project, and replacements or alternative services would be required. The biggest change would
occur at Yeji where the present ferry traverses about 440 yards; if the lake formed, a new
vehicular ferry would be needed to make a crossing of about five miles.
309. Generally speaking, the trees now growing in the lake area have little or no commercial
value. The exceptions are four forest reserves which cover about 146 square miles. Two of these
are potential sources of firewood for people who would work at the dam and smelter sites, and
as much timber as possible should be removed in advance of flooding (paragraph 425).
310. The most important crop in the area is cocoa. There are about 6,000 acres at present
under cultivation, but the Gold Coast Department of Agriculture reports that many of the trees
would be unlikely to remain in good bearing condition.
311. Of the total area of 3,435 square miles, some 75 square miles (or about 50,000 acres)
may at any time be under cultivation with crops such as maize, manioc, guinea corn, and rice.
Yams are cultivated extensively in certain parts of the area.
312. There are at present 39 schools in the area which would be submerged. Only one of
these is above the ordinary village primary standard and a number are temporary structures.
313. In Chapter 6 of Appendix VI a detailed analysis is made of the compensation which
would have to be paid for the loss of private rights and the cost of replacing public amenities
in each of the nine geographical areas. The results can be summarised as follows.
Compensation for Loss of Public Rights
314. The total cost is estimated at 428,580 and is made up of:
(a) Replacement of public buildings--89,o80
(b) Replacement of roads and bridges--326,500
(c) Miscellaneous (an airstrip, teak, etc.)--13,ooo.
Compensation for Loss of Private Rights
315. It has been estimated that compensation for the loss of private rights would require
the payment of 2,045,208 composed of:
(a) Private buildings 175,940
(b) Disturbance element (20%) k 35,188
(c) Land I1,113,680
(d) Cocoa 496,400
(e) Other perennial crops 210,000
(f) Clay deposits 6,000
(g) Fishing rights 8,ooo
316. In Chapter 7 of Appendix VI a detailed plan of operations for assessing and paying
compensation is set out. The main implications of this plan in terms of staff and cost (salaries,
provision of offices, transport, etc.) are summarised in Section G of this chapter.
Possible Lines of Approach
317. There are several basic approaches which might be adopted for dealing with resettle-
ment. The fundamental issue is whether the policy should be to resettle or to be resettled";
in other words whether the inhabitants would be expected to resettle themselves or whether a
Volta River Project: Report
public obligation would be accepted to undertake that operation. The former course would
have the advantages of retaining communal initiative and encouraging people to help themselves
instead of looking to Government for assistance in all matters. If the latter course was adopted,
it is apparent that no matter what particular limitations or provisions might be made in the
initial stages, constant pressure would inevitably be directed towards increasing the scope of
operations, with consequent increased financial commitments.
318. The Commission recommends that the best policy for the Volta Project would be:
(a) the communities concerned should be expected to resettle themselves;
(b) the responsibility inherent in the Project should be in general limited to the payment
of compensation for the loss of rights;
(c) in certain circumstances, assistance in the shape either of material aid or technical
advice should be made available to the communities concerned to supplement the
compensation payable for their loss.
The reasons for advocating this policy, and a discussion of alternative policies, are contained in
Chapter 8 of Appendix VI.
319. The basic philosophy in resettlement should be self-help, but this should not exclude
the introduction of certain incentives to the people concerned to move into those areas which
would be most suitable for the new villages, and the provision of technical advice and material
aid where appropriate.
Conditions for Resettlement
320. An outstanding characteristic of the lake area is the community spirit. The great
majority of the indigenous population lives in villages founded on kinship and it can safely be
assumed that these people would wish to repeat the existing pattern of their villages if they were
forced to move. The sites selected for the new villages would need to provide certain basic
facilities. The most important would be the availability of land adequate in extent and quality
so that the people could farm, and access to a suitable source of water. Simple village layouts
should be provided. Communal buildings (e.g. a school, a few market sheds) would be needed
and roads to link the new villages to the existing network. In Chapter 8 of Appendix VI a
forecast is given of the approximate number and size of new villages which would be required.
Provision of Land, etc. for Resettlement
321. The Gold Coast Government has already started to investigate the suitability for
agricultural development of areas in which resettlement might be expected, and it is hoped that
this work would be completed by the time a decision was taken about the Project. The provision
of other necessary facilities of which examples were given in the preceding paragraph should not
322. An analysis is given in Chapter 8 of Appendix VI of the likely availability of land for
resettlement, and attention is drawn to a small number of instances where the Gold Coast
Government might have to intervene in order to ensure that adequate land was, in fact, made
Aids to Housing3
323. Several suggestions are made in the same chapter of Appendix VI as to aids and
incentives which should encourage people to rebuild adequate new houses in the chosen localities.
Examples are (a) courses in simple building construction; (b) the provision of simple building
plans; (c) advice on construction problems during the actual process of building; and (d) the
provision of hand-operated block-making machines.
324. Individuals who were willing to rebuild new homes on the sites selected by the Gold
Coast Government for resettlement would be eligible for payments from the fund of 351,880
to which reference has been made in paragraph 298. Payments would normally take the form
of issues of standard building materials under the control of the official organisation referred to
in paragraph 328. It is thought that these arrangements might provide a very strong incentive
in attracting people to build themselves new homes of a reasonable standard in the selected areas.
3 As a general policy, the approach to housing should conform to that adopted by the Gold Coast Government for the
country as a whole.
Effects of the Dam and Lake
325. Special considerations arise in the resting of the town of Kete Krachi, which is an
important township and the centre of a very large area. The town would therefore need to be
replanned with particular care. Provision for the replacement of public and private buildings has
been made under the compensation head, but appreciable work would be involved in the survey
and demarcation of the new township. The cost of this would be a charge to resettlement. A
considerable amount of preliminary work in relation to the planning for the future Kete Krachi
has already been completed.
The Tongu Fishing Communities
326. Reference has already been made, and will be made again later in this report, to the
need for safeguarding the interests of the Tongu fishing communities both above and below the
dam site. They would suffer considerable disruption during the construction phase, and later on
they would have an important role to play in the development of the lake as a valuable fishery.
(See also paragraph 348).
Cost of Resettlement
327. In addition to the fund of 351,88o (paragraph 298) it is estimated that another
150,000 would be needed to meet the cost of various measures under the general head of
resettlement, i.e. to provide land for communities where it was not possible for them to obtain
sites for resettlement, to give indirect assistance in rebuilding homes, to meet payments for
fetishes, and to meet the cost of replanning Kete Krachi, etc.
328. A small number of officials would be required to assist the population of the inundated
area in the task of resettlement. Provision for them is made in the organisation which the Com-
mission has advised the Gold Coast Government to establish in order to deal with the problem
of resettlement and compensation; the size and costs are summarised below.
G ADMINISTRATIVE ASPECT OF COMPENSATION AND RESETTLEMENT
Chief Resettlement Officer and Staff
329. Compensation and resettlement should be carried out as a single operation, and the
organisation should be placed under the control of a very capable and experienced Chief Re-
settlement Officer, who should be drawn from the senior ranks of the administrative service of
the Gold Coast Government.
330. Details of staff required to deal with compensation and resettlement are shown at the
end of Chapters 7 and 8 of Appendix VI. In addition to possessing the necessary technical
qualifications, all officers employed on the work of compensation and resettlement should be in
first class physical condition, and of suitable temperament.
331. Compensation would necessitate the employment (for periods ranging from 18 months
to 3 years) of about a dozen surveyors and about twenty land officers, together with junior staff,
eight relatively senior officials for the payment of compensation, and three auditors. Accommoda-
tion and transport would also have to be provided. The entire operation should be completed
in four years and the total cost of administration is estimated at 700,000.
332. Resettlement would necessitate the employment of about ten officers and a proportionate
number of junior staff. Transport and accommodation would also be necessary. It is estimated
that this operation would last for four years and would cost 250,o00. The cost of administration
is caused primarily by the extent and complexity of the proposed operations, the physical
characteristics of the area, and the fact that effective administration would be essential to hold
the estimated total cost of compensation and resettlement to 4,ooo,ooo.
The Riparian Communities
333. The organisation dealing with compensation and resettlement should also deal with the
problems which would arise amongst the riparian communities living downstream from the dam;
they are described in Chapter 15 of this report and in Appendix VII.
Burden on the Gold Coast Government
334. If a decision was taken to proceed with the Project, it is apparent that the size and
complexity of the compensation and resettlement operation would throw a large additional
burden on the administrative and technical resources of the Gold Coast Government. This
Volta River Project: Report
particular difficulty was emphasised to the Gold Coast Government by the Commission in June,
1955, when transmitting the draft of its report on the problems in the are subject to inundation
and is directly related to the resources of staff available to the Government, a problem which
is discussed in Section B of Chapter 28.
335. The estimated cost of the compensation and resettlement operation can be summarised
(a) Compensation: payments 2,473,788
(b) Resettlement: cost 501,880
336. Under the arrangements previously agreed (see paragraph 273) this would leave the
Gold Coast Government with a liability of 5oo,ooo. The Government has informed the Com-
mission that it considers, in the light of the information now available, that this should be
considered as a proper charge on the Project. An important reason for its attitude is the fact
that the area subject to inundation is now considerably larger than anticipated originally, thus
providing more power which would be of direct benefit to the Project as a whole. The matter will
need to be resolved during negotiations about the future of the Project (see also paragraph 471).
It will be observed in paragraph 382 that a parallel problem exists in meeting the estimated
cost (500,000) of measures which might need to be taken amongst the riparian communities.
EFFECTS ON THE RIPARIAN COMMUNITIES LIVING DOWNSTREAM
FROM THE DAM
337. The alteration in the present pattern of flow in the Volta which would be brought about
by the Project would have an appreciable effect in the areas which lie on both sides of the river
below the dam site. At present the flow of the river is seasonal, and the annual flood (the peak is
about September-October) sets the pattern of human activities in the river reaches between the
dam site and the estuary. In this area numerous creeks near the main river course are flooded
to a greater or less extent according to the size of the flood. Agricultural yields may derive some
stimulus from the flood and many creeks are important sources of fish.
Present Pattern of the River Flow
338. The present flow of the river varies from below 1,ooo cusecs in the driest months of the
year to a peak which may be from 125,000 to 390,000 cusecs during the months of September
Changes in the River Flow
339. The changes in the flow of the Lower Volta introduced by the Project would develop
in two distinct phases. The first would take place about five years after construction had started
in 1957 and would last for about two years (1962 to 1964) while the lake was filling. During this
period a relatively low flow would need to be maintained in the river in order to ensure drinking
water supplies for the riparian communities.
340. The second phase would begin with the commencement of power production (about
1964) and an appreciably larger but relatively steady flow would be established. During the first
two stages of aluminium production, there would still be some flooding on the lower reaches of
the river although not with the same intensity or as often as under present circumstances. When
the final stage of aluminium production had been reached, there would be fewer floods and they
would take place only after unusually heavy rains. Normally the river would then maintain
throughout the year a steady flow of about 38,000 cusecs. The constancy of this flow would only
Efects of the Dam and Lake
be varied as a result of seasonal additions from the rainfall in the Lower Volta and occasional
discharge from the spillway.
341. It was clear that there would be major changes in conditions during the first phase when
the lake was filling, and the consulting engineers were requested to carry out appropriate surveys
of the river, and to make recommendations as to the rate at which the flow should be maintained
to avoid salt penetration. They have indicated in their Engineering Report that it would be
desirable to provide capacity so that up to 5,000 cusecs could be released.
342. The development of aluminium production in distinct stages is a fortunate feature of
the Project. There would be considerable flexibility available for controlling the flow of the river
in the early stages, and valuable experience could be gained in ensuring on the one hand that
the well-being of the riparian communities was safeguarded, and that, on the other, water-and
hence power and money-was not wasted.
Need br Investigation
343. The Commission considered it essential for surveys to be made of the present economy
of the Lower Volta, and to make an assessment of the changes which might be introduced by
the altered river conditions. It is estimated that approximately 54,000 persons at present depend
to some degree on the Lower Volta for their livelihood, and, if the present high flood was to be
eliminated or if its occurrence was even to be curtailed considerably, the consequent effects
would need to be considered carefully by the Gold Coast Government. The Commission therefore
thought it particularly important to place on record as much information as possible about the
present position in all areas which could be affected by the Project.
344. The object of the Commission was to obtain in the time available as much information
as possible about the area concerned, and in particular about the influence that existing river
conditions exerted on the local economy. For this purpose an intensive study was instituted
within a limited area, and a wider survey was undertaken into conditions along the whole length
of the Lower Volta. Only one full season was available in which to carry out investigations, but
a very considerable amount of information was obtained and this has provided a foundation for
certain broad recommendations for further action.
345. These surveys involved work covering several hundred square miles for-largely because
of the bad communications which exist throughout the area-relatively little information had
previously been recorded about local conditions, and extensive ground surveys were therefore
essential. The more general enquiry included: the present physical characteristics of the river;
the riparian agriculture; fishing in all its forms; and the influence of the Volta on present con-
ditions governing the two major lagoons, Songaw and Keta, which flank the estuary. The more
intensive survey included checks on production and consumption in the vicinity of Battor, a
village in the middle reaches (see map facing page 56). The consulting engineers also carried
out several technical enquiries for the Commission.
346. The collection of this information would be an essential step in preparing to deal with
the claims for compensation which would undoubtedly arise where cases of direct financial loss
resulting from the changes in the flow of the river could be established. Failure to obtain this
data could create a situation in which the Gold Coast Government and the Volta River Authority
were later faced with a large number of claims for compensation for alleged loss-not all of which
might be justified, but which might be very difficult to refute. (On a more positive approach,
the information gained from the surveys could provide a sound foundation for plans for the
future development of the area.)
Responsibilityfor Dealing with the Problems
347. The Preparatory Commission has been informed that the Gold Coast Government
would assume administrative responsibility for dealing with the problems affecting the riparian
communities; it is hoped that the information collected by the Commission might be of value
to those who would ultimately have to deal with these matters.
The Inter-relationship of the Riparian Communities with Other Communities
348. As mentioned in paragraph 278, there is an affinity between the down-river commun-
ities and the groups of fishermen who now operate in the upper reaches of the Volta which would
be covered by the new lake. This factor would need to be taken into consideration when planning
action to mitigate the disadvantageous effects of the changed conditions both above and below
Volta River Project: Report
the dam site; the period of unsettlement would be eased as fishing continued to be a prominent
occupation in the Lower Volta and as fishing in the new lake became established.
B. PRESENT FEATURES'
349. The map facing this page shows the salient points along the river which are referred to
in this chapter. The dam site at Ajena is 13 miles above the rapids at Kpong which lie 6 miles
upstream from Akuse (the smelter would be situated about 5 miles away from this point). The
distance from Akuse to the sea is 54 miles. In the dry season the river from Akuse to the estuary
is relatively shallow and difficult for small craft to navigate. The rate of flow falls below i,ooo
cusecs; but when the floods come-the peak is normally in September or October-the river
rises very rapidly. The range of the flood over the last 19 years has varied from 125,000 cusecs
to 390,000 cusecs. It can be said that variability is the chief characteristic of the Volta River,
and this provides the background to the lives of the riparian communities who live along its
350. The banks of the river are usually steep and lofty except in the estuary. In the lower
reaches, sandy soil is the chief characteristic. As to vegetation, tall grasses predominate; virtually
no riverine forest remains. There are few trees. The most important feature of the Lower Volta
is a series of water channels lying behind the banks of the river, known locally as creeks. The
channels vary in respect of the time and the manner in which they receive water from the river.
They are important as fishing grounds, and in some places provide a source of fresh water to
351. The population of about 54,000 people is composed of several tribes with different
customs. The influence of the family remains strong. Land tenure, as usual in the Gold Coast,
is complicated and concepts vary with changing local circumstances. Boundaries are uncertain
and, as a result, land litigation about ownership is frequent when rights of property, such as the
creek fisheries, become valuable. All this emphasizes that it would be necessary to handle with
great care the problems which would arise as a result of the changed regime of the river, if
unsatisfactory economic, social and political effects were to be avoided.
352. Preliminary studies indicate that the soils in the riparian area are not very fertile.
However, only in a few localities is there a pressure of population on food production. The
incidence of migration is high; the main reason for this appears to be the comparative stagnation
of the local economy. The men mainly farm and fish; the women do not trade to the same extent
as in other parts of the Gold Coast. In addition to ordinary household duties, a considerable
number of them engage in the special form of oyster or clam fishing which is a characteristic of
the Lower Volta. The standard of education and health is about the same as the rest of the rural
parts of the Gold Coast, although there may be a little more malaria. The standard of housing
is somewhat lower than the average for the southern part of the country. Water supplies from
the Volta are good, but there has always been a problem in the vicinity of the estuary owing
to the predominance of salt throughout most of the year.
353. Bad communications have been a major factor in making the economy of the area static
if not stagnant. There are several river markets between Ada in the estuary and Akuse. The main
pursuits of the area are agriculture and fishing. .The most important crops are cassava and
groundnuts, but maize, sweet potatoes, and sugar cane are also produced. There are a few cattle.
At a broad estimate, the total value of agricultural production is about i16o,ooo a year.
354. The fishing industry is very important and presents a complex problem. There are three
main groups of fisheries:
(a) in the main stream;
(b) in the creeks; and
(c) the oyster fishing by women.
These are analysed in detail in Appendix VII. Of the three groups it is the creek fisheries
which would be most affected by the construction of the dam; catches are believed to be worth
about 65,ooo a year, and between one-third and two-thirds might be lost. Fishing in the main
stream is probably worth between 1I7,000 and 25,ooo00 a year; the oyster fishing is worth not
less than 25,000 per annum. Pledging is a common practice amongst the owners of the
creeks; many of them are thus deprived of their fishing rights, but receive instead relatively
LOWER REACHES OF VOLTA
Limits of high Volta floods ____________ --
Important fish channels X_ ___
River 9uage readings taken _ _ __ _
Land extensively exploited agriculturally --- ..
Soil samples taken ____________ X
Rainfall recorded_------___ _- AVE I ME
Scale 1:250,000 or /" 394 Miles
Miless 4 3 2 7 o 5
Efects of the Dam and Lake
C. THE TERRITORIAL SURVEY
355. A detailed survey of the river from the dam site to the sea is given in Chapter 4 of
Appendix VII. For the purposes of survey this stretch of the river was divided into three sectors;
the upper extended from Akuse to Battor, the central sector embraced the stretch from Battor
to Sogankope, and the lower sector covered the reach between Sogankope and the sea. The
lagoons at Keta and Songaw were considered separately. The map facing page 56 shows the area
covered by the survey.
Basic Needs in the Future
356. Two fundamental requirements would arise if the Project-were to be undertaken:
(a) It would be essential to preserve the present quality of the river water, and to protect
it from any danger of contamination as a result of effluents escaping from the smelter.
The aluminium companies have given an undertaking that the necessary measures to
prevent this would be introduced, and an appropriate clause would be included in the
Master Agreement (paragraph 669). Care would also need to be taken that the insect-
icides used as part of the health and sanitation programme (paragraph 400) did not
affect the purity of the river water.
(b) The quantity of water flowing downstream would need to be maintained at a flow which
preserved the present pattern of life amongst the riparian communities, and, in partic-
ular, safeguarded their supplies of drinking water.
357. These requirements need to be considered under three spearate conditions. First, during
the lake filling period, provision would be made by means of a regulating valve at the dam to
enable up to 5,000 cusecs of water to be released downstream whenever necessary. At present
the river drops to less than I,ooo cusecs in the dry season, but many of the effects of this low flow
are compensated by the annual flood. It would be necessary to ensure that up to 5,000 cusecs
could be released for whatever period of time was required in order to prevent undue penetration
of salt water. The most damaging effect of salt penetration would be to drinking water, with
secondary effects on fishing and agriculture. If the only essential requirement was the provision
of drinking water for a relatively short period, it might be cheaper to arrange for fresh water to
be conveyed to the communities rather than releasing it from the lake.
358. The second period would elapse between the time after the lake had filled and the ulti-
mate development to full power. During this period, the spillway which has been designed to
give flexibility in operation, would give considerable discretion in releasing water.
359. The third condition would arise at full production of power. The river would then have
a relatively stable flow at about 38,000 cusecs. A small flood might occur on the average about
one year in ten.
Installation of Flood-warning System
360. The consulting engineers have recommended that a flood-warning system should be
installed. This service combined with the method of spillway control should mean that the
future risk of exceptional flood would certainly be less than under present conditions.
Background to the Territorial Survey
361. It is these controlling factors-the three different stages of river flow and the necessity
for safeguarding the water-which provide the background for the territorial survey in the three
sectors of the river.
D. MAIN CONCLUSIONS OF THE TERRITORIAL SURVEY
362. In the upper sector it is considered there would be no danger of major changes so long
as the river water was not polluted. Clam fishing should be good during the lake filling period,
but during the years preceding the closing of the dam, studies should be carried out as to the
habits of the species. It should be possible to move the clam beds to satisfactory new sites.
363. As to agriculture, there would probably be little effect in the short term; over an appreci-
able period of time there might be some question of soil fertility being reduced. Under these
conditions small claims for compensation might arise.
364. The fishing creeks form the most important aspect of this sector. 174 individual channels
and ponds were identified during the Commission's surveys. Some of them would be lost, but
it is thought that production in a number of the more valuable creeks might be maintained,
or even improved, by deepening the existing channels.
Volta River Project: Report
365. Any effects on agriculture should be slight, and visible only several years after the new
conditions had developed.
366. The Commission identified 150 individual fishing creeks and ponds in this sector. The
total production of fish would undoubtedly suffer. The extent of the loss would depend on the
possibility of improving an important channel which already exists. The effects on this channel
of various river levels are still being studied. If they continue to show promise, further detailed
investigations should be carried out by qualified engineers, if a decision is taken to proceed
with the Project.
367. The consulting engineers have expressed the opinion that after completion of the dam
salt would no longer penetrate beyond the Volta estuary. This would help agriculture, and also
make the Volta suitable for drinking throughout the year in an area where hardship is now fre-
368. 70 individual fishing creeks and ponds were located; about half of these would un-
doubtedly be lost as a result of constructing the dam. Claims for compensation would arise here.
Keta and Songaw Lagoons
369. The Keta Lagoon lies about 20 miles to the east of the river mouth and is important lor
its production of onions (from an area of 8oo acres a crop worth 250,000 per annum is obtained)
and also as a source of salt. About 6,ooo tons of salt are at present produced in a good year, and
it is believed that this could be increased to 22,500 tons by the direct introduction of sea water.
After a careful investigation it is considered that neither onion growing nor salt production in
the Keta Lagoon should be adversely affected. Possibilities for improving production are under
consideration by the Gold Coast Government.
370. The Songaw Lagoon lies eight miles west of Ada. It is important mainly as a source of
salt production. The total amount of salt produced annually has varied between 500 and 10,000
tons. The consulting engineers believe that in order to achieve maximum production, sea water
should be brought in either through a sluice gate in the bar or pumped over it. This improvement
would be even more necessary if the Volta Project was undertaken, since the already high loss
by evaporation at Songaw would be aggravated by the absence of the flood water from the river.
Keta Sea Fishing
371. There is a valuable afafa fishing industry about ten to thirty miles east of the estuary.
A considerable amount of investigation has been made into the possible effects of the changed
flow of the river on this industry, but it is very difficult to predict in advance what the ultimate
results might be. This is a problem which would need to receive careful and constant study if
the Project was undertaken.
Erosion of the Coast
372. For many years a process of accretion and erosion has been taking place east of the
river mouth. The Gold Coast Government is watching this carefully. The consulting engineers
consider that the Volta Project would not materially affect the existing process.
E. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
373. The Commission considers that the reduction or even total elimination of the annual
flood would not be followed by any immediately apparent changes in agricultural production.
In the extreme condition of no further floods taking place, and no fertilizers being applied to the
soil, yields would undoubtedly decline over a number of years. It should be remembered, however,
that improved control of the river could provide better conditions for planned agricultural
374. The Commission has recommended to the Gold Coast Government that a small agri-
cultural staff should be appointed immediately to work in the area under review. Its main task
would be to obtain more information about actual conditions in this area and, in particular, to
study the influence of the annual flood on the surrounding country. The flow of the river would
not be changed until 1962 at the earliest, but no time should be lost in starting to obtain additional
information about current local conditions.
Efects of the Dam and Lake
375. The primary objective of any action taken by the Gold Coast Government should be
to alleviate any disadvantageous effects arising from the new river regime by introducing changes
beneficial to the farming communities as a whole rather than paying compensation to individuals.
Some specific cases of individual loss would probably arise, however, and they should be met
from the general fund recommended in paragraph 381.
376. It is much more difficult to forecast the effects of the changed flow of the river on fishing.
The oyster industry would probably not suffer, but additional studies should be carried out
before the dam was closed. Fishing in the shallow creeks and ponds would undoubtedly suffer.
The Commission has recommended to the Gold Coast Government that a small staff should be
appointed forthwith in order to obtain more information about actual conditions before the
flow of the river is changed. Again, it is considered that some of the losses might be com-
pensated by taking measures designed to assist the community as a whole rather than individuals.
In Appendix VII, which gives a detailed analysis of this problem, it is recommended that 350,ooo
would be a prudent estimate to provide for such measures. It should form part of the general
fund recommended in paragraph 381.
Keta and Songaw Lagoons
377. In general, the construction of the dam should not affect adversely production from
Keta Lagoon, but a supply of sea water into Songaw Lagoon would need to be introduced. It
would be for the Gold Coast Government to decide whether certain additional improvements
should also be carried out.
378. Health conditions amongst the riparian communities should not be affected as a result
of the changed conditions of the river. A more stable flow of the river would not be favourable
to the breeding of tsetse and S. damnosum (see Chapter 16). The incidence of malaria is already
high. The annual flood may impede the breeding of mosquitoes to some extent, but observation
indicates that it does not last long enough, nor is it always sufficiently extensive, to have a major
effect. The plans of the Gold Coast Government to erect a new hospital either at Adidome or
Sogankope should improve present conditions, and the hospital at the smelter township would
also provide additional facilities.
379. The quality of future water supplies should be assured by the smelter company preventing
effluents escaping into the river, and by the exercise of proper care in the application of insect-
icides as part of the control measures carried out to preserve health and sanitation. Adequate
quantities of water should be provided during the filling period by means of the regulating valve
with a capacity of 5,ooo cusecs; after the lake had filled the generation of power would auto-
matically ensure an ample supply of water.
380. Greater control over the river after the dam had been constructed should assist the
development of water transport, and a modest expenditure by the Gold Coast Government on
two or three secondary roads as part of the programme on which it has already embarked suc-
cessfully would bring a marked improvement in the present relatively bad communications in
the area. The development of roads around the smelter area would also provide additional
facilities, and the general result of these improved communications should be to increase economic
activity amongst the riparian communities.
381. The Commission has recommended that 500,000 should be accepted as the amount
which might prove to be required in order to mitigate the effects which could follow from the
construction of the dam, and to meet proven claims for compensation resulting from the changed
conditions. Of this, 350,000 is estimated as a possible liability in respect of fishing in creeks
and ponds. The balance would be available to meet the cost- (about 20,000) of staff to make
further investigations into fishing and agriculture between the present time and 1962 (the
earliest date for claims, which might continue to arise until as late as 1970), to meet claims for
loss of agriculture or fisheries, to make general improvements instead of paying individual
compensation, and to meet possible costs for widening channels or developing other facilities.
Volta River Project: Report
382. The Gold Coast Government considers that this sum of 500,000 should be a charge
on the Project; the matter would need to be resolved by negotiation when the future of the
Project was considered (see also paragraph 471).
PROBLEMS OF HEALTH AND SANITATION ASSOCIATED WITH
THE FORMATION OF THE NEW LAKE
A. INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL CONCLUSION
383. The great importance of the problems of health and sanitation which would arise from
the formation of the new lake has been fully recognized by all concerned with the Volta Project.
The Preparatory Commission, at the start of its work, made arrangements to advance and
elaborate the earlier investigations into these problems in which Professor Lewis Berner of the
University of Florida had played a leading part.
384. The Commission wished to ensure that a very careful survey was made into the effects
which the new lake might have on the health of people who would live in its neighbourhood
and, indeed, on the health of the country as a whole. In addition to defining the problems, the
Commission wanted to draw up a comprehensive plan for controlling the various diseases and to
assess its full administrative and financial implications. As well as this, it was desired to analyse
with special care the health problems which might arise in the temporary township at Ajena
and in the permanent township near Kpong. The principle followed was to ensure that the
Project would not cause any deterioration in the health of the people affected by the scheme.
385. With the agreement of the two Governments, the Commission invited the late Dr.
Andrew Topping, C.M.G., T.D., M.D., M.A., Ch.B., D.P.H., F.R.S.Ed., F.R.C.P., then Dean
of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Professor George Macdonald,
C.M.G., M.D., Ch.B., M.R.C.P., D.P.H., D.T.M., Director of the Ross Institute of Tropical
Hygiene at the same school, to visit the Gold Coast and report on the problems of lakeside
health and on those associated with the health of the labour forces. The latter problems are
dealt with in Chapters 9 and Io of this report and in Chapter io of Appendix XII.
386. Dr. Topping and Professor Macdonald were assisted in their work by the Gold Coast
Ministry of Health, by officers of the West African Medical Research Council and the Nigerian
Malaria Service, and by the United States Public Health Service. The Commission owes much
to all these officials, particularly to Dr. Topping and Professor Macdonald, and appropriate
acknowledgements are made in Chapter 44. The results of the investigations into the problems
of lakeside health and sanitation are recorded in Appendix VIII. The salient points in that
appendix are summarised in this chapter and they are given in some detail because of their
importance to the people of the Gold Coast.
387. It is desirable to state immediately the general conclusion reached by the distinguished
experts and specialists who have investigated these problems of health and sanitation. It is
"..... The creation of the new lake would bring with it many health problems. Some of
these can be envisaged at once and there would doubtless be others not now foreseen.
However, the state of medical knowledge is such that it is extremely improbable that
any problem would arise which could not be readily overcome, provided that a proper
combination of knowledge was brought to bear on it."
B. PRESENT CONDITION OF HEALTH IN THE AREA SUBJECT TO INUNDATION
Lack of Information
388. At present, there is insufficient knowledge about the state of health of the inhabitants
in the area subject to inundation, and its vicinity, to provide a basis for any subsequent state-
ment that the lake had not caused any deterioration in their health. One of the first duties of
Effects of the Dam and Lake
the medical organisation within the Volta River Authority, therefore, would be to establish a
datum line of the standard of health normally enjoyed.
389. The main diseases which now exist in the area and the proposed methods of control
are described in detail in Chapter 2 of Appendix VIII. The essential features are as follows.
390. The present incidence of malaria in the area is considered to approximate to that in
the rest of the Gold Coast. It is probable that the creation of the lake might encourage the
breeding of Anopheles gambiae and A.funestus. Some degree of clearance of marginal and emergent
vegetation might be desirable (and would in any case be necessary in connection with the
prevention of trypanosomiasis) and the primary method of control, subject to confirmation in
the light of trials now being carried out in Nigeria, would be by the use of residual insecticides.
391. The tsetse fly is numerous in the area which would be covered by the lake, but the
disease, trypanosomiasis (" sleeping sickness "), is relatively rare. The reasons for this are not
clearly understood and caution must therefore be exercised in forecasting events, but it would
be unjustifiable to predict an important increase in the disease due to the multiplication of
lakeside breeding places for the fly. The foreseeable risk is associated with the possible develop-
ment of the lake as a means of transport down which sleeve epidemics might be propagated
(primarily from the northern parts of the Gold Coast and adjacent French territories where the
disease exists on a serious scale), in a manner similar to their extension along the main routes
of land communication.
392. There is incontrovertible evidence from all parts of West Africa that outbreaks of
trypanosomiasis are eminently controllable, and a combined surveillance and control mechanism
is perfectly capable of detecting an outbreak in its very early stages and bringing it to a rapid
end. The means used would be largely drug treatment and prophylaxis. Some selective bush
clearance would also be necessary at points where lake ports developed, and the declaration of
certain Forest Reserves from which people would be excluded (as far as practicable) would also
be of assistance. Detailed recommendations are made in Appendix VIII.
393. For understandable reasons there has been more public concern in the Gold Coast
about the possibility of the Project increasing the incidence of onchocerciasis (known locally as
" river blindness ") than any other disease. It is therefore dealt with here at length. In this
particular case it can be emphasised again that the methods of control proposed in Appendix VIII
should not only prevent any increase in onchocerciasis as a result of the development of the
Project, but, in fact, make a material contribution to the improvement of the health of the
people throughout the lake area and below it.
394. Onchocerciasis already exists in a considerable degree in many parts of the lower Volta
valley and particularly in the ten miles above the projected dam and along the river below it
down to the lower end of the Kpong rapids. The incidence is severe; 68% of the total
population of Atimpoka immediately above the Senchi rapids are infected, including 92 %
of the adult males. Dr. M. H. Hughes, M.A., D.M., Dip.Batt., D.T.M.& H., has also
demonstrated that 26% of people become infected within 2 years of exposure, 65 % of people
become infected within 4 years, and 87 % within 6 years. Ocular lesions (" river blindness ")
do not occur with this frequency or rapidity, but evidence associating these with infection is
sufficient to make it imperative to regard the disease as of the greatest importance. Under
no circumstances should work on the Project be permitted to increase the incidence, and
labourers temporarily employed should not be exposed to any material degree of risk.
395. The influence of the lake would undoubtedly be to reduce or even eliminate totally
the breeding of Simulium damnosum (the fly responsible for transmitting the disease), within the
area inundated. It is beyond doubt that in this area the incidence of the disease would thus be
reduced. No special measures to deal with it are therefore indicated. Considerable advantage
would be gained by the local elimination of the disease and also by the resultant cutting off of
the focus between Ajena and Kpong from the main source of the disease in the north, thereby
making it possible to envisage its ultimate complete elimination from the Ajena/Kpong area.
396. Construction work itself is not likely to exacerbate the breeding of S. damnosum, but it
would undoubtedly bring large numbers of people into contact with it who might otherwise
escape. Special control measures to protect this population would therefore be necessary. It has
Volla River Project: Report
been suggested that the most appropriate measure would be by periodical examination of the
people concerned and the routine treatment of those found infected, but it seems much preferable
to choose the complete control of S. damnosum in the construction area even though it is consider-
ably more expensive.
397. The spillway could act as a S. damnosum breeding place unless it was so designed that
at all rates of overflow there was a uniform fast current down the surface of the spillway. It is
thought that a minimum velocity of 7.5 feet per second would be adequate, and the design for
the spillway ensures that this would be comfortably exceeded; the suitability of this velocity
should in the meantime be the subject of entomological study. Although the spillway should be
designed to achieve as rapid a flow as is possible, it is hoped that the process of chemical eradica-
tion of S. damnosum would prevent infestation of the spillway; should it occur despite these
precautions it is now well established that effective chemical control could be maintained.
398. The cut in the Senchi rapids should lead to a marked reduction in the S. damnosum
breeding in that stretch of the river, although it would of course leave the breeding below the
rapids and in the neighbourhood of Kpong as intense as it is now; however, there might be some
diminution later as a result of the cut in the Kpong rapids. The influence of controlling the
river flow so as to produce a generally uniform rate cannot be precisely foretold but it may be
expected that it would result in a material reduction in breeding. Although the introduction of
construction labour forces into the area would increase the numbers subject to exposure, the
general influence of the Project would be to produce an ultimate reduction in the incidence of
the disease and provide an opportunity for the local elimination of an extremely important pest.
399. The proposed methods of control are detailed in Appendix VIII and two separate
techniques are described. The first is the application of insecticides to the water with the object
of killing the larva in its aquatic stages. The second is the aerial application of insecticides
covering all breeding places along the banks of the river and on islands with the object of killing
the adult flies resting there.
400. The variation in the flow of the Volta makes further research necessary before it could
be decided whether larvicidal control would be completely successful, and this is being pursued
by the British Empire Society for the Blind (which has been kept informed of the work of the
Commission and its advisers in this field), by the Ministry of Health and Department of Fisheries
in the Gold Coast Government, and the Department of Zoology in the University College of
the Gold Coast. During this research, particular attention is being paid to the necessity for
ensuring that the application of insecticides would not have harmful effects on water used for
drinking purposes in the lower reaches of the river and the important fishing industry below the
dam (paragraph 356).
401. The aerial application of insecticides to vegetation would not, of course, be affected by
the state of the river. The economics of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft have been examined.
Helicopters appear to be the more suitable and though more expensive if used only for this work,
might also be employed for other purposes (paragraph I14). Aerial application would be more
costly than larvicidal control, and it is recommended that the simpler dry-weather method
should be tried for a year. If it did not succeed, the aerial technique should be introduced
immediately. It should be remembered that this second technique would not only control
S. damnosum, but it would also provide a general insect control in the neighbourhood of Ajena.
The estimates of cost provide for the more expensive technique.
402. This disease already exists in the Gold Coast and there is little doubt that the lake
would become infested. It could thus become a source of disease to people actually entering the
water in commonly frequented places though its effects would not extend beyond the margin.
A detailed programme of control has been prepared.
403. It would be most important to site the new villages required for resettlement at some
distance from the shores of the lake. The provision of fresh water and proper sanitary facilities
would reduce the need for access to the lake and reduce the dangers of disease. The programme
of control would provide for the constant surveillance of the lake in order to detect infestation,
snail control by means of molluscicides, and constant clearance of vegetation in recognized
places of access. Facilities for medical treatment should be provided as necessary.
404. Molluscicides are, in general, toxic to fish, and the effect of various concentrations and
of different methods of application is being studied carefully from this point of view; experiments
are also being made with the propagation of a small local fish which is an active predator of
snails. If successful, this technique might provide an alternative to chemical molluscicides.
405. The general programme of educating the public about bilharziasis will, of course, be
continued by the Gold Coast Government.
Effects of the Dam and Lake
406. There is no reason to forecast a possible exacerbation of any other conditions. Most
other conditions which could conceivably be increased by the creation of the lake such as
bancroftian filariasis, yellow fever, and dengue would, in any case, be adequately controlled
by the proposed malaria control scheme. There is the possibility that the alteration of water
levels and the consequent change in the nature of wells could induce a higher incidence of
guinea worm than is now present, but this could be avoided by the recommendations which
have already been made for the provision of adequate safe water in the new villages which would
be created. Despite this assurance there would have to be constant surveillance and the Medical
Survey Team working under the Lakeside Health Section (paragraph 411) should be capable
of recognizing the increase of any disease of importance.
Resettlement of People Living in the Lake Area
407. Reference is made in Appendix VIII to the precautions which would need to be taken
to preserve the health of the people after moving to new villages. While it would be very undesir-
able for unrestricted settlement to take place too close to the lake margin, it is recognized that
fishermen and farmers wishing to cultivate the exposed land around the lake would naturally
wish to live as close as possible to their place of work. The health of such communities would
require supervision from the Medical Survey Team. These facts have been taken into account
in preparing the plans for resettlement.
C. METHOD OF APPROACH AND ORGANISATION
408. Risk of disease has been envisaged in two distinct phases. The first-when the risk
would be greatest-has been described as the dynamic stage," and would extend from the
time when approval was given to proceed with the Project until (say) two years after the smelter
was in production. A second stage of routine control and maintenance would then commence.
Allocation of Responsibility
409. During the initial dynamic stage, when the principal risks would apply, arrangements
would be made with the Gold Coast Government and other authorities for the Health and
Safety Division of the Volta River Authority to execute or supervise all measures for the main-
tenance of health in the areas immediately affected. When that stage had passed, responsibility
for different aspects of health work would be assumed by the Gold Coast Government, the
aluminium companies and the Authority in accordance with the logical division of responsibility.
The responsibilities and duties of the Authority in this connection are contained in the draft
Bill at Appendix XVI.
410. The problems fall into two natural groups; those following the creation of the lake and
other measures of water management, and those following the aggregation of labour and the
development of townships. The organisation for dealing with the latter problems is described
in Chapter io of Appendix XII. It is only necessary here to consider the arrangements for
surveying and controlling lakeside health.
411. In order to do this it is recommended that within the Health and Safety Division of
the Volta River Authority there should be a Lakeside Health Section. Its functions should be
the continuous study and appreciation of the health state of the population, and of the factors
incidental to water management which might influence it in the neighbourhood of the lake and
the water controlled below it, and the control of the special hazards which water management
412. Originally, a survey unit should be established containing several workers, an
epidemiologist, aquatic biologist, entomologist, botanist, malacologist and chemist, though
ultimately on the analogy of the Tennessee Valley Scheme the unit might be reduced in size as
the implications of water development became better understood. These workers should be free
to study their problems, to survey, and to advise on control, without having executive functions
in this last respect, such work being undertaken by field officers. In addition, within the Lakeside
Health Section, there would, of course, be executive control teams to deal with specific diseases.
413. The organisation required to carry out the various techniques and measures of control
is detailed in Chapter 3 of Appendix VIII, together with estimates of cost. The vital factor in
Volta River Projecl: Report
achieving success would be the appointment of certain key personnel immediately a decision was
taken to proceed with the Project, and it would also be essential to ensure that the important
position of the director of the Health and Safety Division within the Volta River Authority was
recognized and safeguarded. (This has been done in the draft Bill reproduced as Appendix XVI.)
414. A timetable for carrying out health measures has been drawn up, and estimated capital
and operating costs for all aspects of the proposed control measures have been prepared. It is
estimated that the total cost of the Lakeside Health Section would be approximately 1I,I 6,00o
(excluding interest) during the construction phase of the Project, and about 135,ooo a year
thereafter. The estimates have been examined by Cooper Brothers & Co. who have accepted
them as reasonable on the basis of the technical recommendations proposed.
D. ACCEPTANCE BY THE GOVERNMENTS AND ALUMINIUM COMPANIES
415. The two Governments and the aluminium companies have accepted the recommenda-
tions and proposals made to deal with the problems of health and sanitation associated with
the formation of the new lake. The cost of the control measures would be borne by the Project.
AGRICULTURE, FORESTS AND FISHERIES
416. Although the effects of the Project on the agriculture, forests and fisheries in the area
subject to inundation, and on the general economy of the riparian communities living down-
stream from the dam, were surveyed in detail as part of the Commission's general consideration
of the problems of compensation and resettlement, it was recognized that the scheme, if under-
taken, would have wider repercussions on the agricultural sector of the national economy. An
appreciation was therefore made of the relationship of the Project to agriculture, forests and fish-
eries in the Gold Coast.
417. The primary responsibility for dealing with the many problems which would arise in
these fields would rest, of course, with the Gold Coast Government and the Commission's survey
(which is reproduced as Appendix IX) was therefore deliberately carried out on general lines
except where specific matters (e.g. supplies of food and firewood, land clearance) were directly
related to the Project, and therefore required more detailed investigation.
418. Agriculture today dominates the economy of the Gold Coast and will almost certainly
continue to do so for many years to come. The growing of cocoa is of vital importance to the
country, and, although the successful development of the Volta Project could be of great assistance
to the Gold Coast Government in reducing the present dangerous dependence on this one major
export (see paragraph 542) as well as bringing other advantages, it is apparent that the greatest
emphasis must continue to be placed on the further expansion and improvement of agricultural
419. The Project would clearly cause some losses in the agricultural sector, but it should also
provide great opportunities for increasing the growth of the fishing industry (thus helping to
reduce the national deficiency in proteins) and for developing certain types of agriculture.
Efects of the Project
420. There are five main areas in the Gold Coast where agriculture, forests, and fisheries
would be affected in varying degrees as a result of the introduction of the Project:
(a) the area subject to inundation;
(b) the area occupied by the riparian communities living downstream from the dam;
(c) the dam site at Ajena and the smelter site at Kpong;
(d) the new mines in the Aya/Yenahin area;
(e) the new port at Tema.
421. The effects of the Project in the first two areas have already been described in Chapter
14 and Chapter 15. In the case of the former it can be said that a large part of the 3,000 square
miles of land which would be permanently inundated is relatively poor and unexploited; and the
loss would be offset in a large measure by the possibilities for growing crops around the margin
of the lake and of developing a fishing industry in it. A total of about 6,ooo acres of cocoa would
be lost, but much of this is in poor condition and many of the soils are marginal. Considerable
stands of oil palms in one sector form the only other crop of economic significance.
Effects of the Dam and Lake
422. In the second area, the riparian communities living downstream from the dam should
suffer very little loss in their farming, but there would be some damage to fishing since various
creeks and ponds would no longer receive replenishment from the annual flood. Production from
the Keta and Songaw Lagoons should not be seriously affected, but provision would have to be
made for the introduction of sea water into Songaw.
Supplies of Local oodstuffs -
423. As to the other three areas, the effect of the Project should be to stimulate agriculture
in the districts surrounding the mines, the dam and the smelter, and the demands for food from
the new populations should be met without difficulty. The further development of the Govern-
ment's present programme of feeder roads in the Krobo area (where the smelter would be built)
would undoubtedly encourage agricultural production, and the Commission has recommended
that the Government should place particular emphasis on the development of this part of the
Gold Coast, for the Krobos are renowned for their industry as farmers. At Tema there is little
prospect of food requirements being met locally, but they should be capable of satisfaction from
other sources which at present supply Accra. Increased production by the Krobos could un-
doubtedly play an important part in meeting these demands, as well as those of the smelter
Reserve Supplies and Availability of Meat and Fish
424. A reference is made in Appendix IX to arrangements for providing alternative sources
of food, and to additional steps which could be taken to increase the supplies of meat and fish
required for the high protein diet recommended for the labour forces during construction (para-
425. An appreciable supply of firewood would be required for the labour forces at the dam
and smelter sites, both during the construction and operating phases of the Project. The four
forest reserves referred to in paragraph 309 would be inundated by the new lake, and recom-
mendations are made in Appendix IX for the extraction of wood from two of them in advance
of flooding. Once more, the further extension of the Government's programme for the develop-
ment of feeder roads would be an essential factor in this process.
426. After the lake had formed, two areas covering 172 square miles north-west of the present
junction of the Volta and Afram Rivers would become virtually isolated. This land is covered
with savannah and small strips of riverine forest. It is recommended that the areas should be
turned into forest reservations and ultimately used to meet the long-term requirements of the
427. The staff recommended (paragraph 330) for dealing with compensation and resettle-
ment in the inundated area includes two forestry officers who could organise the utilisation of
the existing forest reserves as well as the introduction of new reserves. These officers could also
give attention to the provision of shade and fruit trees in the new resettlement villages.
Erosion and Conservation
428. It is not anticipated that serious problems would arise either in the field of erosion or
of conservation, but these matters are considered in Appendix IX, together with a recommend-
ation that consultation with the French Authorities should be maintained as part of a general
policy of facilitating conservation throughout the watershed area, of which 59% lies outside the
Gold Coast. The existing legislation in the Gold Coast gives the Government adequate power to
take whatever steps might be necessary to preserve and reclaim land, to protect sources of water,
and to facilitate conservation.
Clearance of Vegetation
429. There would be several advantages if widespread clearing could be undertaken before
flooding commenced. In any case, a restricted amount of clearance would be essential for reasons
of health and sanitation and to facilitate inland navigation. These needs are discussed in Append-
ices IX and X. Practical and economic considerations rule out the possibility of complete clear-
ance. There are about 50 square miles of riverine forest in the area subject to inundation and a
sample count in one square mile showed 133,666 trees and saplings, about 2,ooo ranging from
6 ft. to over Io ft. in girth. The rest of the area can be broadly classified as savannah woodland,
and a sample count there indicated an incidence of just under 100,000 trees and saplings in a
square mile-one-third of which were from i ft. to 5 ft. in girth.
Volta River Project: Report
430. The Commission carried out an experiment in clearance, and also obtained information
from other authorities about their experience in using various methods for removing the growth,
so as to judge relative effectiveness and to ascertain costs. Detailed reference to this is made in
Appendix IX, and it is apparent that the cost of clearing the entire area subject to inundation
would be economically prohibitive. At a later stage, however, some part of the lake margin might
be cleared in order to assist agricultural production.
Major Opportunities for Increased Food Production
431. There would be three major opportunities for increasing the local production of food as
a result of the introduction of the Project. The first would be an opportunity for agricultural
development along the margins of the lake-some 2,000 miles in length-but it would take time
to find the necessary farmers and, where necessary, to acquaint them with new techniques: the
preservation of their health would also require careful consideration. The second opportunity
would exist in developing large scale fisheries in the new lake, and the third possibility would
arise in the field of irrigation.
Fisheries in the New Lake
432. The Commission was fortunate enough to have the advice of Dr. E. B. Worthington,
M.A., Ph.D., lately Secretary-General to the Scientific Council for Africa South of the Sahara,
about the fishery potential of the new lake. At a conservative estimate, it is considered that the
lake might produce 18,ooo tons of fish a year-an amount equivalent to the present total catch
off the sea coast. In 1954, the Gold Coast imported o1,8oo tons of tinned and smoked fish at a
cost of about 2 million.
433. Of course, it would take time to develop this great potential. A large number of additional
fishermen would be required, new techniques would have to be introduced, and a considerable
organisation for handling and marketing the catch would need to be built up. Health would
need to be safeguarded as well. There can be no doubt, however, that a new and appreciable
source of wealth for the people of the Gold Coast would be created.
434. A description is given in Appendix IX of the experiments which the Gold Coast Govern-
ment is already making with a view to irrigating the plains of Accra, which extend over some
1,5oo square miles. This area lacks water and as a result is sparsely populated. So far 1oo acres
have been brought under irrigation and various trials are being carried out. If successful, the
Government would consider extending the experiments to about 18,000 acres. Ultimately 2oo,ooo
or 300,000 acres might be covered, but that is of course a very long-term objective and entirely
dependent on the success of the earlier investigations.
435. Cost would not be the only factor in developing irrigated farming. Additional manpower
would be required, and it would be necessary to ensure that the farmers would be willing to adapt
themselves to entirely new methods. All this suggests that the basic problem should be approached
with great care and particular consideration paid to the human element.
436. It has been suggested that fertilisers should be produced in the Gold Coast by using
part of the power from Ajena reserved for local use (paragraph 85). The suggestion raises many
technical and economic issues and the Gold Coast Government is now making preliminary
enquiries into the proposal.
CONCLUSIONS AS TO THE EFFECTS OF THE DAM AND THE LAKE
437. The Commission considers that the local effects of the dam and lake could be dealt with
satisfactorily, assuming that the Gold Coast Government arranged for the immediate establish-
ment of an effective organisation to deal with compensation and resettlement in the area subject
to inundation, and with the effects of the changed river conditions on the riparian communities;
and assuming that the Volta River Authority implemented the plans and recommendations made
in this report for dealing with the problems of health and sanitation.
Financial and Economic
FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS: INTRODUCTION
438. The Commission's study of the financial and economic aspects of the Project represented
the second stage of its work. Particular care was taken in analysing the various problems in this
field for it was appreciated that any of them might influence decisively the scheme's prospects
of successful development. The results of the Commission's enquiries are contained in Appendix
XIII; the most important features are summarised in this part of the report.
439. The first requirement was to establish realistic estimates for the five component parts of
the Project, and for those capital works which the Gold Coast Government would need to carry
out simultaneously. Chapter 20 describes the method of approach to these estimates and the
fundamental assumptions on which they were prepared, and sets out a summary of the estimates
themselves, with some explanatory notes.
44o. The annual charges arising from the Project are dealt with in Chapter 21 which also
shows the estimated cost of power at the various stages of development. The determination of
railway freight rates and certain other factors influencing the cost of aluminium production are
discussed in the same chapter.
441. Chapter 22 reviews the estimates in the light of general experience in recent years with
major construction projects in the Gold Coast and in other countries. It indicates that estimates
have often been substantially exceeded in the event, and in view of this the Commission recom-
mends that an allowance of 40% to 50% should be added to the estimates of capital cost when
considering the provision of finance for the Project.
442. External factors, such as rises in world prices, which might influence the cost of the
scheme are considered in Section A of Chapter 23, and their probable effects on its economics
443. Various internal Gold Coast factors which might influence the cost of the Project, such
as policy in regard to cocoa payments and wages, are reviewed in Section B of Chapter 23, and
their probable effects considered. The possibility of the Project itself creating an inflationary
trend in the Gold Coast economy is also discussed in this chapter.
444. The wider impact which the scheme might have on the Gold Coast economy is reviewed
in Chapter 24. Attention is drawn to the more important effects, but a detailed quantitative
assessment is not made since the Gold Coast Government has been advised independently on
this aspect by Professor W. Arthur Lewis, Ph.D., B.Com., M.A., L.H.D., Stanley Jevons Pro-
fessor of Political Economy at Manchester University.
445. Certain general economic considerations are discussed in Chapter 25, and the following
chapter summarises the Commission's conclusions as to the financial and economic aspects of
446. Elsewhere in this Report an appropriate acknowledgement is made of the most valuable.
assistance given to the Commission in dealing with these problems by officials in the British and
Gold Coast Governments, the consulting engineers, Cooper Brothers & Co., Aluminium Lab-
oratories, and Professor W. Arthur Lewis.
CAPITAL COST OF THE PROJECT
Method of Analysis
447. For the purpose of estimates the capital investment was considered under six main-
A. Dam and power installation and ancillary works;
B. All costs incurred in setting up the smelter and mines;
Gold Coast Government Financed
C. The new railways and improvements to existing railways required for the Project;
D. Other direct commitments arising from the Project;
E. Other possible investment arising from the Project;
F. Allied development expenditure (including the port of Tema).
Volta River Project: Report
448. A summary of these six estimates is given below in the following table:
SUMMARY OF ESTIMATES
Initial Stage Intermediate Stage Final Stage
m m m
A. Dam and Power
Installation 60.2 64.0 67.6
B. Smelter and Mines 43.1 57.9 91.2
Gold Coast Government Financed
C. Railways 15.9 16.6 18.1
D. Other Direct 2.5 2.8 5.0
E. Other Possible Investment
Arising from Project 1.5 4.2 Io.0
F. Allied Development
Expenditure 39.4 39.4 39.4
Total 59.3 63.0 72.5
TOTAL 162.6 184.9 231.3
Notes: (a) The estimates for the dam and power installation provide for Io% more electricity than the figures in the White
(b) The heading Allied Development Expenditure covers investment in port, town and road development which
the Gold Coast Government has already decided to undertake for the general benefit of the country irrespective of
the decision on the Volta Project The expenditure would therefore form part of the normal development programme
of the Gold Coast, but is included in the above table since all the works concerned would be essential for the
operation of the Project.
(c) All figures are based on 3oth September, 1955, prices, and make no allowance for rises during the construction
period in wages or materials costs. The addition of an extra allowance is suggested later in this Report, and adjusted
estimates appear in paragraph 520.
Responsibility for Preparing and Checking Estimates
449. For Estimate A the consulting engineers were responsible for the preparation of the
figures for the power development works although certain other items were derived from different
sources (e.g. the estimate of expenditure on health precautions in the lake area was obtained
from the studies of Professor Macdonald and Dr. Topping). Estimate B was provided by Alu-
minium Laboratories. For Estimate C the consulting engineers assessed the cost of new railway
construction, while the Gold Coast Government prepared the estimates for improvements to
existing lines and for the cost of locomotives and rolling stock. Estimates D, E and F are based
on figures provided by the Gold Coast Government.
450. Estimates A, B, and C would clearly be of decisive importance to the economics of the
Project and were therefore prepared with particular care. To supplement the work of the con-
sulting engineers, the Commission retained the services of Cooper Brothers & Co. for the scrutiny
of the power and railway estimates. Aluminium Laboratories also made an independent study
of the power estimates (which was fully discussed with the consulting engineers and Cooper
Brothers & Co.) in addition to their preparation of estimates for the smelter and mines which
was done in much more detail than would be their normal practice so many years before actual
The Work of Cooper Brothers & Co.
451. The report of Cooper Brothers & Co. is reproduced in full as Appendix XIV, and the
following letter indicates that the firm was in-general agreement with the method of investigation
adopted by the Comnmission, and endorses the power and railway estimates:
COOPER BROTHERS & CO.
14 GEORGE STREET, MANSION HOUSE, LONDON, E.C.4.
2nd November 1955.
Volta River Project Preparatory Commission,
VOLTA RIVER PROJECT
In your letter of 5th August, 1954, you requested us to examine and report on the
estimates of costs in respect of both capital and operating charges of the hydro-electric
Financial and Economic Aspects
project and of the capital charges relating to the new railways. The final estimates have
recently been completed by Sir William Halcrow & Partners and our report thereon
will be sent to you to-day.
2. You will see from the conclusion of our report that, accepting the technical found-
ation of the estimates as sound, we consider that the estimates examined by us have been
properly compiled and fairly represent the probable cost of the capital and operating
charges of the hydro-electric project and the capital charges relating to the new rail-
ways on the basis of prices, wages and other costs ruling at 3oth September, 1955. They
do not include any amount in respect of inflation which may occur after that date, a
study of which is contained in your report on the financial and economic aspects of
3. As you are aware we were associated with the Volta River Project before the appoint-
ment of the Preparatory Commission, having been asked by Sir Wilfrid Eady in 1951 to
advise the United Kingdom Treasury on the scheme. We have therefore followed the
work of the Preparatory Commission with much interest. We have been impressed by
the wide range of the Commission's investigations and the detailed planning of all
phases of the scheme. The work of the Commission, its enquiries, plans and recom-
mendations are now set out in a series of reports dealing in detail with all aspects of
4. The Commission has directed particular attention to human factors and a basic
policy making provision for the preservation of the family life and contentment of all
employed on the scheme has been adopted. The Commission has also recommended the
maximum use of modern mechanised methods during construction. This will reduce
the labour force required for construction and will simplify the attendant problems of
housing, feeding, health and other difficulties which might be expected in the rapid
assembly of a large population in an undeveloped area.
5. The various stages of the scheme have now been phased, as far as is practicable, to
follow the construction of services which are complementary to them, such as the port
at Tema and the new roads and railway.
6. We have not examined the estimates made by the aluminium companies of the
capital expenditure by the proposed smelter company or their estimates of the ability
of the smelter company to earn adequate profits. We understand that the United
Kingdom and Gold Coast Governments take the view, which we think is reasonable,
that the willingness of the aluminium companies to make a large investment in the
proposed smelter company is a sufficient assurance that the aluminium scheme will
7. In the light of our association with the scheme before the appointment of the
Commission and our knowledge of the work of the Commission, we have formed the
opinion that the scheme has now been carefully planned, and, on the assumption that
the proposed smelter company will be able to earn adequate profits (paragraph 6), is
Cooper Brothers & Co."
Work of Aluminium Laboratories on Power Estimate
452. Aluminium Laboratories, in their examination of the estimates for the dam and power
installation, prepared independent figures which were in very close agreement with those of the
consulting engineers. Aluminium Laboratories obtained different costs for certain individual
items which are dealt with later in this chapter, but the net result of their independent calcu-
lations was a total estimate about 700,000 less than that of the consulting engineers. The main
differences between Aluminium Laboratories and the consulting engineers are fully discussed in
the report of Cooper Brothers & Co. (Appendix XIV, paragraphs 48 to 51), who conclude that,
apart from three items where the differences virtually cancel each other there is a convincing
measure of agreement between Aluminium Laboratories and Sir William Halcrow & Partners."
General Approach to the Estimates
453. Throughout the investigations the Commission and all concerned with the Project were
resolved that estimates of cost should be prepared on a conservative basis, consistent with the
general approach to the Project described in paragraph 17. Fortunately very few problems arose
in the consideration of construction works and ancillary services where final decisions as to design
or financial responsibility could not be taken. In any case, they should not be difficult to resolve
during negotiations between the parties. If it was not possible to determine the choice between
alternative courses of action or methods of treatment then the more costly alternative was
assumed for estimating purposes.
Basic Assumptionsfor Estimating
454. For the purpose of planning it was assumed that construction for the first stage of the
Project would.start in 1957 and conclude in 1964. The estimates in this chapter and Chapter 21
are based on costs as at 3oth September, 1955. (Chapter 22 considers possible price movements
after this date.) They are also based on the site investigations and plans as they stood on the
same date. Site investigations have not been carried forward to the same degree for each com-
ponent of the Project. For example, the dam and power installation has been surveyed in very
considerable detail, but for the railways and the mines and smelter (where there would be time
to complete surveys after a decision had been taken to go ahead with the Project) the estimates
are not based on detailed bills of quantities. On the other hand, for many items in Estimate F,
such as the port of Tema, the actual contract price is known and is subject to variation only for
specific reasons listed in the contract.
455. The estimates would not be further refined until a decision was reached to go ahead
with the Project, when tenders could be obtained, and survey work completed for those items
which would follow later in the construction programme. The estimates are based on much more
detailed surveys than the earlier figures published in November, 1952, when it was recognized
that the risk of exceeding the estimates even by a substantial margin is not one which could
be removed from a scheme of this kind."' Although the estimates have now been prepared,
checked and rechecked, some qualification of this sort must still stand, and an examination of
factors which might lead to significant variation is included in later chapters. The estimates
tabulated in this chapter represent the cost of the Project, allowing an appropriate contingency
margin, if prices and wages were to remain at their present level and if progress in construction
were reasonably smooth. The result of a more cautious assessment of the future course of events
appears in Chapter 22.
456. It might be thought that the intensive investigation of the scheme which has now been
made would justify some reduction of contingency margins below the conventional figures. The
Commission considers, however, that no reduction would be prudent in view of the size, com-
plexity and duration of the Project, and the inevitable difficulties of launching a major con-
struction scheme in a country where no development of comparable size has previously been
undertaken. The estimates therefore include throughout a contingency element rather above the
normal; and for certain items, including those for which completion of surveys has been deferred
until a decision to go ahead with the scheme, a special addition to the contingency margin has
457. The estimates, which are summarized in paragraph 448, are set out in full with detailed
comment in Chapter 2 of Appendix XIII. The following paragraphs draw attention to the more
important aspects, and contain brief tables of the main items in each estimate.
ESTIMATE A: DAM AND POWER INSTALLATION
Preliminary Surveys 1.3
Dam and Power Station 26.6
Temporary Housing 4.9
Permanent Housing 0.3
Compensation and Resettlement 3.5
Volta River Authority 1.5
Lakeside Health Maintenance i.
Other Health Expenditure o.
Transmission Lines, Switchgear and Metering I.I
Contingencies and Engineering 6.8
Notes: (a) The cost of extension to the final stage would be 7.4 million, representing almost entirely the additional cost of
the power station, making a total of 67.6 million.
(b) The amount of power which the consulting engineers now estimate would be available from this installation is
about Io% greater than that originally anticipated.
SPara. 23 of Appendix II of the White Paper (Cmd. 8702).
Volta River Project: Report
Financial and Economic Aspects
458. 1.3 millions included for preliminary surveys largely represents expenditure already
incurred in successive stages of investigation into the power installation, by West African Alu-
minium Limited in the first place, then by the Gold Coast Government, and finally by the
Preparatory Commission on behalf of the two Governments. It has been agreed that these costs
would be chargeable to the-power scheme. The bulk of the expenditure under this heading
relates to the cost of engineering investigations.
459. The most important item in the estimates is the very large sum required for the main
works (26.6 million for the initial stage) of the dam and power station. The assessment of the
work involved in excavation and rock and earth movement is a major factor here, and affects
also many other items in the estimate which would depend on the size of the labour force and
the duration of construction. The estimate is built up on a conservative basis of machine per-
formance and workers' productivity, not assuming anything beyond proved achievement in the
Gold Coast wherever comparison is possible. The figures in question have been subjected to an
exhaustive examination by Cooper Brothers & Co. which is described in paragraphs 22 to 38
of their report (Appendix XIV). Aluminium Laboratories have also given special consideration
to this item and, while in broad agreement with the estimates for the dam and power installation
as a whole (paragraph 452), would have taken a higher unit cost for rock excavation, this being
in part offset by a lower rate for contingencies.
460. The estimate for the indoor power station is based on the design submitted by Mr.
G. A. Jellicoe (paragraph 71). The indoor station would be more costly than an outdoor type,
and the estimates for the first stage are about 330,000 higher (including contingencies, engin-
eering and interest). Each of the two later stages would require an additional 50,ooo.
461. The estimates for the main works include 500,000 for bonus payments to the contractor
on satisfactory compliance with an agreed timetable. This is to ensure that an adequate incentive
would be given to the contractor in view of the very heavy interest charges that would accrue if
there were any delay in completion after substantial investment had already been made. Interest
charges would accumulate not only on the dam and power installation, but also on the other
component parts of the scheme which could not become remunerative until power was available.
Aluminium Laboratories, while recognizing the vital importance of completion according to time-
table, would not themselves have included such a bonus in the estimates. The detailed arrange-
ments for the payment of any bonus would be discussed between the parties and incorporated
in the contract for construction (paragraph 696).
462. The estimate also includes 50,000 for special insurance that would cover the Volta
River Authority against the risk of loss caused by delay due to exceptional flooding. The risks
of damage to plant and equipment through flooding would be covered by the contractor in the
normal way. It would be for the parties to the scheme to decide whether to take out special
insurance against the risk of delay from such causes or to stand the risk themselves.
Temporary Township at Ajena
463. The cost of the temporary township that would accommodate the construction labour
force, together with a substantial proportion of families, and provide hospitals and schools for
the community, was estimated at 4.9 millions (excluding engineering, contingencies and
interest) by the consulting engineers. This estimate was based on certain recommendations about
housing standards that emerged from discussions in the Gold Coast during 1954 and 1955. The
temporary township would thus account for about 12% of the total of Estimate A for the first
stage. The main reasons for the high cost are the duration of the construction period, which leads
to the necessity of the recommended policy in regard to families (see Chapter 8); the timetable
of construction, which requires a high degree of prefabrication (which is relatively costly) in order
to provide housing in time for the rapidly increasing labour force; the general desire for satis-
factory housing standards; and the difficult nature of the only possible site within reasonable
distance of the construction area.
464. The aluminium companies have expressed reservations on the estimate for the temporary
township, and the estimate of Aluminium Laboratories assumes that the cost could be reduced
465. In view of the high cost of the temporary township the Commission has considered a
number of possible economies by the use of joint sites for construction forces (for the dam and
power installation and for the smelter) or for construction forces in the earlier phase and operating
2 This includes about 400,000 for recurrent costs of health and education services, and 800,000 for recurrent costs of
electricity, water, etc. The capital expenditure would be 3.7 million.
Volta River Project: Report
staff in the later phase; or by the use of certain joint facilities such as hospitals. However, such
economies are ruled out by the physical nature of the sites, or by the timetable of construction
which causes the periods of maximum employment on the construction of the dam and of the
smelter to overlap. The temporary township has therefore to be planned as a largely self-contained
unit. The net cost could, however, possibly be reduced by the collection of receipts such as rent
from construction workers and the residual values of buildings and equipment. It would be the
recommended policy to collect rents and to obtain the maximum residual value for all assets
relating to the township. At the same time experience indicates that it would be unwise to reckon
on too optimistic assumptions concerning receipts from the above sources; in accordance with the
Commission's generally conservative policy, no credit is assumed in the estimates.
466. In agreement with the two Governments and the aluminium companies, the Com-
mission in 1955 initiated further investigations into the temporary township by the firm of
Architects' Co-Partnership in association with Dr. O. H. Koenigsberger (see paragraphs 260 to
263). The main objective of this investigation was to achieve a substantial economy in the cost
of the township without departing from the basic policy of providing facilities for family life.
467. The financial results of this investigation showed that the original estimate of the
consulting engineers (4.9 millions) could be reduced by approximately 850,000. This saving
could be achieved principally as a result of some modification to standards of accommodation,
by different methods of construction and by a more compact town layout.
468. This further investigation showed that the original estimate could not be reduced in
other ways without virtually abandoning the policy for families advocated by the Commission.
This is discussed further in paragraphs 552 to 556.
Permanent Township at Ajena
469. The estimates include 340,000 for the permanent community that would be required
at Ajena for the power-station operating staff. The planning of this township was the subject of
independent study by Mr. Thomas Scott (paragraph 65) and the estimate is in accordance with
Compensation and Resettlement
470. The provision of 3,500,000 in the estimates is in accordance with the 1952 proposals
under which this sum would be the maximum charge on the power project. The reports on the
area subject to inundation and on the riparian communities downstream from the dam (Append-
ices VI and VII) estimate the cost of compensation and allied measures at approximately
4,ooo,ooo for the former area and 500,000 for the latter. Of the estimated total of 4,500,00ooo
the sum of 3,500,ooo has been included here for the power project. The I,000,000 representing
the excess of estimated compensation over the maximum previously agreed as chargeable to the
power project, has been assumed to be borne by the Gold Coast Government unless agreement
otherwise is negotiated between the parties, and is included in Estimate D.
471. The Gold Coast Government has expressed the view (paragraph 382) that the cost of
compensation, etc., below the dam (estimated at 500,000 of the total 4,500,000) should be
chargeable to the power project over and above the 3,500,ooo formerly agreed as the maximum.
The Government has pointed out that the disturbance to the riparian communities downstream
of the dam was not specifically considered in the course of the 1952 discussions, and that a fresh
issue is therefore raised. In addition, the Gold Coast Government has suggested (paragraph 336)
that the information now available justifies reconsideration of the earlier understanding as apply-
ing to compensation above the dam also, especially since the increased lake area would provide
the Io% addition to the power potential. These questions will need to be resolved in negotiation.
Volta River Authority
472. A sum of ,i 16,ooo is included in the estimates for the cost of measures necessary during
the construction phase to prevent any deterioration in health in the areas affected by the scheme.
The estimate is based on the recommendations of Professor Macdonald and Dr. Topping con-
cerning the problems of health and sanitation arising from the formation of the new lake, and
was included in the examination of the estimates by Cooper Brothers & Co. and endorsed by
473. In addition, a sum of I,5oo,ooo is included for the administrative and other costs
(excluding medical) of the Volta River Authority during the construction period. This sum in-
cludes an allowance for the essential staff who might be appointed to the Preparatory Commission
in the period before the Authority could be formally constituted (see paragraph 652).
Financial and Economic Aspects
Transmission Lines from Ajena to the Smelter
474. The high voltage transmission lines are estimated to cost 538,000; it has been assumed
that the shortest practicable route would be followed except in its approach to the Adomi bridge
where there is a diversion in order to comply with the general landscaping scheme as envisaged
by Mr. Jellicoe (paragraph 75). The extra cost of this diversion, about 34,ooo in the first stage
and a further 6,ooo in the intermediate stage (including contingencies, engineering and interest),
is included in the estimates. No further expenditure would arise at the final stage.
Switchgear and Metering
475. Final technical arrangements have not yet been settled for the sub-station at the smelter
end of the transmission lines from Ajena. The sum of 542,000 included in the estimate for switch-
gear and metering conforms with the arrangement by which the Authority would own the
equipment necessary for allocating current as between the smelter company on the one hand and
other Gold Coast consumers on the other. The aluminium companies would prefer an alternative
arrangement which they estimate would cost 60,000 less.
476. The estimates include 12,600,000 for accumulated interest up to 31st December, 1964.
In agreement with the two Governments a rate of 5% per annum has been taken for planning
purposes, but is not intended as an indication of the actual terms on which money would be
advanced, which would have to be negotiated between the parties. Differences in the rate of
interest would have an appreciable effect on the total construction cost as the following table
EFFECT OF DIFFERENT INTEREST RATES ON COST OF
DAM AND POWER INSTALLATION
First Stage of Development (80,000oo Tons)
Interest Rate 3% 4% 5%/ 6%
m m m m
Cost excluding interest 47.7 47.7 47.7 47.7
Interest 7.1 9.8 12.5 15.5
Total including interest 54.8 57-5 6o.2 63.2
Rates of interest would make an even greater proportional difference to the unit cost of power,
as will be seen in paragraph 510.
ESTIMATE B: CAPITAL COST INCURRED IN SETTING UP
THE SMELTER AND MINES
Scope of the Estimate
477. This estimate covers expenditure which the smelter company would incur on the
bauxite mines and village; the smelter and ancillary facilities; the township to be built near the
smelter; and certain installations at Tema which are envisaged as the responsibility of the smelter
company. The costs have been computed by Aluminium Laboratories on the same general
assumptions as the other estimates for the Project. The estimate is summarised below, and
attention is drawn in the following paragraphs to certain items of special interest.
ESTIMATE B: SMELTER AND MINES
Initial Stage Extension to Total at
Final Stage Final Stage
m m m
Bauxite Mines and Village
Smelter and Ancillary Facilities
Installations at Tema
2.8 0.7 3-5
32.7 38.3 71.0
6.2 8.5 14.7
1.4 0.6 2.0
43.1 48.1 91.2
Housingfor Construction Force
478. It is proposed that the majority of construction workers would be housed in the perm-
anent township described in the next paragraph, which would be built sufficiently early for that
purpose and would provide a proportion of family accommodation. The permanent township,
however, would not be large enough to house the whole of the construction force, and the alu-
Volta River Project: Report
minium companies have based their estimates on the assumption that the remainder would be
accommodated in temporary dormitories with cubicles. Some doubt has been expressed in the
Gold Coast about the general acceptability of dormitory accommodation, and Aluminium
Limited have stated that they would be prepared to review the proposal if housing in dorm-
itories should prove clearly unacceptable.
479. The estimates for the permanent township correspond with the plans advanced on behalf
of the aluminium companies by the town planning consultants, Mayer and Whittlesey, and con-
sidered generally acceptable by the Gold Coast Government (Chapter i1). The exact details of
housing standards would be settled during negotiation as has been noted in paragraph 244.
480. The estimates for the permanent township include all items which are visualized as the
responsibility of the smelter company. During discussion of the problems of the smelter township,
it was generally agreed that it should be planned to include an appreciable proportion of workers
other than those employed in the aluminium industry in order to avoid the recognized dis-
advantages associated with the formation of a company town (paragraph 240). The financial
consequence of this agreement was that the companies accepted responsibility, for planning pur-
poses, for the cost of all houses for the employees of the smelter company, and initial financial
responsibility for all services for the township (the intention would be for the services ultimately
to be transferred on agreed terms to the local authority for the smelter township).3
481. The Gold Coast Government has agreed for planning purposes to accept the ultimate
financial responsibility for those houses in the township which would be used to accommodate
people other than employees of the smelter company, although the Government's intention would
be to allow the maximum participation in the development of non-company housing by private
finance or non-Government corporations. Estimate B includes the smelter company's share of
township costs in accordance with the above agreement, and the potential liability of the Gold
Coast Government is allowed for under Estimate E.
Installations at Tema
482. The estimate for the smelter company's installations at Tema includes 125,000 for
facilities for receiving and holding oil at the port during the first stage of aluminium production.
The remaining 1,250,000 covers miscellaneous handling and storage equipment for special
cargoes such as petroleum coke imports and aluminium exports. The Gold Coast Government
and the companies have agreed to explore the possibility that the Government would make
berthing capacity and storage areas available for the exclusive use of the industry on suitable
terms, and that the smelter company would itself instal and operate the port equipment which
it regarded as best fitted for the aluminium industry. The companies' estimate for port equip-
ment is included here accordingly.
ESTIMATE C: CAPITAL COST OF THE RAILWAYS
Scope of the Estimate
483. This estimate includes provision for all new railway construction required for the Project
(as described in Chapter 5) including the tunnel on the line between Koforidua and the smelter;
for necessary improvements to existing lines and ancillary facilities; and for locomotives and
rolling stock. It is summarized below.
ESTIMATE C: RAILWAYS
Initial Stage Extension to Total at
Final Stage Final Stage
m m m
New railways 10.5 10.5
Improvements to existing railways 3.1 3.1
Locomotives, rolling stock, etc.4 2.3 2.2 4.5
15.9 2.2 18.
484. The basic assumptions about wages and productivity are the same as those adopted for
the dam and power installation (paragraph 459). The provision of housing, medical services, etc.
would be on a more modest scale, however, in view of the mobile nature of railway construction,
and the consequence that few families would be expected to settle near construction sites. Con-
ditions would, of course, need to be sufficiently attractive to maintain stability and productivity of
the working force and to safeguard their health.
3 Certain variations in the proposals for financing public utilities have been discussed, and the detailed arrangements would
be settled in negotiation.
4 See footnote to para. 99.
Financial and Economic Aspects
485. The estimates for improvement of existing facilities provide for the reinforcement of the
present line from Kumasi to Koforidua, the most important item being the replacement of the
existing 60 lb. rail by 80 lb. rail. This replacement would be essential if the heavy traffic of the
Project were to be successfully carried in addition to present traffic.
486. It should be noted that major sections of new railway construction have been successfully
carried out in the Gold Coast during the past two years. The consulting engineers, with the
assistance of Cooper Brothers & Co. and of the Gold Coast Railways and their technical con-
sultants, were thus able to study the actual costs of building the new railways from Achiasi to
Kotoku, from Tema to Shai, and from Accra to Tema. These lines provide examples which should
be a good guide to the construction of the Volta Project railways.
Choice of Routes for New Lines
487. The routes on which the estimates of Io.5 million for the new lines are based-with
one exception-are those which on technical grounds would appear to be the most economic.
For example, three routes were surveyed between Koforidua and the smelter, and the Engin-
eering Report gives the reasons why the recommended route (with the 2-mile tunnel) is expected
to be the cheapest in spite of its higher capital cost. The only exception is the route followed in
the immediate surroundings of Kumasi, where a link by-passing the town to the south has been
used in the estimate instead of a more direct approach further north and passing nearer the centre
of the town. The northern route, however, would raise objections from the town-planning point
of view, and while the decision would be for the Gold Coast Government to take, the Commission
has based the estimate on the more costly alternative; the additional capital expenditure thus
incurred is estimated at about 5oo,ooo, and the additional annual operating costs at 6o,ooo.
488. Interest has been computed at 5% per annum, as for the dam and power installation.
In order to minimize the total interest charges, the installation of permanent way would not be
undertaken immediately after completion of earthworks but would be deferred until later. Interest
has been assumed to accumulate up to the end of 1964 except for those lines which would be
brought into general use at an earlier date.
Locomotives and Rolling Stock
489. The estimate for locomotives and rolling stock amounts to just over 4 million, of which
rather over half relates to the movement of bauxite from mines to smelter, and the remainder to
the movement of the aluminium industry's imports and exports between Tema and the smelter.
The estimates for the latter traffic assume that no economies could be achieved by the design of
a wagon that could carry petroleum coke inwards and aluminium ingot outwards; if a suitable
wagon could be produced as the Commission has suggested, the estimates might be reduced.
ESTIMATE D: GOLD COAST GOVERNMENT: OTHER DIRECT COMMITMENTS
ARISING FROM THE PROJECT
Scope of the Estimate
490. Of the three estimates of Gold Coast expenditure arranged under the headings D, E, and
F, this is the only one that can properly be regarded as relating solely to the Project. The second
and third headings each have wider implications, and expenditure under those headings would
be undertaken on general grounds of national policy. Estimate D includes only items of direct
expenditure to which the Gold Coast Government would be unavoidably committed if the Project
ESTIMATE D: OTHER DIRECT COMMITMENTS
Initial Stage Extension to Total at
Final Stage Final Stage
m m m
I. Compensation and resettlement
(excess over 3. 5m) 1.0 1.0
2. General expenditure on
establishment of new
communities 1.5 2.5 4.0
2.5 2.5 5.0
491. The amount for compensation and resettlement is included on the basis of the earlier
arrangements under which the maximum liability of the power project would be 3.5 million.
If the review of this arrangement (paragraph 471) were to lead to an increase in the agreed charge
to power, the amount in this estimate would be correspondingly reduced.
Volta River Project: Report
492. The general expenditure for the new communities represents the cost of providing in the
new townships, both temporary and permanent, those services which are normally the respons-
ibility of the central Government, such as the installation of postal services, and the provision of
accommodation for police.
493. Allowance is also included for expenditure on maintaining and improving the standards
in the existing communities adjacent to the smelter area which would necessarily be affected by
the Project, and which could in turn prejudice conditions in the smelter township (paragraph 247).
494. It is not possible to make precise estimates of the expenditure under these various com-
mitments; in particular, an accurate assessment of the cost of necessary measures in the area
surrounding the smelter could not be undertaken until the Gold Coast Government had com-
pleted the survey of the area, which has been recommended by the Commission.
ESTIMATE E: GOLD COAST GOVERNMENT: OTHER POSSIBLE INVESTMENT
ARISING FROM THE PROJECT
Scope of the Estimate
495. The Project would provide the Gold Coast Government with certain obligations and
opportunities to maintain or improve standards, and to develop the economy. Investment under
this heading would be undertaken as a rule only if the Government was satisfied that the results
would justify the outlay.
496. An approximate assessment was made of the potential commitment on those items which
would be immediately foreseeable. Much larger figures would be involved if decisions were taken
by the Government to proceed with large-scale irrigation works, the development of the hydro-
electric scheme at Bui, or the construction of an extensive electricity transmission system.
ESTIMATE E: OTHER POSSIBLE INVESTMENT
Initial Stage Extension to Total at
Final Stage Final Stage
m m m
navigation, etc. 0.5 5.0 5.5
(mainly at smelter) 1.o 3.5 4.5
1.5 8.5 0o.o
497. The creation of the lake, and the change in the water regime below the dam, would
provide the Government with opportunities to develop a number of possible activities in the fields
of agriculture, fishing, and navigation, as indicated in Appendices IX and X. The possible com-
mitment in respect of permanent housing arises primarily at the smelter township where its amount
would depend on the extent to which private persons ard bodies and non-Government corpora-
tions financed the building of those houses that would not be occupied by smelter company
employees. If the Government's policy were successful (paragraph 481), the above estimate might
be considerably reduced.
ESTIMATE F: GOLD COAST GOVERNMENT:
ALLIED DEVELOPMENT EXPENDITURE
Scope of the Estimate
498. This heading comprises substantial expenditure, to which the Gold Coast Government
is already committed, on the development of a port and a new township at Tema, and on the
construction of certain roads (see Chapter 4). These commitments have been accepted by the
Government as part of the normal development of the country irrespective of the decision on the
Project. The works would, however, be essential for the execution of the scheme, and the ex-
penditure is included here, and in the summary of estimates at the beginning of the chapter, in
order to present a full picture of the possible financial commitment of the Government arising
from the Project and associated development works, and in order to record accurately the extent
to which the Government would contribute towards the success of the Project.
ESTIMATE F: ALLIED DEVELOPMENT EXPENDITURE
Port of Tema
First stage (including preliminary works and port equipment) 14.9
Second stage 4.0
Tema township 1.1
Roads and bridges 9.4
Financial and Economic Aspects
GENERAL COMMENTS ON ESTIMATES
Subjects for Further Consideration or Negotiation
499. It may be useful to list the main factors affecting the estimates which have not yet been
resolved completely. It does not appear to the Commission that they should be unduly difficult
to settle, and some of them may well compensate each other. The financial implications of the
differing approaches to items (a) to (h) are small in relation to the estimated cost of the Project
and would not affect its economic feasibility:
(a) the precise standard of temporary housing to be provided for construction workers at
(b) the precise standard of permanent housing in the smelter township;
(c) the architectural and landscaping treatment of the power station and the transmission
(d) the technical arrangements at the Kpong sub-station;
(e) the apportionment of the cost of compensation and resettlement (i million is included
as a charge to the Gold Coast Government in the present estimates);
(f) the arrangements for compensation water;
(g) the choice of the approach route for the bauxite railway to Kumasi from Aya;
(h) possible economies in rolling stock by the design of a wagon for both imports and exports
of the smelter;
(i) the terms on which money would be advanced for financing construction (paragraph
Comparison with the White Paper Figures
500. The following table compares the estimates now presented with those which appeared
in the 1952 White Paper:
Smelter Capacity 80,ooo tons 2o0,000 tons 210,000 tons
1952 1955 1952 1955 1952 1955
m m m m m m
I. Power Project (a) 45.5 6o.2 49.5 64.0 54.0 67.6
2. Smelter and Mines 29.0 43.1 39.0 57.9 64.0 91.2
3. Gold Coast Government
Public Works (b) 26.0 59.3 26.0 63.0 26.0 72.5
4. Total (c) 100.5 162.6 114.5 184.9 144.0 231.3
Notes: (a) The 1955 estimates for item I provide for io% greater power than the 1952 figures.
(b) The 1952 and 1955 estimates for item 3 do not cover identical fields, as explained in paragraph 502. The figures
for item 3 of the Table cannot therefore be exactly compared in the same way as those for items I and 2. This is
reflected in the total figures.
(c) If the amounts in Estimate F are excluded from the total costs (on the grounds that they form part of the national
development programme to which the Gold Coast is already committed) the totals for the three stages become
123 m., 146 m., and 192 m. respectively.
Reasonsfor Increases in Estimates for Power Project and Smelter
501. The estimates have increased since 1952 mainly because the further investigations since
then have shown that the full implications of the Project were not in all respects foreseen at
that time. For example:
(a) full account has now been taken of the commitment in housing the labour forces and
providing health and other services for them;
(b) the cost of overcoming the lakeside health problems has now been calculated (in 1952,
the enquiries necessary for making this assessment had not been carried out);
(c) a few new elements, such as port equipment at Tema to be provided by the smelter
company, are now included;
(d) the estimate for the power installation now provides for generating capacity Io%
greater than originally planned;
(e) rises in prices of plant, machinery and materials are other contributory factors.
The increases for the power project have been offset to some extent by the deletion of the addit-
ional safety margin of 15% included in the 1952 estimates (White Paper, Appendix II, para-
graph 22; the White Paper is reproduced as Appendix I). The further surveys and the more
Volta River Project: Report
detailed work on engineering design carried out since 1952 have removed the main reason for
the original inclusion of this additional margin. The provision of an allowance in all the estimates
so as to take account of future rises in cost and of other factors is discussed in Chapter 22.
Comparison of Gold Coast Government Estimatesfor Port, Roads, Rail, etc.
502. As stated in note (b) to the table in paragraph 500, the two estimates under this heading
are not comparaBle. The 1952 estimate covered the new railways, some roads, and the port and
township of Tema. The 1955 estimates include in addition expenditure on new trunk roads, some
housing at the smelter township, and certain other items not foreseen in 1952. Even the estimates
for the railways and the port of Tema are not strictly comparable, since the 1952 figures excluded
any allowance for locomotives and rolling stock, for improvements to the Kumasi-Koforidua line,
or for the second stage of the port of Tema.
503. The estimates for the new lines, for which 5 million was included in the 1952 figures,
now stand at 1o.5 million; this increase is partly due to the fact that in 1952 there had been no
recent experience of constructing railway lines in the Gold Coast, and actual costs in the past
two years have proved to be substantially higher than forecast. Moreover, the detailed surveys
have shown that certain of the routes for the new railways lie in very difficult country.
Provision of Finance
504. The provision of the necessary finance for the power project and smelter is a matter on
which the parties would wish to negotiate within the general framework of the earlier discussions
recorded in the White Paper. No attempt is made here to set out the sources from which the
funds corresponding to the new estimates would be forthcoming, nor the total finance that might
be required from each party. Special mention of the financial resources of the Gold Coast Govern-
ment in relation to the possible extent of its participation in the Project is made in paragraph 534.
ANNUAL CHARGES ARISING FROM THE PROJECT
Cost of Power
505. Estimates were made by the consulting engineers and endorsed by Cooper Brothers
& Co.' of the unit cost of electricity delivered at the smelter from the dam and power installa-
tion. These estimates are based on the figures of capital cost discussed in the previous chapter
and on an assessment of the annual cost of operation including the expenses which would be
incurred in the maintenance of health around the lakeside (estimated by Professor Macdonald
and Dr. Topping at I35,ooo a year).
506. Allowance is made for the amortisation of capital and the renewal of assets. Briefly the
intention is that at the end of 80 years from the beginning of operation all loans should have
been repaid, and all physical assets should have been renewed or appropriate amounts should
be available in renewals funds. (See Annex B to Appendix XIII).
507. It is assumed for the purpose of determining the cost of power that all available firm
power would be used, and that it would be sold at the same price both to the smelter company
and to the organisation supplying other consumers. In fact, a formula is under consideration
which would take into account such elements as the load factor, so that the smelter company
(following usual practice) would pay a lower price per unit than other consumers using electricity
less continuously. Another formula is being worked out for the payment for irrigation water,
but no credit to the Authority from this source is assumed.
508. On the assumptions set out above the cost of power at the substation would be as follows:
Pence per Unit
First Stage 0.378
Intermediate Stage 0.245
Final Stage 0.199
The above figures are based on prices as at 3oth September, 1955, and on an interest rate of 5 %.
The effect of possible increases in the general price level and certain other factors is discussed in
later chapters. It should be noted that the cost of power diminishes very substantially with
increasing aluminium production, the cost at the final stage being little more than half the cost
at the initial stage. The reason is that the bulk of the capital expenditure on the dam and power
installation would be incurred in the construction of the dam before any power at all could be
I See Appendix XIV, paragraphs 59 and 60.