As a transparent and charitable non-profit organization in Ghana West Africa we focus on providing long-term sponsorships and educational opportunities to our communities and stand up for the human and environmental rights of Ghanaians and their communities. Our goal is to create sustainable change and development in Ada, Volta and all communities along the Volta lake and river and impacted by the Akosombo dam and VRA resettlement in Ghana.
volta revival foundation beginings
The Volta Revival Foundation was founded by Monique Vandenbroucke and Mershack Kabu Aklie. Monique has family roots in Ghana, her grandfather Jean worked as an engineering manager on the Akosombo Hydroelectric dam in the 1960’s, while studying the impacts of the dam downstream, Monique and Mershack met in Ada, at the estuary where the Volta river meets the Gulf of Guinea. After meeting and speaking about the many effects of the dam, and the additional problems facing the people along the Volta delta, Monique and Mershack decided to form an organization for the purpose of supporting and aiding rural and primarily impoverished communities along the river in lake and those resettled due to the construction of the Akosombo and Kpong dams. Additionally, they decided that the issues of educational opportunity, environmental protection, human rights, health and sanitation and economic opportunity were to be of paramount importance in the organizations projects, and adopted the phrase ‘together we make a difference!’ to express the optimism of a grass-roots community revival in all areas of development, and especially for those most in need. The organization prioritizes communities, educational institutions, and individuals with the least amount of resources and opportunities in order to be of the greatest benefit to the communities we serve.
History of the dams
In 1962 independent Ghana-- partnered with VALCO (Kaiser aluminum and Reynolds aluminum) and IMPREGILO construction company –began to build the Akosombo dam, the first of three hydroelectric dams to be built in Ghana by the 1990’s. The Volta basin began to fill in 1964, eventually extending to a length of 250 miles creating the largest man-made lake by surface area in the world. In the process 28 construction workers died, 738 villages were drowned and 80,000 people displaced. Additionally, the eco systems and livelihoods downstream were largely wiped-out making to total impacted area more than 1 million people whose lives were completely altered becuase of both the Akosombo and then the Kpong dam projects.
50 years later, visiting the resettlement towns and making connections with the communities downstream; we have seen and discussed the current situation in many of the communities: Rural placement, poor roads, lack of industry and job opportunities, high numbers of orphans, lack of capital, limited access to healthcare, no pure water systems, and troublesome agriculture and irrigation. Talking with the people it has become clear that many are quite discontent, and feel that they have not been given justice. Our goal as a foundation is to connect with leaders in these communities to find solutions to community problems concerning health and sanitation, economic development, educational opportunity, and human rights. We are currently in the process of connecting with each of the 52 resettlement communities to learn about their specific needs, and to envision community powered programs which could run independently. Yet, the resettlement towns are not the only communities whose livelihoods were radically changed after the dam, there were massive impacts for communities living downstream from the dam. As an organization, we hope to unite and support these communities so that greater action can be taken to ameliorate the situation.