In January 2012, a visit was organised for over 50 from 21 communities in the Jomoro and Ellembelle Districts to learn from Aboadze in the Shama District. The purpose of the visit was for participants to learn about Aboadze’s experience on impacts of the Takoradi Thermal Plant and the West Africa Gas Pipeline and draw lessons that are relevant to the context of Ellembelle and Jomoro Districts. These two Districts are among those that have been earmarked for the Western Corridor Gas Infrastructure project. However, community awareness of the benefits and impacts of such infrastructure, as well as engagement strategies with companies are very low. Aboadze have several years’ experience with the West African Gas Pipeline project and the Takoradi Thermal plant facility. Therefore the exchange visit was relevant for lessons learnt and experience sharing.
Participants were mainly fishermen, fish processors, Assembly members, opinion leaders and representatives of Community-Based Organisations. The interactions were held at the Aboadze Community Center and focused on lessons learnt and experiences on compensation, community-company relationship, corporate social responsibility projects and environmental impacts.
The visit generated lessons that prepared the communities to engage in informed dialogue with proponents of onshore energy facilities along the coast.