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May 2017 Field ​Study
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Ghana map and flag
Lauren Ehrhardt


Lauren Ehrhardt

Aggie Law Class of 2019

Land Use Conflicts and Access to Justice

The Most Beautiful Region in Ghana
     Has Some Problems

by Lauren Ehrhardt
Ghanaian mountain landscape
2L Lauren Ehrhardt with Akosombo ChildrenBlogger 2L Lauren Ehrhardt with Akosombo children

The Ashanti Region of Ghana is by far one of the most beautiful areas of the world I have ever seen. The mountains, the Volta River, the flora and fauna, and the people will forever remain in my memory.

When we were visiting with a chief in the area, we learned that there were some legal issues surrounding the construction of the Volta Dam. Apparently thousands of Ghanaians were displaced due to the construction, and there are a variety of issues with compensating the true landowners. It was interesting to learn about this from a chief and to experience the emotion he felt about it.

I am from a town called Klein in North Houston, and in my German American culture a big part of your legacy is the land you own. Hearing this chief discuss compulsory acquisition in Ghana and how his people have been moved around sparked a connection to my family land, all the way across the world.

This was the type of experience I was hoping for when I signed up for this trip. It does not matter what country you are from, land issues are present everywhere.

The most valuable thing I learned from this trip and the experience with the chief, besides the fact that Ghanaian chiefs can handle a lot of whiskey, is that the wrong thought process is thinking “my country is better at this.” What is really important is thinking, “We all care about the land we own, no matter where we are from. Let’s help each other out.”

Downpour at hotel in AkosomboDownpour in Akosombo in the Ashanti Region. The hydro plant at the Akosombo Dam and Lake Volta can be seen in the background.
Aggie Students in front of Akosombo DamAggie Law students Lauren Ehrhardt, Frances Ramey, Taylor Wood, Megan Reed, Elan Moore, Samantha Henson, and Taylor Winn in front of Akosombo Dam.
Busy Ghanaian Village

Ghanaian keep off sign
Strong Ghanaian Woman
Ghanaian Goat Heard