Barely a year after A1 Radio aired a documentary titled “Thirsty Dams of the North” which revealed the shoddy nature of some dams constructed under government’s 1 Village 1 Dam policy in the Upper East Region,a follow up to one of the dams at Kajelo community in the Kassena-Nankana West district witnessed some farmers making productive use of the project despite the challenges.
It will be recalled that A1 radio at the beginning of the raining season in 2019 reported the collapse of embankments of most dams due to the pressure of water collected from the rains.
Community members at the time blamed the situation on shoddy works executed by the contractors.
Government also received heavy backlash for dissipating public funds through the project.
A visit to the Kajelo community after a year to assess the progress of work on the project since assurances were given by government to fix the defects on the dam, saw the embankment repaired and water collected in the dam from last year rains.
Assembly member for the Kajelo electoral area, Hilary Aniakwo attributed the cause of the collapsed embankment as a result of shoddy works which the contractor was immediately called back to repair the embankment after A1 Radio’s“Thirsty Dams of the North” documentary was aired.
“I am very happy that if not your timely intervention of coming here to do the report, this place would have been a dry land. The contractor who came and did a poor job here and the embankment was washed away, run back here with all his equipment to fix the problem because of the report which went viral. What the contractor did was a shoddy work but now, the place is well fixed”.
The impact of the documentary according to Mr. Aniakwo yielded positive result and “community members are now growing pepper, animals gets water to drink, people mold blocks and some people fish in the dam”.
Community members during a visit to the Kajelo dam were cultivating vegetables such as pepper and tomato from water pumped from the dam to nearby gardens.
Some of the community members have also molded bricks around the dam to construct their houses.
Yussif Anipuna benefits from this 1V 1D project. He now owns a sizable vegetable farm. He has harvested 3 times of produce so far from the dam.
“When we started using the dam, I have harvested 3 times. I had 10 bags in all and a bag of pepper is Ghc240.00”.
Another farmer, Akwotua Douglas who harvested pepper 3 times says he used part of the proceeds from the farming to build a room and procured a motorbike worth Ghc3,000.
“I have harvested 3 times and I had a lot of money. I used the money to build my room and I also bought a motorbike which I can use for my farming business”, says Akwotua.
Unfortunately, the dam is fast drying up due to the harsh harmattan weather conditions in the Upper East Region.
The harvested water in the dam according to the community members cannot sustain the farming business.
“The water is almost finish in the dam and if I don’t get water to water my pepper, I have to remove them to the bus and replant them”, Yussif expressed worry.
The other farmer, Mr. Akwotua lamented, saying “the water is not enough, we only water our gardens once in a week. So we have no option than to abandon the gardens and go home”.
Meanwhile, Assembly member for the Kajelo electoral area while appreciating the 1 Village 1 Dam initiative called on government to consider expanding the dam to contain enough water for all year round farming in order to empower farmers in the area.
AUDIO: Listen to the report below.
Source: A1Radioonline.com|Joshua Asaah