The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has described government’s One-Village-One-Dam initiative designed to ensure food security through irrigation farming in the Upper East Region as ‘not fit for purpose’.
The objective of government 1V1D program was to ensure availability of water for all year round farming and ruminants rearing in the Northern Ghana to address food insecurity.
But after an assessment on the impact of the 1V1D initiative on the livelihoods of farmers in the Upper East Region, the PFAG asserts that, 90% of the small earth dams could not be used for dry season farming.
Speaking to A1 News, Program Officer of PFAG, Charles Nyaaba said, their research findings found the siting and construction of the dams’ counterproductive to their intended purpose.
He bemoaned that, the dams were not only wasteful in meeting their purpose but have become dangerous to human and animals’ lives due to the ‘ill-nature’ in which they were constructed.
“Irrigation Development Authority which we all know is mandated by law to construct irrigation projects in this country was not given the mandate to do its job.
We also found out that, most of the contractors who actually were given contracts to construct these projects did not have enough knowledge of the work. So, you go to a place they only gather the soil and heap without proper compacting of the embankment”.
He also identified poor consultation of community members, Irrigation Development Authority, District Departments of Agriculture and inexperienced contractors as the cause of the inefficacy of the dams to serve their purpose.
“But If you look at the NPP 2016 manifesto they were specific that these dams were going to address water challenges during the dry season for farming, for domestic use and then for livestock’s to drink . So now the dams can only serve the purposes of the domestic and livestock but for farming, they cannot.
We are not saying that political parties do not have experts in their parties but what we are saying is that, we the beneficiaries on the ground should always be given the chance to speak on areas that we think, when they come to power they can direct their investments into”.
Out of the 140 dams promised by the government, 83 dams have been completed in the Upper East Region representing 59%.
Government however have debunked claims by the association that, the 1V1D initiative is unfit for purpose.