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ICOUR’s management of Vea Irrigation Dam is poor – Dry season farmers

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Some farmers within the catchment area of the Vea Irrigation Dam in the Bongo District in the Upper East Region are accusing the Irrigation Company of Upper Region (ICOUR), managers of the Vea Dam project, of selling water to other communities not captured as part of the 9 communities under the project.

The farmers named Sirigu as one of such communities.

The farmers said due to the sale of water and the profits that ICOUR makes out of these side deals, ICOUR’s biggest interest has been prioritizing the needs of Sirigu other communities rather than the 9 communities supposed to benefit from the project.

The farmers also bemoaned the haphazard and irregular flow of water. They blamed this on the lack of a proper, well-structured timetable from ICOUR. The farmers told A1 News that due to the irregular flow of water, there are times when their crops dry up. They also said because the water is serving other communities captured under the project, by the middle of the dry season, there will be no water in the dam to be used to irrigate crops.

One of the farmers who spoke to the News Team, Ayamga Avea stated that “the way they have been opening the water is making the Dam dry up even before our crops are ready and we are forced to leave the farms. Even before the harvest season because there is always a shortage in water”.

The Assembly Member for the Vea Electoral Area Robert Ayariga confirmed these reports made by the farmers when he spoke to A1 Radio at the time of the visit.

He said several attempts by the communities, under the project, to draw the attention of ICOUR had proved futile.

“The Irrigation Dam in our community is helping a lot, but it looks as if the government has not put much attention to it. When you get to the project site as at now, today, they have released the water and the water is just flowing anyhow. When you get to Sirigu you see they are there using the water. Sirigu is not part of the project. We have complained but the Management has not been listening to us. Getting to March, the water will dry off,” he explained.

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“They [ICOUR] is overusing the dam and they are not even managing the water well. The canals are deteriorating. They are not even rehabilitating them. When you go to the dam, water is passing where it should not be passing but when you report to ICOUR, they will not even go there,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Management of Vea Irrigation Dam, the Irrigation Company of Upper Region (ICOUR), has refuted claims that it is selling water to communities not captured under the designated communities under the project.

A1radioonline.com|101.1 MHz|Kennedy Zongbil & Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Vea|Ghana

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