The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu has handed over the Vea Supply and Irrigation Scheme in the Bongo District to Messrs. Rann Luuk Constructions for rehabilitation.
The rehabilitation works which would commence in March this year is expected to be completed in 30 months.
Details of the contract work include restoration of the eroded downstream slope of the dam embankment to improve the dam’s stability, rehabilitation of the irrigation canal network, drainage work, construction of farm roads, and perimeter fencing of the irrigable area.
At a ceremony to officially hand over the site, the Regional Minister called for quality work from the Contractor within the scheduled time frame to enable farmers in the area to continue with their farming activities.
Shoddy work, he cautioned would not be tolerated under the Akufo-Addo-led government, stressing that Technical men would furnish his Office with periodic reports on the progress of work at the site.
He said the government, under His Excellency President Akufo-Addo, was committed to providing new dams, dugouts and rehabilitating existing irrigation schemes to attract the energetic and teeming youth into Agriculture.
He said the youth usually migrated to the southern part of Ghana in search for alternative means of livelihood, especially in the dry season, due to the lack of functional irrigation facilities.
Mr. Yakubu said the Vea Irrigation Project had a total of 850 hectares of rice cultivation and upon completion of the rehabilitation work, it would double to about 1,700 hectares.
He was, therefore, hopeful that the increase in hectares would drastically reduce the importation of rice for the realisation of the President’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) Ing. Wilson Darkwah, appealed to the Chiefs and farmers in the area to protect the dam by planting trees around the river banks to prevent structures springing into the catchment area of the dam.
He cautioned that if that was not down, the scheme may break down in about 10 to 15 years’ time, and there may not be readily available funds for repair works.
He also appealed to members of the community to support the Contractor to deliver on schedule, and advised against any possible stealing or attempts to damage any equipment at the construction site.
Ing. Darkwah urged farmers in pay proper attention to farming, heed to advice from GIDA and Agriculture Experts, and consider farming as an income generation venture and not a part-time job.
The Chief of Vea, Naba Thomas Azubire, thanked the Government, the Regional Minister and Officials of GIDA for the support to the community, and gave the assurance that the facility, when completed, would be put to proper use to the benefit of the community.