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Dams under 1V1D in Upper East Region dry up 2 months after rains stop – PFAG

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The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) through its Upper East Regional Focal Person, Isaac Pabia has observed that the dams constructed in the Upper East Region under the government’s 1 Village 1 Dam policy are not fit for their intended purpose.

The government, under the New Patriotic Party (NPP), introduced the 1 Village 1 Dam policy to construct dams in all villages of Northern Ghana in fulfilment of the party’s 2016 campaign promise.

The ultimate aim of the policy was to construct the dams to enable farmers in the Northern part of Ghana to engage in all-year-round cultivation of crops to improve food security in the country and create jobs for the teaming unemployed youth which will in a long term, reduce urban migration from the North.

Sadly, the dams which cost the state coffers a whopping Ghc2.5 million each, according to the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana are not fit for use for irrigational purposes.

“The dams constructed in this region are very terrible. Most of the dams actually dry up within 2 months after the rain stops. PFAG has taken the position that those dams are not fit for purpose. We’ve done a lot of assessments on the 1 Village 1 Dam and we’ve come to realize that more work needs to be done on those dams. If we really want to serve farmers, we want to have water for all round-season farming, and also to water our livestock, then we need to work on the dams. The least talk about them, the better. They are not in a good shape at all”, Mr. Pabia who doubles as National Secretary of PFAG lamented.

The outburst of frustration shared by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana regarding the nature of dams constructed in the Upper East Region confirms with an explicit documentary done by A1 Radio’s Joshua Asaah titled ‘Thirsty Dams of the North’.
The investigative piece exposed the shoddy nature of the dams constructed under the policy in the Upper East Region.

Broadcast and published in May 2019, the waves of the documentary rocked the Flagstaff House. It created heavy backlash for government officials because a section of the public suspected public funds was dissipated through the project.

Regrettably, government has not heeded the calls to ensure there is value for money by reconstructing the dams. Being a major beneficiary of the policy, PFAG likens the current state of the dams to dugouts and cannot serve the purpose of farming, especially in the dry season.

The association through the Upper East Regional Focal Person speaking to A1 Radio has therefore recommended proper work to be done on them to achieve their purpose of serving as irrigational policy.

“Once we have committed funds into this 1 Village 1 Dam, we should not also leave them there like that. We should at least, find the means of improving on them by extending them and doing the embankments well. Some of the embankments are very weak, the spillways are broken. A whole lot of issues with the 1 Village 1 Dam. So, if we are able to revisit them, reconstruct them, even if we will not do all, we can at least pick some and work on them for our farmers to do dry seasoning farming”, Mr. Pabia added.

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana also proposed for government to rather desilt existing dams instead of spending huge sums of money to construct the 1 Village 1 Dams “that are not fit for purpose”.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga|Ghana

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