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COVID-19 delayed construction of Pwalugu Dam – Johnson Ayine

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Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has admitted that the long delay in the construction of the Pwalugu Multipurpose dam project is as a result of financial constraints.

Speaking at the launch of the Northern Development Authority’s five-year strategic plan in Tamale, Dr. Bawumia said government will look for funds to construct the dam.

“Even though the project is facing financial challenges, we are determined to find the resources to complete the construction of the dam.”

Sod was cut for the construction of the Pwalugu Multipurpose dam project in 2020 and was to be funded with a Sydohydro facility of $993 million.

The project awarded to China Power International group was scheduled for completion four years after the sod cutting.

The project was aimed at addressing the perennial flooding associated with the spillage of the Bagre dam from neighbouring Burkina-Faso and also providing 60MW and 50MW of hydro and solar electricity respectively.

But physical construction of the project at Kurugu in the North East Region is yet to commence after two years and ten months into the project execution period.

Johnson Ayine, a member of the NPP’s Upper East Regional Communication Team backed the Vice President’s statement. Mr. Ayine added that the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic played a huge role in the delay of the project. 

“Who has the morality to talk about the Pwalugu Dam?” Mr. Ayine quizzed. 

He continued to say, “haven’t we been saying it [that we are cash strapped and cannot continue the construction]? Is this the first time? Just say that you were waiting for the President or the Vice President to say it. We have been saying it here. Even here, in this studio. We have been saying that due to the COVID, it has posed challenges for us in the project execution. We have said this ting several times.”

The Communicator continued to say that while at the time the ground was broken for construction to begin COVID-19 had struck China, the government did not anticipate that the pandemic would become a global one. 

“With the COVID coming, the expenditure direction was changed so pardon us. We have been saying this in this region. Even since Tangoba, the issue about COVID delaying the project is not new. Government officials have communicated this thing,” he said. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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