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ICOUR ceases supply of water to dry season farmers in Vea for 2 weeks leading to huge losses – Assemblyman alleges

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Robert Ayariga, the Assemblyman for the Vea Electoral Area in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region, is unhappy that dry season farmers in the area are losing their crops because of the Irrigation Company of Upper Region’s (ICOUR) decision to shut down water supply from the Vea Irrigation Dam. 

Mr. Ayariga made these allegations when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, February 1, 2023. 

The decision to disrupt water supply from the dam, according to Mr. Ayariga was to help prepare the area ahead of the rehabilitation of the dam. The decision, however, is causing untold hardship for the farmers.

“Recently, I called the ICOUR manager to find out what is happening, and what he told me was that they would no longer give the farmers water, [explaining that] the contractor reached him and [said he, the contractor] was coming. So they’ve stopped giving us the water. For about 2 weeks now, our crops have been dying. We are no longer getting the water to the farms, and the contractor is also not on site, so we do not know what is happening,” he said. 

The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, handed over the Vea Supply and Irrigation Scheme in the Bongo District to Messrs. Rann Luuk Constructions for rehabilitation in March 2022.

The rehabilitation was expected to be completed in 30 months.

Details of the contract work included the 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.

But 10 months after the site was handed over, the contractor is yet to move to the site, and the project is yet to begin. 

When asked about the reasons for the delay, Mr. Yakubu explained that the delays were associated with the source of funding for the project. 

“Initially, the Ministry was trying to rehabilitate it [the Vea Dam] themselves, but now, the World Bank has agreed to actually give us money to do it and that is what is delaying. We are actually working out the modalities and everything to even have more money to do it better. That is what is delaying the project,” he said. 

Mr. Yakubu insisted that the government had not abandoned the project. 

Meanwhile, work is ongoing to create proper channels and waterways around the Tamne Dam in the Garu District for irrigation, Mr. Yakubu said. 

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



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