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Start date for Vea Dam rehabilitation still unknown 11 months after site was handed over

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Information reaching this website suggests that the contractor scheduled to rehabilitate the Vea Irrigation Dam has begun moving to site. It is however still unclear when construction work would actually begin. 

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.

When asked about the reasons for the delay of the rehabilitation project, 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. 

When the Regional Farm Services Manager at Irrigation Company of Upper Regions (ICOUR), Charles Aboyela spoke on the Day Break Upper East Show, on Monday, February 6, 2023, he said the contractor has begun moving equipment to site. 

“Everything is on course. We actually expected the contractor to have been around by now but there were a few delays … he [the contractor] is in the region. He’s moving to the site and work will start very soon. We are having a meeting this weekend at the Vea office to discuss the way forward. The contractor has actually started moving his equipment to the site. He is at the Vea office now. I can say everything is ready to take off,” he said.

All details related to the project, particularly, the contract sum, would be made clear after the meeting among the contractor, ICOUR, the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), and all other related stakeholders. 

Speaking on the same platform today, the Regional Farm Services Manager at Irrigation Company of Upper Regions (ICOUR), Charles Aboyela, explained that even after the meeting, there are a few things that he isn’t in a position to say categorically. These include the total contract sum and the actual start date for the rehabilitation.

“Like I told you on Monday, the meeting was just to get to the field and do a rapid assessment of some of the physical issues that are there. There is some survey that is being done. It is quite technical to be able to finalise the work for the contractor to begin. That is what I can tell you for now. At the moment, they are on the field and they are taking the necessary data to put up a report for the consultant, and then we move forward.”

When asked about the contract sum, he said, “no, I don’t have that. I am not in the position to give you that. It is after all these things, the report would be put together. There is a consultant. GIDA is the technical partner, and they are reading these things with the contractor and ICOUR. It is after all these details have been put together that we can move forward to knowing whatever the details are.”

Additionally, Mr. Aboyela explained that he was not in a position to say exactly when the rehabilitation would begin. 

“No, I don’t have that capacity too. It takes a lot of things for that to begin. Like I told you, the contractor is pulling in materials and whatnot, so for that, I can say that this is just to finalise the nitty gritty of the project. I cannot give you a date – that, oh, on this date, cement would go into the soil or whatever. But sooner than later, I am pretty sure that action would take place but I can’t give you a date,” he said. 

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



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