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Rehabilitation work on Vea Dam ongoing; contract sum, scope of work still unclear

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The Vea Irrigation Water Supply Scheme, constructed 43 years ago, had not seen major rehabilitation until the government, in 2022, handed over the project to Rann Luuk Construction Limited for rehabilitation.

In March 2022, 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. The work was expected to commence in March and be completed within 30 months.

Details of the contract work, as communicated at the time, 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.

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Rehabilitation work has begun, but conflicting reports persist regarding what is expected to happen at the site.

Speaking to Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show today, January 18, 2023, Alhaji Abubakar Inusah, Chief Director of the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council (UERCC), explained that while full funds are not available, work is progressing steadily. The initial project is being redefined to include more components, including the construction of a bridge, one of the biggest demands of community members.

“We have added a bridge to the project. The bridge has been an albatross around the neck of the RCC. The communities have been complaining. There are two components of the funding. Initially, this was not part; the bridge was not part of the initial contract. With the pressure from the Minister and the community, they are going back to the drawing board and to the World Bank. Like I said, there are two components; we have the World Bank and then the GoG. The only conformable situation would be the World Bank. Yesterday, they [GIDA] assured the minister that they would go back to the World Bank to ensure that at least some sort of bridge is put across to join the two communities.”

According to Alhaji Inusah, the contractor is currently laying pipes and will later begin work on the canals.

However, when the Assembly member for the area, Robert Atanga, spoke on the same platform, he said that in a meeting yesterday, contractors and other government stakeholders had communicated to the community and farmers that desilting of the dam, perimeter fencing, and farm roads were not going to be included. Additionally, the community was not aware of the full scope of the project. They had also not been given other contract details of the project; a worrying situation for many expected to be impacted by the rehabilitation work.

He, however, corroborated the Chief Director of the UERCC’s position that funding remained a huge challenge.

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

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