The contruction of earth dams across the five northern regions under the 1 Village 1 Dam programme is progressing smoothly, a media tour has revealed.
The initiative seeks to provide all-year availability of water for small holder farmers in communities, particularly, in the regions of the north. The government expects to use this project to improve productivity and the incomes of small holder farmers significantly, and bring about improvements in rural livelihoods.
The Minister for Special Development Initiative, Mavis Hawa Koomson, disclosed that 560 dams in all will be constructed before 2020. She indicated that 300 dams had so far been awarded on contracts, adding that each constituency in the beneficiary regions is expected to receive 10 dams, and that 174 of the dams are currently under construction in the Northern Region.
In the Upper East Region, 83 out of 150 earth dams are being constructed and are at various stages of completion. Consultants to the project also took the media and the entourage through the technical specifications of earth dams, and explained that the concept of such dams was well known in the beneficiary communities and was being built according to standard specifications.
Responding to concerns about payments to the contractors of the various 1V1D projects, Hawa Koomson said the contractors were expected to be paid between GH¢200,000 to GH¢300,000, depending on the specifications of each dam.
She, however, explained that payments will be made once the contractors tender in certificates for work done so far. The Special Development Initiative Minister further indicated that she was very much satisfied with the work done so far, and encouraged the contractors to speed up. She was optimistic that by the end of 2020, all the 560 dams would be completed.
The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, during a press briefing on the banks of the dam at Megogo in the Bawku Central Constituency, assured Ghanaians that the government was committed to ensuring that the communities benefited from the 1V1D project to improve their lives and that of their families.
Mr. Nkrumah said the tour was part of efforts by the government to track and ascertain firsthand information on the progress of work.
Some of the communities the team visited were Gonu in the Nantong District, Yamukarigu and Pishigu both in the Karaga District, Yaborge in Timpani, Denugu in Garu District and Megogo in the Bawku Central Constituency.
Some farmers in the beneficiary communities expressed joy to the government and President Akufo-Addo for constructing the dams, which will keep them engaged during the dry season and help improve their livelihoods.