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A Senior Programmes Manager at the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Theophilus Adoko, has noted that though the rehabilitation of the Dawa Dam in the Ningo Prampram constituency is meant to enable farmers to earn extra income, the project has been abandoned. This according to him is threatening the lives of residents and the farmers in the area.
He said the dam has made it possible for farmers to engage in farming activities all-year round, even during the dry seasons.
Adoko said, prior to the Dawa Dam project, farming activities within the community were restricted to the rainy season.
The GH¢570,903 project was part of the petroleum revenue allocated for the rehabilitation under the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
He was speaking at a stakeholders’ engagement in Accra on July 31, 2018, at Mensvic Hotel, on the impact evaluation report of some Oil Funded Projects.
The project, dubbed “Value For Money (VFM)” was aimed at tracking oil revenue funded projects and find out if budgetary allocations were translating into actual execution of projects. It was organised by ACEP which has been undertaking the VFM project since 2014. The project is scheduled to end in 2019.
According to Adoko, there has also been the case of generating extra income as a result of farming activities that continued to go on in the dry season, saying, previously, when there wasn’t any dam, the farmers restricted their activities to only the rainy season.
Now, because the dam has been created and it is serving an irrigable area of 55 acres, farming still goes on for some farmers in the dry season, and this has led to the generation of some extra income during the dry season.
ACEP conducted several researches this year, which was funded by the Ghana Oil and Gas Inclusive Growth (GOGIG) on some oil funded projects in selected communities, to determine the impact of such projects on the said communities.
However, for the Ohawu irrigation project, ACEP discovered that all the others had been completed and having positive impacts on the beneficiary communities.
A Policy Analyst at ACEP, Ms. Linda Ahunu, said the Ohawu dam was constructed in the late 70’s but later became malfunctional when its wall collapsed.
Linda said, after several appeals by the community, the government through the petroleum revenue Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) awarded a GH¢1,681,247.65 contract to Grumah Twins Company Limited for the reconstruction of the dam walls, extention of the canal and a walkway along the ends of the dam in October 2014. It was expected to be completed in February 2016.
But the project, she said, had incurred an estimated extra cost of about GH¢3,112,200 as of 2016, as a result of the numerous seepage in the dam walls which were originally not detected at the time the contract was awarded.
She said, currently, the contractor has abandoned the project while additional funds made available in 2017 could not be traced. She also added that roads in the area are immotorable. There had been many instances where pupils drop out of school, teenage pregnancy, among others, because of the lack of incomes following low farming activities.
ACEP, therefore, called for an immediate follow-up on the Ohawu irrigation dam project. It also called on the Auditor General to probe further into how much the ABFA was actually disbursed for rehabilitation of the project.
On his part, the head chief (Dufia) of Ohawu, Torgbui Tuafli II, also disclosed that, a lot of people have been displaced because of the broken dam and flooded farm lands are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, which is a leading cause of malaria in the area.
Torgbui Tuafli said the dam was very useful to the community because it has been the main source of drinking water and other domestic activities including farming. However, the leakage from the dam, he said was causing damage to them and they were much concerned about it.
Source: Sammy Adjei || Ghananewsonline.com.gh
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