Empower and resource GIDA to take charge of One Village-One Dam program – PFAG to government

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The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has called on the government to empower and resource the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) to take full control of the One Village One Dam (1V1D) program.

This call comes in the wake of the non-involvement and participation of the GIDA and the use of private contractors during the roll-out and construction of dams under the 1V1D initiative. This approach contributed to the construction of sub-standard and dysfunctional dams, which have been abandoned by farmers across the Northern regions.

The call was made during a stakeholder dialogue on irrigation development in Accra, organized by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, with support from GIZ under the Sustainable Employment through Agribusiness (Agribiz) program.

During his opening address, the Executive Director for PFAG, Dr. Charles Nyaaba emphasized that the government’s one village one dam policy has failed to live up to expectations due to the nature of implementation arrangements.

According to him, instead of the government employing GIDA, the state-mandated institution for irrigation development, to lead in the construction of the dams, the government, through the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives rather awarded the contracts to private contractors, with some of them having no experience in dam construction.

“Some of these contractors, also sold these contracts, thereby reducing the actual money needed for the construction work.”

He added that due to the inexperience of these contractors, the dug-outs were sited in the wrong locations and with inferior engineering, making some of them death traps.

The President of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, Mr. Wepia Addo Awulgwa also appealed to the government to invest in irrigation development and use the relevant state agencies to undertake such works.

He echoed the sentiments of farmers across several regions in Ghana, where there is little or no investment in irrigation, for the government to also develop irrigation schemes. He mentioned that there are several uncompleted irrigation schemes across the country, that need urgent attention from the government.

The stakeholder dialogue, which brought together relevant actors ranging from farmers, CSOs, officials from the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority, and the media, provided an opportunity for PFAG to share the findings of research work on irrigation development in Ghana, using the One Village One Dam program.

The research work which focused on two dams; the Vunania and Gia dams in the Upper East Region, revealed several defects with both dams making them difficult to use by farmers.

A policy brief, highlighting the findings and recommendations for improved irrigation development in Northern Ghana was presented to GIDA for consideration.

Source: PFAG

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