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General News of Tuesday, 16 July 2019


1V1D: Don’t expect a meaningful dam with GHC250k – Minister to critics

Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister for Special Development Initiatives play videoMavis Hawa Koomson, Minister for Special Development Initiatives

Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson has indicated that Ghanaians should not expect a meaningful dam with an amount of GHC 250,000 allocated to her ministry as the said amount can’t construct the Akosombo-like dam they want.

Speaking to Ghanaweb in an exclusive interview, the Minister said the pond-like dams constructed is exactly what the Akufo-Addo-led government promised Ghanaians during the 2016 electioneering period and not Akosombo-like dams.

According to her, a meaningful dam will take not less than 3 million dollars to be constructed and for that to be achieved, GHC250,000 will not do much.

The dams being constructed she maintained, are exactly what the NPP promised; dams solely for providing water for domestic and irrigation purposes.

Perturbation she says, is the least of her worries, on the contrary, she is proud of the progress being achieved under the 1-V-1-D project so far.

Replying her critics, she said “Look at the cost, GHC 250,000. if you are constructing a meaningful dam you don’t need anything less than 3 million dollars. So if I’m constructing a GHC 250,000 dam then what kind of dam are you expecting from me? That is the kind of dam we promised the people, we didn’t say we are constructing the 3 million or 6 million type of dam for them”.

Furthermore, the Minister said “We said one village one dam, we didn’t say or Bui dam or one Akomsobo dam for the village and when we say one dam in the village, some of us know the type of dam we are talking about, it’s not the bigger type, it’s for the people to use during drought and the animal will not go far so that people will steal them away or they will go and die on their way because if they are not getting water definitely they would die, so we needed some water close to the village.”

Comparing what her government has achieved and what the NDC government did while in power, she added, “I’m telling you that, the fact that NDC did something that is not as big as what we have and that’s why I’m proud of myself of what I’m doing because I have seen what they did and if you compare the two, you can see the difference”.

The promise to construct a Dam in every village was one of the many promises made by President Akufo-Addo and the NPP in the run-up to the 2016 General Elections.

Upon assuming office in 2017, the Vice President, Dr. Bawumia told Ghanaians that government was unable to immediately deliver the Dams, particularly in Northern Ghana where they are most needed, due to the onset of the rainy season.

The government subsequently made provision in the 2018 budget for the Dams, and pledged to construct 570 of them in the three regions of the north by the end of 2018.

However, Mavis Hawa Koomson, indicated that implementation of any government programme will be met with some difficulties, adding that government is on course to successfully complete the 560 dams promised the people of the Northern part of the country by the end of 2020.

She adds that Government is currently constructing 300 dugouts out of 560 across the northern part of the country to ensure all year-round farming at a cost of GHC250,000 per dugout.

There has been a wide condemnation and public anger over the execution of the highly touted Agric sector support initiative aimed at ensuring all year round farming and watering of animals in the Northern part of Ghana.

The residents accused the ministry of constructing ponds instead of dams.

Out of a total of 140 dams allocated to the Upper East region, only 40 have been constructed with some at various stages of completion with each dam estimated to cost Two hundred and Fifty Thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢250,000).

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