Regional News of Sunday, 21 October 2012

Source: GNA

Chief calls on RCC to address stalled work on Vea dam

The Chief of Vea, Naba Thomas Azubire, has called on the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council (UERCC) to hold a stakeholders meeting to address issues that have contributed to the stalled work on the Vea dam.

The Contractor working on the dam had a disagreement with some of the community members spearheaded by the “Tindana” (spiritual leader)

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at the weekend, the Chief indicated that a stakeholders’ meeting including the Regional Minister, the Paramount Chief of Bongo, the Tindanas, the clan heads and the Ghana Water Company including the contractor was the only way they could resolve the problem to allow the contractor continue work.

According to the Chief, he is the Custodian of the land and wields much influence over his subjects and could resolve any problem that has the tendency of stalling development of the area.

The contractor, the chief alleged, went behind him to the “Tindana” after they (he and the contractor) had finished negotiations to use some piled rocks in the area for the rehabilitation of the dam wall.

According to the chief, he earlier held series of meetings with the people whose houses were to be affected when blasting of the rocks took place.

He explained that the Tindana was involved in those negotiations where all the parties agreed to take compensation from the Contractor for those to be affected “only for the contractor to go behind me to the Tindana. Having breached the agreement, he organised some people in the area to prevent the contractor from blasting the rocks leading to work coming to a standstill”.

Naba Azubire indicated that as a chief of the area who had ruled for twenty years, he was development oriented and had lobbied for lots of development projects for the area and said it was not true that he was behind the delay in the execution of work at the dam as alleged by the contractor and some other people in the community.

He threatened to sue anybody who intended to drag his hard won reputation into the mud and said he was not happy with the contractor for telling the public that there was a power struggle between him and the Tindana hence the delay.

According to Naba Azubire, the role of the Tindana is purely spiritual which includes the purification of the shrines and intermediating the gods and the people in times of disaster and that he is not the overseer of the land, adding “the Tindana is subordinate to the chief in our custom“.

Earlier, the management of the construction firm, Eunitack Services Exchange Limited, said they would have finished the project by now had it not been the misunderstanding between the community leadership.

The project which was awarded to the Contractor in 2010, is expected to be completed in December this year otherwise funding sourced from international donors would go back to them.

The contractor is expected to work on the up and down streams of the dam walls with funds from some international donors.