General News of Monday, 19 March 2018
A total of five hundred and seventy (570) dams are to be constructed in the three northern regions this year as part of the NPP Government’s manifesto pledge to facilitate community-owned and managed small-scale irrigation facilities across the country, popularly known as “One Village One Dam.”
Feasibility studies and consultative forum have taken place, with work on the first of these dams set to begin in a couple of weeks, ahead of the rainy season.
The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, made the disclosure at the annual “Paarigbielle” festival of the chiefs and people of the Tumu Traditional Area in the Upper West Region, on Saturday March 17, 2018.
According to Dr. Bawumia, a similar number of dams will be constructed across the three northern regions next year, together with other interventions in the agric sector, expected to have a great impact on Ghana’s food security and improve the lives of farming communities.
Vice President Bawumia indicated that the Sissala area, which is made up of the Sissala East and West districts, will get 10 dams apiece.
Citing the implementation of the Free Senior High School policy, restoration of teacher and nursing trainee allowances, and the reduction in electricity bills, Dr. Bawumia said the construction of the dams was another sign of the Akufo-Addo government’s commitment to fulfilling the promises it made to Ghanaians ahead of the 2016 elections.
“Along with the Government policy of Planting for Food and Jobs, we have also initiated the policy of One Village One Dam, and I am glad to note that this policy is taking off this year, and for the three northern regions this year we expect the construction of a total of 570 dams.
“We expect to cut the sod for the commencement of this policy within a few weeks and in Sissala East, you will be getting 10 dams this year. In Sissala West you will get 10 dams this year by the Grace of God,” Vice President Bawumia announced.
According to Vice President Bawumia, Government is also committed to ensuring value addition in the agriculture sector, and is engaged in discussions with potential investors to add value to crops such as cotton and maize.
“I am aware of the contribution of farmers in the Tumu Traditional Area to the production of cotton and the textile industry in Ghana, especially the establishment of the cotton ginnery at Tumu. I am informed that the machines at the ginnery can be made to work again even after being idle for quite some time.”
Dr. Bawumia continued: “Government is in contact with prospective investors, some of whom have expressed interest in the Tumu Ginnery, and we certainly would facilitate the revamping of the Tumu Ginnery as one of the projects in line with our One District, One Factory policy.”
Government, under the policy of Planting for Investment and Export, is encouraging farmers, especially farmers in the three Northern Regions, to embrace the cultivation of cashew as an important cash crop which would protect the environment and provide stable income for farmers, Dr. Bawumia indicated.
“The Ministry of Agriculture and the District Assemblies are facilitating the cashew project implementation and it is hoped that our farmers would realize the tremendous benefits to be derived from the cultivation of the multi-purpose cash crop the cultivation of which has specifically been designed for the purpose of poverty reduction.”
The 2018 was under the theme “Paarigbielle festival, a vehicle for fostering good neighbourliness to propel the socio-economic development of the area”.
It was attended by profile personalities including Interior Minister Ambrose Dery, who is also MP for Nandom; Water and Sanitation Minister Joseph Kofi Adda, who is also MP for Navrongo Central; and Hon Abass Ridwan Dauda, MP for Sissala East, as well as sons and daughters of Sissala land.