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Coalition of CSOs calls for review of 1V1D initiative

A research undertaken by the Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA) shows that dams constructed under the One Village One Dam (1V1D) initiative have dried up and are not serving their planned purposes.

In view of this, a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations focusing on accelerating socio-economic transformation of Northern Ghana through advocacy for increased public investment, has called on government to consider the failure of the dams as a lesson to guide a review of the initiative for effective implementation to achieve improved livelihoods of citizens, particularly people in the north.

The Coalition made the call at a meeting with officials of the Northern Development Authority (NDA) in Tamale where the research report on the dams under the 1V1D initiative was presented to the officials of the NDA.

The Coalition also called for audit on the 1V1D initiative investigating the procurement processes as well as the full involvement of the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) in th
e project.

They lauded the potency of the 1V1D initiative in ensuring food security, improved livelihood, and sought its review to achieve objectives of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) as well as the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).

Mr Bismark Adongo Ayorogo, Executive Director, NORPRA, presenting the report, said the research revealed that dams across the five regions of the north were dug with the one size fit all approach, which was not appropriate.

He said although GIDA was a state institution vested with the mandate of designing irrigation infrastructure in the country, it was left out of the implementation of the 1V1D initiative.

He said, ‘We engaged GIDA and questioned their whereabouts when there is evidence that they constructed dams that supported all-year-farming. GIDA experts said they gave their technical advice but the advice was ignored.’

Mr Ayorogo said during interactions with community members, there were expressions of disappointment as they recalled los
ing huge sums when their farms were cleared for construction of the dams.

The report titled ‘Ghana’s Oil Money on Dried Dams,’ was under the 1V1D Expenditure and Performance Tracking Project funded by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP).

The report presented at the meeting indicated that, all 10 dams sampled under the 1V1D initiative had a 100 per cent complete status but had dried up.

It compared earth dams constructed by GIDA under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to dams under the 1V1D initiative, and concluded that the former served the purpose of sustainable agriculture.

Mr Iddi Zakaria, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in-charge of Projects and Programmes at NDA, in response to the report, said the report would be considered to improve operations of the initiative.

He, however, stated that it was bias to make conclusions with a sample size of 10 dams out of existing 560, saying the full delivery of the dams could not be measured with a lower sample size.

He said, ‘Admittedly, not all the
dams are doing very well but visiting 10 dams and making a conclusion could not show which is doing well on not.’

He said the NDA’s role was to manage the construction of the dams and had limited information on issues surrounding them, including selecting contractors, siting and amount involved.

Mr Zakaria said the NDA was open to more engagements on the subject to leverage the findings towards improving the 1V1D initiative.

Source: Ghana News Agency