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30 October 2012 | Sci/Environment

Bawku West Farmers call on government to rehabilitate Kamega Irrigation Dam

GNA

Zebilla (U/E), Oct. 29 GNA - A group of farmers in the Bawku West District, calling itself “Afaataba Multipurpose Cooperative Society”, have appealed to government to rehabilitate Kamega Irrigation Dam.

Speaking at a Press Conference at Zebilla, Mr Robert Abugri, Coordinator of the group, said since the construction of the dam in the 1960s it had not been repaired and silt deposits had reduced its capacity to hold water.

This, he said, had reduced the production of crops such as rice, maize, onion, tomato and other vegetables.

“The facility which is the major source of livelihood of the people in the area has its challenges including broken down canals, shortage of water due to siltation of the reservoir, leakage of the valve leading to wastage of water, termites infestation on the dam walls and bad nature of the spillway”, he said.

Mr Abugri said apart from the facility being used for irrigation purposes, people in the area relied on it to water their animals and for building.

“This implies that the contribution of the facility to food security and other usage are very enormous. Afaataba Multipurpose Cooperative Society and other farmers in Kamega areas are making a passionate appeal to the Bawku West District Assembly and the Government to rehabilitate the facility with a special focus on de-silting the dam reservoir, repair and construction of the new canals and the repair of leakages”.

Mr Vincent Subbey, Monitor of BUSAC Fund, said as the Region depended largely on rain fed agriculture which over the years had been disappointing, it would be appropriate to expand irrigation so as to enable the people produce more food.

He said if government paid attention to such facilities it would help curb the spate of migration of the people particularly the youth to the southern sector to look for greener pastures.

Mr Ernest Beyuo, a Service Provider of BUSAC, said BUSAC had empowered the farmers in the area with advocacy and lobbying skills, supported them conduct research on the facility and organized stakeholders' meeting.

He said plans were far advanced to support the group to engage the District Assembly and other stakeholders including the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) and the Northern Rural Growth Project.

Participants stressed the need for SADA and the Northern Rural Growth Project to go to the aid of the farmers by contributing to repair the dam.

GNA

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