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21.03.2004 Regional News

Eleven small-scale irrigation dams for Upper West

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Tanina (U/W), March 21, GNA - Mr Clement Iledi, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in-charge of crops, has tasked contractors working on eleven small-scale irrigation dams in the Upper West Region to complete the projects before the rains set in by June.

Eight of the dams are being constructed by China Zhong Hao, Ghana, a Chinese construction firm with the other three beign undertaken by local Ghanaian contractors.

Mr Iledi gave this directive when he inspected progress of work at three of the project sites at Tanina, Baleofilli and Pigbengben all near Wa.

The eleven dams cost a total of 6.2 billion cedis with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) paying for 90 per cent of the cost with the remainder by the Ghana government. The other component of the projects is the drilling of 22 hand-dug wells to provide potable water for the beneficiary farming communities. Mr Joseph Y. Faalong, the regional director of agriculture and Mr Zachary Gbirreh, the irrigation engineer supervising the projects briefed the Deputy Minister at the three dam project sites. Mr Faalong told the Deputy Minister that five of the dams being constructed by the Chinese firm were terminated, repackaged and re-awarded because of non-performance by the original contractors.

Mr. Iledi expressed satisfaction at the extend of work done so far and urged the contractors to endeavour to complete the work on schedule. He was hopeful that on completion, the dams would be put to maximum use to make positive impact to agricultural production as agriculture is the main occupation of the region.

He called on the people of the beneficiary communities to constantly monitor work on the project and also provide stones free of charge for certain aspects of the project.

Mr Yang Bing, managing director of the Chinese construction firm assured the Deputy Minister of a good job that will stand the test of time.

Eight dams constructed under the previous IFAD sponsored Upper West Agricultural Development Project are already in use in various parts of the region.

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