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08.08.2005 Regional News

Engineering contractors under-going training course


Sunyani (B/A), Aug. 8, GNA - About 150 civil engineering contractors drawn from the various regions in the country are under-going a one-week training course on construction of small scale irrigation infrastructure in Sunyani in the Brong-Ahafo region.

Jointly organised by Ministries of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) and Food and Agriculture (MOFA) through the Community Based Rural Development Project (CBRDP) as well as the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), the contractors would be made conversant with bidding procedures under Act 663 and other donor agencies, introduced to specifications for irrigation structures and headwork, concepts in estimating, pricing and bill of quantities as well as effective planning for construction.

At the official opening of the workshop on Monday, Mr. Charles Bintim, Minister of MLGRD described as unfortunate after 48 years of independence the country still relied on rain fed agriculture which now had deteriorating patterns and poor distribution.

He said due to the unreliability of the Rains, many people were reluctant to make heavy investments in the farming industry which has the potential to improve food security and reduce poverty. Mr. Bintim expressed concern that, in-spite of the huge resources directed into small irrigation structures, the country had not derived the maximum benefit expected of these investments, attributing it to poor quality of work by contractors and consultants.

He said the training therefore aimed at developing a cadre of contractors who would be forefront of providing high quality irrigation infrastructure in the country especially areas where water for both domestic and agriculture become a problem.

He therefore appealed to the participants to commit themselves to the applying principles through the workshop in order to produce good outputs that would benefit poor farmers in particular and Ghana in general.

Earlier Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Regional Minister explained that Government was keen to improve the life of rural dwellers by creating wealth through the introduction of facilities, techniques and technologies that would enhanced and increase farmers productivity. He said the development of irrigation facilities had been a means of granting farmers access to enough water and expressed concern that there had been delayed and unsatisfactory work in some communities in the country beside all this facilities.

"The delays in irrigation construction works and their attendant socio-economic implications are becoming a great worry to the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority, government and other stakeholders," the Minister said.