More than 300 dams spread across various rural communities in the northern part of Ghana are at various stages of completion, the Ministry of Special Development Initiative (MSDI) has said.
The number comes out of a projected 560 small earth dams that are expected to be constructed in 56 out of 57 constituencies in the five Northern Regions under the government’s flagship project, One-Village-One-Dam (1V1D).
Each of the 56 constituencies apart from Tamale Central, is to benefit 10 small earth dams.
For instance, Maratinga dam in the Pusiga constituency, Asongezegiri dam in Nabdam constituency, Bilinsah dam in Builsa North constituency, Gbedembilsi dam in Builsa South, Sakaa dam in Chiana-Paga constituency and Kutanga dam in the Bawku Central constituency are almost completed, with residents already using facilities.
Same could also be said of the Manyoro dam, Kayoro dam, Natinga dam and Tampizua dam.
1V1D is a project initiated by the President of the land, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, which seeks to construct small earth dams across communities in the five Northern Regions.
The initiative aims to among other things; improve rural livelihoods through improve productivity in agriculture; improve food security; and mitigate the north-south migration during the dry season.
Ing. Bismark Azupogo, Project Manager, 1V1D Upper East Region, told journalists in an interview, Saturday, that “Every constituency in northern Ghana is experiencing the dam project which its ultimate aim is to alleviate poverty.”
The Regional Project Manager said he is very optimistic that by the end of the year 2019, all the 300 small earth dams would have been completed and the remaining 260 dams started.
When asked why Tamale Central constituency is not benefiting from the dam project, Mr. Azupogo said that constituency is already developed and there is no place to site a dam.
That notwithstanding, he said Tamale Central is still benefiting from other projects that are being initiated by the Ministry of Special Development Initiative (MSDI) through the Northern Development Authority.
Implementing the policy
The 1V1D policy implementation seeks to provide 10 small earth dams in each of the 56 constituencies in the five regions in the northern part of the country. The implementation comes in three stages; Pre-contract stage; Contract stage; and Post contract stage.
Under the Pre-contract stage, there is a stakeholder engagement for the selection of the beneficiary community. Here the MSDI engages the Northern Development Authority (NDA), the District Assemblies, Community Opinion Leaders and Community members about the project and its benefits. The community selection for this policy is based on the recommendations of the Northern Development Authority through the District Assemblies. The beneficiary communities are then sensitized after which there will be project inception which is followed by a feasibility study and outline of the proposal. The completion of this then paves the way for the Community Opinion Leaders to provide a proposed site for the project.
This is followed by site analysis and topography mapping. With this exercise, the selected sites are visited and visually assessed for suitability. The good sites are surveyed and topography maps produced.
The completion of the site analysis and topography mapping is immediately followed by dam designs (minimum storage capacity 30,000m3 after which the contract is awarded.
All the dams being constructed, according to Regional Project Manager, have dugouts that serve as a reservoir for the dam. “This enhances or increases the storage capacity of the dam and also acts as a silt trap to ensure the sustainability of the dam”, he noted.
Dugout is a depression below the ground level to story water. It could be created within a dam’s reservoir to enhance its storage capacity.
Apart from the dams, Mr. Azupogo said the MSDI is also constructing 1000 community water systems to complement existing ones. These systems, he added, are at various stages of completion and expressed the belief that they would be fully completed by end of December 2019.
Further to that, the MSDI is also constructing 1000 institutional toilet facilities with biodigesters, 50 warehouses to store farm produce, construct 20 clinics, and construct 50 rural markets to boost the local economies of the beneficiary communities.
“In 2018, those requests were made. 800 of these projects are ongoing under the constituency specific projects of the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Program (IPEP). These projects are being spearheaded by the MPs and I can tell you on authority that they are changing lives,” he noted.