Bolgatanga, Jan 15, GNA – Government has pledged to rehabilitate the Vea Irrigation Canals and Laterals, which have not seen any major repairs since it was constructed in the 1970s.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Mark Woyongo gave the assurance when members of the Bongo Amalezale Cooperative Farmers Society (BONACOFSO), a farming cooperative society, presented a petition to him at the weekend on the need to rehabilitate the project.
According to the farmers the canals and laterals were aged and most of them broken down and that when water was discharged from the dam it does not get to the farms.
The Regional Minister in his response indicated that government has voted money for the rehabilitation of the project and work would begin soon this year.
“Government has completed the major repairs at the Tono Irrigation site at Navrongo and will now focus the Vea Irrigation project at Bolgatanga”, the Regional Minister assured the farmers.
He said another water treatment plant would be installed at the Tono Irrigation dam to ease the pressure on the Vea Irrigation dam to enable farmers’ to grow more crops..
Mr Woyongo said plans were far advanced to construct a dam at Pwalugu to harvest water from Burkina Faso’s Bagre Dam for farming, especially during the dry season and also to generate hydro power.
“When that project is completed, it will have the capacity to crop 150 hectres of land, which will provide jobs for the people, especially the youth”, he stressed.
Mr Woyongo indicated that under the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) more irrigation dams would be constructed and others de-silted, as well as the construction of more roads to link the farms.
The Managing Director of the Irrigation Company of Upper Region (ICOUR), Alhaji Issah Bukari said the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) was aware of their plight and that was why the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority was tasked to conduct a feasibility study on how to rehabilitate the facility.
He said the feasibility study has been completed and submitted to MOFA for its study and implementation and called on the farmers to streamline their land tenure system so that they could farm during both the rainy and dry seasons.