1,221 sites identified for One Village, One Dam project – Alima Mahama
As part of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) 2016 manifesto to provide a community-owned and managed small-scale irrigation facilities across the country, more than one thousand spots have been identified as potential dam sites for the commencement of the “One-Village, One-Dam” programme, the Minister for Local Government & Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama has said.
According to her, over the period of 16 months since the assumption of government by the party, a total of one thousand two hundred and twenty-one (1,221) places have been surveyed and confirmed by the Irrigation and Development Authority as suitable for the construction of the dams.
Taking her turn at the ‘Meet the Press’ series in Accra Tuesday, May 8 the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development revealed that, out of the number, an assessment of five sites in each of the 64 Districts in the Northern Region has been completed, with 196 still under review.
She further stated that more than fifty (50) Small earth dams have already been constructed by the Local Government & Rural Development Ministry amidst criticisms from the Minority and Civil Society Organisations that the elephantine promises by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will not see the light of the day before the end of President Akufo-Addo’s tenure.
“The Ministry in collaboration with the Irrigation Development Authority has identified 1,221 potential dam sites suitable for the ‘One-Village, One Dam’ programme. Of this number, technical appraisal for 5No. sites in each of 64 Districts has been completed and a total of 196No. has been confirmed as suitable for development,” Hajia Mahama said while briefing the press on the implementation status and key achievements of the New Patriotic Party on Tuesday.
“Additionally, the Ministry completed the construction of 51No. Small earth dams,” she concluded.
Government has been criticized in recent times for not being able to ensure the construction of factories as part of the ‘One-District One-Factory’ initiative.
Per the promise, it is expected that every Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assembly will have a factory established to boost local economies and create jobs for the youth.
However, the Minister of Information, Dr Mustapha Hamid has dashed the hopes of electorates hoping to see factories established in every district of the country in four or eight years.
Responding to critics, Dr Hamid said if government is unable to create factories in all the districts as promised, successive governments would complete it.
“…President Akufo-Addo was virtually saying that for this country to improve, it is a country that we can get one district one factory, and that when he gets the power he will put in place measures to make sure that dream is fulfilled. So, he may not in the four years or eight years be able to establish a factory for every district, but whatever it is, even if he is able to do 100 or 200, any successive president can continue with the projects, then [it will mean that] we are moving towards President Akufo-Addo’s Ghana beyond aid agenda.”
He has also indicated that some local banks have promised to support the project by providing financing for entrepreneurs seeking to build these factories in partnership with government.
He explained that some persons have had their proposals to build factories already screened and approved and that their projects will soon start.
“In the beginning, it was not as if the entire project was dependent on a Chinese facility. As you can see, apart from the Chinese facility we are talking about, the local EXIM bank, UMB, GCB, Ecobank had all come on board, they were also going to help or complement that Chinese facility. Of course, the amount of money coming from China was the largest…but if it fails, I don’t think it has thwarted the vision. The local banks that have promised to partner with the vision are continuing in that process and the vision will continue.”
“So once some of the firms have passed the screening stage, it means that they are basically ready to hit the ground,” he added.
At the press conference was Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, the Minister of Information, and his Deputy, Mr Perry Okudzeto; the three deputy ministers of Local Government; Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, Mr Collins Ntim, and Mr Kwasi Boateng Agyei; and Dr Nana Ato Arthur, the Head of Local Government Service.