Farming villages in the three regions up north: Northern, Upper West and Upper East, are already being given dugouts by the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to serve irrigation purposes, President John Mahama has said.In his view, therefore, the promise made by his arch rival in the December polls, Nana Akufo-Addo, to provide every farming village in northern Ghana with an irrigation dam is not new.
“What we call a dam in the north is a dugout and every village has a dug-out, it’s a pond, we used to drink from it in the north when there was no water. But now that most of the communities have water the dug-outs are used for livestock watering.
“If he is talking about dug-outs, SADA is doing dugouts for villages. The problem we face now is not the dug-outs; its de-silting them. Most of the dug-outs are silted. And, so, SADA is having a programme to de-silt the dug-outs so that they can accumulate more water for the cattle and other animals to be able to get water. So, the work that is going on in the north is massive and so if you come and say ‘one village, one dam’, you’ve really not said anything;” Mahama told Paul Adom-Otchere on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme on Tuesday September 6.
Apart from the ‘1 village, 1 dam’ policy, Nana Akufo-Addo has also promised to build a factory in all 216 districts in the country. But Mr Mahama has poured water on that as well. “In the free school programme, when you came down to the figures and the nitty-gritty, he found it very difficult to explain. It is the same thing that is happening here. You just throw out a promise that is yesterday’s campaigning in those days, my father’s time. You just throw out something and people just pick it: ‘one village, one dam’, they don’t know if it is a dug-out or a barrage dam or a proper irrigation dam, they don’t know. But then just that you say ‘one village, one dam’, ‘one village, one factory’, what kind of factory? Is it a car assembling plant? Is it the kind of factories that we know? Is it electronic appliances, textiles and garments or small and medium enterprises? If it is small that is happening already. If you talk about those factories, people’s perceptions of factories differ. He has to clarify,” he said.
“This thing about one factory per district came up under the rural enterprise project. It’s not a new idea; it’s a very old idea. If you are talking about small and medium enterprises, like gari making factories, small processing companies, and the use of gratis machines, that is happening already. So the promises are not new,” he added.