The abandoned project site
The abandoned project site
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Minority says GIDA’s assertions misleading

A member of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Edward Bawa, has expressed sharp disagreement with the assertions made by the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) on the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam and Irrigation Project (PMDIP).

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He said the picture of the Parliamentary Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs that the authority put out as part of the evidence was misleading. “This committee went to the project site in 2021 and since then the contractor has left the site and those containers in the photo are no longer there,” he explained in an interview with the Daily Graphic.

“The reason why the committee had gone to check on the place was because GIDA themselves had indicated to Parliament that the government had promised to give them money but since there was no money, the project was not progressing,” he said.

Mr Bawa indicated that irrigation for the project could only take place after the construction of a hydro reservoir dam which had to generate 60 megawatts of power. “The irrigation was supposed to be a downstream project; so, how do you jump from the upper part which was the hydro reservoir and start investing in the lower part,” he asked.

Untruthful

The MP argued that GIDA went to Parliament to indicate that the total cost of the Pwalugu Multipurpose Irrigation Dam project was $993 million. “It meant that they would have done all the various parameters. For example, they would have done what we call environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) to know the impact, the people who are going to be displaced and how much it costs to displace them”.

“They all become part of the project sum which is $993 million; so how can you come to Parliament for an amount of $993 million when in the strict sense of the word, you have not done ESIA and it is only at this point that you release money because, from the statement, part of the money was used for ESIA,” he said.

Mr Bawa added: “It is when you have made a study to tell you that you are going to displace for example, 4,200 families and how much money is going to settle those people which will be part of the project sum that you will know the cost of the project.”

He, therefore, questioned how GIDA could give a project sum of $993 million when it had not done the ESIA.

Abandonment

The MP added that the contractors for the project had demobilised and left the site. He said the 5.2 km road that the GIDA claimed had been constructed was not a road but a pathway.

“The day we went to the site, it rained heavily and if we did not have very strong cars, we would have been stuck,” the MP for Bongo said.

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