MoFA, GIDA hand over sites to contractors for irrigation dams

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) through the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) has handed over 12 construction sites to contractors to construct irrigation earth dams.

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The sites are located in Kpalbutabu, Sangba, Tasundo and Duadinyediga in the Northern; Kugpeila, Kukparigu and Binduri districts in the Upper East; and some other schemes in the Upper West Region.

When completed, it is envisaged that the projects would help develop 1.9 million hectares(ha) of potentially irrigable areas.
 

Handing over

Handing over the sites to the contractors at separate events, the Chief Executive of GIDA, Richard Oppong-Boateng, said “with the growing population and increasing climate change, the country's traditional rain-fed farming methods are no longer sufficient to meet the demand for food.”

The solution, he said, lies in the development of irrigation systems, which are critical to the country's food security. In response to these challenges, Mr Oppong-Boateng explained that the government has rolled out some interventions aimed at developing irrigation systems across the country.

He stated that the interventions included developing irrigable areas for crop production, livestock and aquaculture. The projects, he said, were also aimed at increasing food production in the country to help Ghana achieve food security.

Mr Oppong-Boateng said the irrigation dam construction project was a complement to the One-Village-One-Dam (IVID) and Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiatives. He emphasised the importance of dams in the Northern Region, where rainfall lasts for only four months, leaving eight months with dry spells.

He also urged the community members to support the contractors by monitoring their activities and ensuring that no theft of construction materials occurs. Mr Oppong-Boateng called on beneficiaries of the dams to desist from allowing livestock to drink directly from the dam or wash in it, as this can pollute the water. 
 

Other sites, projects

The GIDA Director of Development, Philemon Ebo Yankson, also led a team to the Upper West Region to hand over sites in the region to contractors.

He said in addition to the irrigation dam construction projects, MoFA and GIDA have implemented several other projects aimed at increasing irrigable areas and achieving food security in the country. 

These projects, he said, included the construction of Phase Three of the Tamne Irrigation project, the rehabilitation of the Tono irrigation scheme, and the rehabilitation of the Right Bank of the Vea Irrigation Scheme.
 

Background

Overall, the irrigation dam construction project is a significant step towards achieving food security and promoting sustainable agricultural practices in the country. 

These dams would play a key role for the nation in achieving the recommendation of the 2010 Maputo Declaration adapted for Africa through the Coordinated Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), which aims to increase irrigation areas for agricultural production by 5,000 ha annually for job creation, employment opportunities, poverty reduction and food security.

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