Contractors working on the government’s flagship project one village one dam (1V1D) in the five regions of northern Ghana are expected to return to site for the second phase of the projects which are at various stages of completion.
The dams, which were awarded on contract in February 2018, are between 70 per cent and 90 per cent complete.
The remaining works are spillways and embankments which are expected to be constructed in the second phase, after the rains have subsided, according to engineers on the project.
Some of the contractors packed out of site for lack of payment, but the government has since assured them of release of funds.
The Minister of Special Development Initiative, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, told journalists at Meyogo in the Tempane District in the Upper East Region that “some of the contractors have not even received a pesewa yet, that is why works on these dugouts are delaying.”
She attributed the delay on the completion of the projects to the non-payment of the contractors, stressing that “the ministry does not give mobilisation; contractors will do the work and when we are satisfied, they then raise certificates for payment.”
Each of the dams is being constructed at a cost of GH¢250,000.
Mrs Koomson, and the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, last Thursday conducted a team of journalists round a number of the dams in the Northern, North East and Upper East regions to assess progress of work.
Among communities visited were Gonu, Yamo-Karaga/Pishegu, Denugo, Yabrago/Tempane, Nanton, Karaga, Garu and Tempane districts.
During the tour, it was observed that the contractors had evacuated from the sites with work at various levels of completion.
Mrs Koomson said she was impressed with the progress of work.
According to her, the ministry was keenly monitoring the projects to ensure that the contractors delivered to specification to ensure value for money and, therefore, would not countenance any substandard work by any contractor.
She said her outfit was also working to ensure the successful completion of the 560 dams in the northern part of the country by the end of 2020.
For his part, Mr Nkrumah gave an assurance that various stakeholders would work closely to ensure all concerns raised about the projects were resolved as a matter of urgency.
The government is constructing 300 dugouts across the northern part of the country out of a total of 570 dams promised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the run-up to the 2016 general election.
Out of the number, 174 dams are currently under construction in the Northern Region, whilst 83 and 43 are being constructed in the Upper East and Upper West regions respectfully.
The dams, which are at various stages of completion, are expected to provide enough water for farmers to ensure all year farming, as well as for domestic purposes.