Tono Irrigation project 95% complete

BY: News Desk Report
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto (3rd from left), Minister of Food and Agriculture, assessing progress of work at the spillway of the Tono Irrigation Dam
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto (3rd from left), Minister of Food and Agriculture, assessing progress of work at the spillway of the Tono Irrigation Dam

Rehabilitation work on the Tono Irrigation Dam Project in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality of the Upper East Region is about 95 per cent complete and would be ready in a month’s time.

With the exception of the spillway which is almost completed, all the major works including retaining walls, dam floor, embankment, laterals and canals of the dam have been completed.

These came to light when the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, inspected progress of work on the project as part of his working visit to the region.

The Tono Irrigation Dam constructed in 1975 had not seen any major rehabilitation which led to the damage of the major parts of the facility and siltation challenges until 2018 when the government secured $36 million for reconstruction work to begin on the facility.

The project

The project, which has funding support from the World Bank and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was awarded to Top International Engineering Cooperation, (TIEC), a Chinese construction firm and is expected to be completed in 36 months.

However, in October 2019, as a result of two weeks torrential rainfall, the retaining walls, canals, dam floor, laterals among other parts of the dam got damaged leading water to overflow and washed away several hectares of farmlands in the catchment area.

The facility had the potential to irrigate an area of about 4,000 hectares of farmlands. However, as a result of the siltation challenges and breakdown of the major parts that can carry water from the dam to farmlands, it can only irrigate 1,300 hectares of farmland.

The project, when completed, will not only boost agriculture production in the Kassena-Nankana and Builsa communities but it is expected to feed the new water treatment plant under construction at Tono which when completed would enhance the supply of treated water to Navrongo, Paga, Zuarungu, Bolgatanga and their environs by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).

Satisfaction

Dr Akoto expressed satisfaction about progress of work on the facility and noted that it would soon be completed to support farmers to increase production especially in rice.

“I am impressed with the work done so far because two years ago nobody could stand here; there were cracks, water had taken away the floors and everything and I am amazed to see a total transformation of the project and within the next one month the project would be completed,” he said.

The Tono Irrigation Project Engineer, Top International Engineering Cooperation, Mr Thomas Odonkor, noted that the only work left on the rehabilitation of the project was the spillway which was 500 metres long and 50 metres wide.

He said a lot of work was being done on the spillway with proper concreting and bonding to ensure that it would withstand any pressure, adding that the project would be completed within two weeks after the visit of the sector minister.

“The spillway was a specialised area, so we have engaged a specialised sub-contractor to do it and he is on site trying to do the work,” he added.