July 19, 2024
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Video: Pwalugu Multi-Purpose Dam; $993m project now white elephant

The Pwalugu Multi-Purpose dam project estimated at $993 million and touted as the single largest investment ever made in the Northern part of Ghana under the 4th Republic by Vice President Dr Mahamud Bawumia seems to have hit rock four years after the historic ceremony graced by both President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on November 29, 2019.

Over four years after the sod was cut for work to begin on the construction of the Pwalugu multi-purpose dam, work on the much-touted project is yet to commence at the project site.

The construction of the multipurpose dam at Pwalugu in the Talensi District in the Upper East Region was aimed at holding large volumes of water spilt from the Bagre Dam to address three main issues namely; the provision of water for irrigation, generation of electricity, and control of the annual flooding of communities in the Upper East and North East regions.

The historic ceremony was also attended by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, ministers of state, Members of Parliament and traditional rulers, including the Overlord of the Mamprugu Traditional Area in the North East Region, Naa Bohagu Abdulai Mahami Sheriga.

However, there have been several efforts in the past by residents of the area to impress upon the Akufo_Addo government to expedite action by releasing funds towards the actualisation of the project but to no avail. Some farmers within the area have bemoaned the turn of events, expressing disappointment at the government over a moment they describe as deceitful and frustrating since their lives depended on the dam project.

According to some residents who spoke to radiotamaleonline.com, they face a lot of unbearable situations anytime the rainy season sets in knowing very well that the Bagre dam will be open and they will certainly lose their crops to the water spillage.

It is however their belief that the sod was cut for the project because of the 2020 general elections judging from the fact that the contractor abandoned the three project sites with one at Gubeo, the other at Sariba and Kurugu, all in the West Mamprusi Municipality in the North East Region where all the components of the project are expected to be constructed but no single activity is going on at any of the sites.

Local Farmer within the area, Nkomode

The temporary fenced campsite put up by the contractor to pave the way for actual works to begin on the project had been closed down with all heavy-duty equipment and other building materials moved out of the site.

Concrete blocks, chippings, gravels and other materials that were initially at the site had all been taken away and the entire area was overgrown with weeds.

There was no indication on the ground that actual construction work would start any time soon, even though 30 months out of the project duration of four years and two months have already elapsed.

Although a number of farmers, whose farms are within the areas earmarked for the construction of the multipurpose dam, have been reached and duly registered, no efforts have been made to pay them compensation.

Additionally, residents of communities to be affected as a result of the construction have been engaged as part of the resettlement action plan, but there have not been any visible works towards resettling the communities to be affected by the project.

Some of the affected farmers said officials of the Volta River Authority (VRA) met them, took pictures of them, and gave them documents to sign with the assurance that they would be compensated since their farms were within the project area. However, the VRA has not kept to its promise.

Source: radiotamaleonline.com

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