Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Mavis Hawa Koomson has justified the construction of pond-like dams in some constituencies; for her, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) never promised Ghanaians Akosombo-like dams during its 2016 elections campaign.
According to her, Ghanaians should not expect big dams because a meaningful dam will take not less than 3 million dollars to be constructed. Currently as it stands she said, the dams being constructed are costing about GHC250, 000, the reason the same results for a $3m one cannot be expected.
The dams being constructed she maintained, are exactly what the NPP promised; dams solely for the purpose of providing water for domestic and for irrigation purposes.
Perturbation she says, is the least of her worries, on the contrary, she is proud of the progress being achieved under the 1-V-1-D project so far.
“We said one village one dam, we didn’t say or bui dam or one Akomsobo dam for the village and when we say one dam in the village, some of us know the type of dam we are talking about, it’s not the bigger type, it’s for the people to use during drought and the animal will not go far so that people will steal them away or they will go and die on their way because if they are not getting water definitely they would die, so we needed some water close to the village.” She said
“I’m telling you that the fact that NDC did something that is not as big as what we have and that’s why I’m proud of myself of what I’m doing because I have seen what they did and if you compare the two, you can see the difference” “Look at the cost, GHC 250,000 if you are constructing a meaningful dam you don’t need anything less than 3 million dollars. So if I’m constructing a GHC 250,000 dam then what kind of dam are you expecting from me? That is the kind of dam we promised the people, we didn’t say we are constructing the 3 million or 6 million type of dam for them” she said.
She added that the construction of a big dam is not under her ministry but for the Ministry of Agric and therefore it will be the Agric ministry because they handle irrigation but the 1V1D is a special initiative for the people in the rural areas and that’s why it’s under her ministry.
There has been a wide condemnation and public anger over the execution of the highly touted Agric sector support initiative aimed at ensuring all year round farming and watering of animals in the Northern part of Ghana.
The residents accused the ministry of constructing ponds instead of dams.
Out of a total of 140 dams allocated to the Upper East region, only 40 have been constructed with some at various stages of completion with each dam estimated to cost Two hundred and Forty Thousand Ghana cedis (GH¢240,000).