Hon Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, MP for Garu
Construction works on the Tamne Irrigation Dam in the GARU District of the Upper East Region, would be completed in July 2018, Dr Afriyie Owusu Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture has said in parliament.
According to the sector Minister, works on the project site is progressing steadily and that without any other unforeseen hindrance, phase one of the project would be completed by July this year.
Dr Afriyie Akoto revealed this, when Member of Parliament(MP) for Garu, Hon Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, placed a question and wanted to know when the project would be completed.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Food and Agriculture when the Tamne Irrigation Dam Project will be completed,?” Mr Alalzuuga asked on the floor of parliament.
Former President John Mahama cut sod for the construction of the Dam in 2016, with the full aim of providing irrigation services and water to domestic animals in and around Garu-Tempane district.
The Dam when completed would help reduce unemployment and poverty among the people in the catchment area as more of the youth would be engaged in the Agric business sector.
Responding to the question, the Minister said, in 2014, the then Minister for Trade and Industry initiated a policy to collaborate with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to leverage the Export Trade, Agriculture and Industrial Fund, EDAIF funding component for Agricultural Development to fund irrigation infrastructure for horticultural crops production for domestic and foreign markets.
He said, the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) with EDAIF procured a Consultant, Messrs E. D. Kemevor and Riosap Associates in accordance with the Public Procurement Act 2003 (Act 663) to undertake the feasibility and detailed design for Tamne irrigation dam.
Works on Phase One of the project, he said, “were awarded to Messrs Munisco Limited through a procurement process in line with Act 663 at a cost of Sixty- Seven Million, Two Hundred and Seventy Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifteen Ghana Cedis, Forty Ghana Pesewas (GH¢67,270,215.40) through a Contract signed in 2016.”
“Construction works commence in August 2016 after EDAIF paid the mobilization to the contractor. Since then the rest of the funding for Phase I had been taken up by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture as Exim-Bank could not inherit the grant funding responsibility of the defunct EDAIF,” the Minister said.
Scope of works under the Phase One of the project, Dr Akoto said includes construction of dam embankment,spillway and spillway channel and inlet and outlet chambers.
He stated that, work is progressing steadily and now stands around 70% completion, but however expressed the concern that the flood plain area at the dam axis warranted further geotechnical investigations and far deeper than originally anticipated.
“Mr Speaker, It also became necessary to review the spillway to take advantage of the localized high grounds at the right side to ensure fast and safe passage of spilling water into the Bailey Bridge on the Bawku – Garu road. This review shortened the length of the spillway channel required by some 100m.”
“The revised spillway drawings have been completed and contractor instructed to incorporate it into the work schedule based on which he would submit a revised works programme for consideration,” Dr Akoto said
He further told parliament that, most of the feeder roads in the dam area are prone to flood when the dam is full and that plans are far advanced with the Irrigation Authority and the Garu District assembly to find the most suitable solution to the problem.
“It is important to mention that it has been established through geodetic survey that about 900m of the Garu -Gagbiri feeder road would be inundated by the reservoir at full supply level.”
“In view of this the Authority has written to the Garu District Assembly as well as the District Feeder roads office for their decision and the best way around the situation. The Authority is currently waiting for a formal communique from the District Assembly regarding their decision on the Garu – Gagbiri feeder road.”
“These notwithstanding, Mr Speaker, works are on-going and Phase 1 of the project is progressing steadily and the Authority and the Contractor would have some comfort if the official communication on the feeder road is released by the Garu District Assembly and the Department of Feeder Roads as soon as possible,” he explained to parliament.
Dr Akoto said, “It has been estimated that Phase One of the Tamne project will be completed by the end of July 2018. However, if the foregoing issue of inundation of a stretch of the Garu – Gagbiri feeder road is resolved promptly, it is possible to try and complete the dam earlier to catch some water this year.”
He also explained that, there was the need for the Garu District Assembly to lead in assessing the value of anticipated dwelling structures within the areas earmarked to be inundated by the reservoir.
The Agric Minister added, there has also been budgetary allocation in the 2018 budget statement for work on the Phase II of the Tamne Dam project, stating that, “MOFA has since initiated the procurement process for Phase II which comprises, construction of conveyance system, appurtenant irrigation structures, development of irrigable area. (Potential irrigable area is 700ha), drains and farm roads.”
He said, the project consultant with support of GIDA would identify dwelling structure as well as land owners to facilitate allocation of irrigable plots to beneficiaries who would be made up of affected land owners from the reservoir area as well as land owners in the irrigable area.
Sources:www.therepubliconlinenewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba