Vea Irrigation facility in need of major repairs – Research

A research conducted on the Vea Irrigation Dam  by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) has revealed that the dam is in a deplorable state and needs repairs.

Mr Richard Ananga, Service Provider of BUSAC, said the research findings showed that the dam, built in the 1960s, had its canals and laterals broken and that water meant for irrigation activities did not get to the farms.

The Bongo Yariga Amalzele Cooperative Farmers Society (BONACOFSO) through the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund consulted the Consultant to conduct the research with the aim of carrying out advocacy roles aimed at getting duty bearers to tackle the problem.

The findings also revealed that the Vea Irrigation Project provided employment to 99 per cent of communities in the Bongo area, including Gowrie, Yorogo, Sunbrungu, Bongo Nyariga, Bolga Nyariga, Zaare, Vea, Yikine, and Dindubisi among other areas, who usually undertake rice and tomato farming as well as the cultivation of onions and pepper.

“The present state of the canals and laterals has made farmers’ unable to do dry season farming as desired, and has resulted in the reduction of the income level of farmers, unemployment, reduction in farm size and inadequate water for domestic use”, it stated.

According to the research, the project had an irrigable potential of about 1417 hectares but  that the net irrigated area is 400 hectares, constituting 28 per cent of utilization.

“With two outlets 113km on the left and 14.5 km to the right, when the project is fully developed, it will yield about 2,500 tons of milled rice and 7500 tons of tomato per season”, it stated.

The research recommended that government should rehabilitate the Vea Irrigation dam Project, canals and laterals to salvage the many livelihoods that depended on irrigation farming for survival.

It further indicated that the Management of the Vea Irrigation Dam facility should be resourced in terms of funds and personnel so as to enhance the efficient and effective control and management of the facility.

It recommended that farmers should be involved in the management of portions of the facility, and that “There is the need to use the experience of chief farmers to help the management process of the facility”.

According to the BONACOFSO, if the Vea facility is given the necessary attention it would help reduce poverty in the area and also help curb rural- urban migration.

The Vea Irrigation dam project was constructed on the River Yaragatanga to store about 16million m/3 of water for irrigation of 3500 acres or 1400 hectares and water supply of 4.5 million liters per day to the Bolgatanga township and its surrounding communities.

Source: GNA

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