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Works on Vea Irrigation Dam ordered to be continued

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irrigationThe Upper East Regional Security Council on Wednesday ordered the contractor working on the Vea Dam to resume work in spite of protests from spiritual lords that the gods detest the blast and use of rocks in the area as raw material for the work.

Work on the rehabilitation of the dam, which started about two years ago, was stalled as the “Tindamas” (Spiritual Landlords) claimed their ancestral spirits resided in the rocks which they worshipped and so denied the contractor access to blast the rocks to be used as raw material for the rehabilitation works.

The Vea Dam was constructed in the 1960s to serve as a multi-purpose dam. It serves as a source of water supply for irrigation, provide pipe borne water to the Bolgatanga Municipality and its environs, as well as serve as source of drinking water for animals.

It would be recalled that Eunitack Services Limited, the firm awarded the contract two years ago by the government to rehabilitate some parts of the dam, could not continue because the Tindamas would not allow him to blast rocks for the job.

Several efforts, including interventions by the Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, Naba Baba Salifu Aleemyarum and the Regional Coordination Council (REGSEC) to convince the Tindamas to pacify the gods as often done to pave way for work to continue, proved futile as the Tindamas alleged the gods refused to be pacified.

On two occasions when the Tindamas were invited by the REGSEC together with the chief of the area, Naba Thomas Azubire, to see how the issue could be handled, the Tindamas refused to attend the meeting, claiming the gods warned them of imminent accident should they attend the meeting and instead invited the REGSEC to come to them at the community.

Briefing the media after taking the decision, Mr Mark Woyongo, Chairman of the REGSEC, who is also the acting Upper East Regional Minister, said the decision was taken in the interest of the majority of the people in the region who depended on the dam for survival.

He said apart from the fact that the dam supplied drinking water to the entire people of the Upper East Region, it was used by the nine communities for farming activities in the dry season for the cultivation of tomatoes, rice, vegetables, as well as fish farming and animal rearing.

“If the dam is not worked on now it will collapse and this will affect the people in the entire region greatly. We will also lose the 25 million dollars from Nordic Development Fund (NDF)”, the minister said.

He said REGSEC had decided to provide security for the contractor to start work next week Monday and appealed to the community members, particularly the Tindamas, not to cause any  trouble and allow the contractor to complete the work to avoid losing the money.

Mr Woyongo warned that anybody who would want to mar the process would be dealt with drastically and regretted the gross disrespect of the Tindamas towards the REGSEC and the paramount chief of Bongo.

According to Mr Woyongo, who is abreast of the traditions and customs of the area, gods are usually pacified in instances particularly related to development and wondered why the Tindamas  were refusing to perform the sacrifices to pacify the gods.

Meanwhile compensation packages have been provided for those who stay closer to the shrine and whose houses were likely to be affected by the blasts.

The dam is a major livelihood for about nine communities namely Vea, Nyariga, Bongo, Bolgatanga, Zaare, Dindubisi, Yikine, Gowrie and Sumbrungu and other communities outside the facility area.

Source: GNA

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2 comments

  1. Do we still have these type of backward people on earth? Don’t they have children who go to school. Don’t they have educated people in their tribe who should be used as liaisons?

  2. Enin the issue is beyond wat has be published, the issue is not just about the gods but the people and suppression of land owners and houses closed to the rocks and the vea people will fight if the minister and the chief want they should arrest all of us because they have power God is watching them