Parts of Tono Dam said to need rehabilitation

Vea DamAlhaji Muniru, Upper East Regional Minister, on Thursday said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Administration  was a human centred government and would do everything to ensure that jobs were created for the people of the country.

Alhaji Muniru said this when he paid a visit to the Irrigation Company of Upper Region (ICOUR) in Tono in the Kassena Nankana Municipality to interact with the workers at the project.

Alhaji Muniru was accompanied by his Deputy, Mr Daniel Syme, and the Municipal Chief Executive who were briefed on the project.

Mr Sabastian Abagna, Project Manager of ICOUR, gave a background of the project as established in 1983 with the oversight responsibility over the Tono and the VEA dams.

He said over the years the project had been saddled with infrastructural challenges among other things that had slowed the effective use of the dams.

He called for rehabilitation of the lower level canals of the Tono Irrigation Project to support in water distribution to farmers at the irrigation site.

He said though the main gravity system was rehabilitated in 2007, the lower level canals had not seen any rehabilitations since the past 20 years which, according to him, resulted in water losses and water distribution to farmers for irrigation activities.

He said if the canals were rehabilitated it would promote food production among the 6000 farmer beneficiaries farming at irrigation projects.

Mr Abagna said though a 200 Km stretch of the original lining of the main water system was rehabilitated recently, the laterals that conducted  water into the canals to make water distribution more efficient to the farmers also needed rehabilitation.

He said some parts of the canals of the Vea Dam had also been left in a deplorable state and needed immediate attention.

Mr Abagna said the Tono Dam irrigated 2,490 hectares land area whilst the Vea Dam irrigated 850 hectares.

The project provides extension services to farmers on improved technology, credit and marketing and advises farmers on trials of new technologies.

He indicated that rice, which is cultivated on over 1,200 hectares land area at the production rate of 4,800 tons, increased with the introduction of the Block Farms Project.

Mr Abagna said other produce cultivated were tomatoes, onions, and soybeans.

He said challenges facing the farmers were poor roads leading to the project sites, land pressure and lack of requisite heavy duty tillers for land preparation due to wet soils.

The Minister assured them that their problems would be looked into and appropriate measures taken to address their plight.

Source: GNA

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