Akufo-Addo gov’t fails to deliver promised 65 earth dams two years after budget commitment

Tracking the One Village, One Dam promise

President Akufo-Addo led government is yet to deliver a single earth dam two years after it promised to “rehabilitate 65 small earth dams in Northern Ghana” as part of the broader One-Village One-Dam initiative.

The government in the 2017 Budget promised to set in motion the ‘One village, One dam’ initiative, but two years down the line, iWatch Africa can confirm that little progress has been made towards fulfilling this promise.

In the last couple of days, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has commissioned 10 dams in four regions across Northern Ghana which is expected to be completed within 6 months.

Though this should be good news for farmers in those communities, the number is well below the 65 earth dams promised in the 2017 Budget as well as the 570 dams announced by Ghana’s Vice President, H.E. Dr Mahamudu Bawumia during the annual “Paarigbielle” festival in 2018.

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iWatch Africa checks with the Ministry of Special Development revealed that as at January 2019, rehabilitation designs for the following dams: Sankana (UWR), Tanoso (BAR), Kpando-Torkor, (VR) Amate (ER), Libga and Golinga (NR) as well as 12 small dams under the One-Village-One-Dam programme had been completed but construction had not begun.

The One Village One Dam initiative will help farming communities have all-year-round access to water for irrigation especially during the dry season and eventually reduce the impact of climate change on their livelihoods.

By Gideon Sarpong | iWatch Africa

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Gideon Sarpong

Gideon Sarpong is a policy analyst and media practitioner with close to a decade of experience in policy, data and investigative journalism. Gideon is a co-founder of iWatch Africa. He is an author; a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Thomson Reuters Foundation, Commonwealth Youth Program ,Free Press Unlimited and Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative. Gideon is the founder of Sustainable Ocean Alliance Ghana. He was a 2021 Policy Leader Fellow at the European University Institute, School of Trans-national Governance in Florence, Italy and 2020/21 Open Internet For Democracy Leader. Gideon was also a 2022 Visiting Scholar/Reuters Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK and was selected as a 2022 TRF/Trust Conference Changemaker. He is currently the Africa Regional Cordinator for Environmental Justice Foundation and a 2023 Pulitzer ORN Fellow. Email: gideonsarpong@iwatchafrica.org.
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