When the sod was cut in 2018 for the construction of an ultra-modern One village One dam Integrated Agriculture with Renewable Energy for Poverty Eradication (IAREPE) project at the Botingli, a farming community in the Savelugu Municipality, community members of Botingli heaved a sigh of relief, as it was anticipated that the likes of portable water was soon going to be over.
But, after six months of irregular progress of work, the project has since 2019 been abandoned, with the contractor, HI – LIMIT Group nowhere to be found for almost a year now.
Diamondfmonline.com team in an interaction with some community members whose farms were cleared for the construction of the project, have expressed worry over the abandonment of the project saying, they have nowhere to farm as the raining season approaches.
“Our land was taken for this project but nothing has happened yet. As we speak we don’t know where to farm, because our farm lands have been taken. They should let us know, if the project is no longer going to be carried out”, the angry community members stated.
According to members of the community, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Savelugu Municipality refusal to redeem government promise of providing them with a dam is affecting their livelihoods.
A group of young men under a shed wearing long faces are angry which clearly show that they were not happy about the current development.
They recollect that, the entire community of Botingli burst into happiness when President Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the construction of a dam under the One Village One Dam project on July 2018.
The government flagship project was based on a political promise captured in the NPP 2016 manifesto. This initiative is expected to improve the productivity and incomes of smallholder farmers significantly and bring about improvements in rural livelihoods.
“We were very happy when the President came here for the first time. It was like a market day here. But the contractor only spends some few months on site and packed his tools and left. We don’t know why he left. We inform the MCE of Savelugu about it, but she paid deaf ear to it”, they lamented.
They claimed that they were made to believe that the project would kick start immediately to help them navigate the problem of irregular rainfall by providing them constant water supply for an all year round farming.
“We were told that it will not take a year for the dam to be constructed. Even though they said it won’t be up to a year it has taken a long time. We released our land used for the cultivation of rice and maize to the project developers. But see, we are tell them that, we are going to start planting rice and maize on the land, because they failed to execute the project”, they added.
The chief and people of Botingli are disappointed and calling on the MCE of Savelugu to redeem government promise in the area.
“We plead with the MCE of Savelugu not to disgrace us. She should please try and fulfill the promise because the dam will help many communities”, they pleaded.
The farmers of Botingli are not happy that, the MCE of Savelugu failed to inform them on why the project was abandoned over a year after the groundbreaking.
Source:AlhassaYakubu | www.diamondfmonline.com | Ghana