The Akufo-Addo led government through the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has fired back at the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah in a statement indicated that the farming communities in the northern part of Ghana pleaded with the then-presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo for dams and not Akosombo-like hydro dams.
While accusing the NDC of using propaganda to run down all government policies, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the people of those farming communities were given exactly they requested for.
In a statement to respond to “NDC propaganda” concerning the 1V1D project, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said:
“With reference to the model of the dams being constructed, it must be noted that the beneficiary communities, in requesting for the dams, did not request an Akosombo-like type of dam. The model and specification of dams requested for under this programme are the exact type known to the people in the beneficiary communities,” the statement said.
Read Mr Oppong Nkrumah’s full statement below:
99% OF 1V1D PROJECTS WITHOUT INCIDENT. STOP THE PROPAGANDA!
The Akufo-Addo administration takes note of attempts by the opposition NDC, to continuously disparage national programs, in their bid to downplay the benefits of such programs to the Ghanaian people.
The latest is the claim by the NDC that the One Village-One Dam Programme is a deceptive exercise.
The Administration reminds the opposition that:
1. During the tenure of the NDC, the Mahama administration offered no credible responses when the people in the beneficiary communities requested for dams to support their farming. In the 2016 electioneering campaign, the NDC again offered no credible response when requests were made for dams. The current 1V1D Program is a solution to the irrigation challenges of the northern regions. The NDC will be best served if they provide alternative programs to tackle the irrigation problems of the beneficiary communities rather than the usual resort to name calling.
2. Currently, three hundred (300) dams are under construction. Four (4) out of the three hundred (300) dams, representing 1.3%, are the only ones to have recorded challenges. These include ongoing works at the dam at Kajelo in the Kassena-Nankana West District which was damaged by unexpected rainfall. The damage has since been rectified. It is these four (4), that the NDC (which continuously fails to provide alternative solutions to the irrigation challenges up north), suggests are evidence of a failed program which has caused financial loss to the State. About 99% of the projects are proceeding without incident. Some of the projects have already started serving the beneficiary communities well. Seventy (70) of the dams in the Upper East Region will be available for use before the peak of the rainy season. The remaining dams are expected to be completed after the rainy season. Therefore, the claim that only forty (40) dams have so far been constructed is another one of the usual falsehoods the NDC often attempts to feed the Ghanaian public with.
3. With reference to the model of the dams being constructed, it must be noted that the beneficiary communities in requesting for the dams did not request an Akosombo-like type of dam. The model and specification of dams requested for under this Programme are the exact type known to the people in the beneficiary communities. The development conforms with the same technical, security and financial benchmarks for dams of this nature;
• Each dam covers a land area of 2 hectares.
• The earth embankment wall has a maximum height of 5m.
• The depth of the small dam is also 5m.
• The length of the embankment wall ranges between 250m and 350m.
• The width of the embankment wall is 4m.
• At the central part of each dam is a dugout, which is the depression or the inner chamber of the dam. This depression has the size of 80 × 50m with a depth of max 2.5m tapering to zero at the shallow end.
• Each dam when completed is estimated to contain in excess of 30,000 cubic meters of water when full; enough to serve the purposes of the beneficiary community during the dry season.
It is also instructive to note that, A DUGOUT or EXCAVATED POND as the NDC would like to describe the 1V1D dams, does not have similar features as outlined above.
4. Additionally, the claim that financial loss has or will be caused has no basis. No contractor has or will be paid without delivering equivalent value. The 1V1D Program has a strong monitoring framework in place to ensure that the specifications are adhered to.
5. Unlike the opposition party’s administration of the past, whose claims of investing in northern Ghana through projects such as the guinea fowl project (which was non-existent at the end of their tenure), the 1V1D Programme will remain visible on the ground and will serve the people well once completed and handed over.
Ghanaians are once again urged to disregard the usual propaganda and casting of aspersions on national programs from the NDC, while it offers no credible alternatives to tackling the challenges of our people. The Implementers of the program are guided by the remarks of the President to ensure value for money.
The Akufo-Addo administration will remain focused on delivering on its flagship programs including Free SHS, 1D1F and Planting for Food and Jobs. The NDC is advised to propose alternative programs and desist from their usual propaganda aimed at running down government programs.
KOJO OPPONG NKRUMAH (MP)