President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has disclosed that government would construct 570 dams in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions under the one village, one dam project.
The Builsa area in the Upper East Region would receive 20 to support all year irrigation activities in the area.
He said 10 dams each would be constructed in the Builsa North and the South, and indicated that two each would be constructed in Sandema, Wiaga, Chuchuliga, Siniesi and Kadema to improve farming activities in the District.
President Akufo-Addo who was addressing the Chiefs and people of the Builsa Traditional Area in the Upper East Region as part of his two-day working visit to the Upper East Region, said it was imperative for Ghana, especially the three regions of the north to establish proper infrastructure for the enhancement of agriculture to improve their livelihoods.
He added ‘In order to support the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ (PFJ)programme, which included 200,000 farmers last year, Upper East Region had 30,000 out of the number and the Builsa Traditional Area had 3,790 benefiting from the subsidised fertilizer and improved seedlings.’
President Akufo-Addo was enthusiastic that 18,000 metric tons of fertilizers were distributed to farmers in the Builsa area alone, and said government was establishing 50 warehouses across the country to store food products produced by the country’s farmers as their sweat had been in vain for far too long.
‘At the end of the year when these 50 warehouses are in place, that is also going to be a thing of the past,’ and indicated that five warehouses would be constructed in the region, with the Builsa area getting one.
He said government had received 150 million dollars from the Indian EXIM Bank as loan for the creation of Agriculture Mechanisation Centres which would involve the creation of tractor hiring pools across the length and breadth of the country.
‘Parliament is debating that matter as we talk now, and I am hoping that by the time Parliament rises, on the 27th of July, that loan would have been rectified and then we can get on with establishing these agricultural mechanisation centres which would provide agricultural services for our farmers,’ he said.
President Akufo-Addo as part of the visit, inspected on-going road construction works on the Navrongo-Sandema-Wiaga-Fumbisi road, and cut the sod for the construction of a new District Police Headquarters at Sandema, the Builsa North District capital.
Nab Azagsuk Azantilow, theSandem-Nab and overlord of the Builsa Traditional Area, commended the President for the roll-out of government’s flagship programmes, especially the Free Senior High School (Free SHS) initiative and entreated government to complete the communal labour project at Chuchliga for SHS which was at roofing level, and to absorb the Wiaga Community SHS into the public system.
The Chief further urged government to fulfil its promise to complete the on-going road construction in the area and said the Sandema-Doninga-Santejam-Wa roads were of economic importance to the PFJ programme as vast fertile lands in the areas were opened for cultivation.
‘My chiefs and I are very much interested in the PFJ programme, but this programme will succeed better if tractor pools are established to make it easy to go into the programme under the slogan one chief one farm,’ he said.
Nab Azantilow expressed worry that the Builsa Traditional Council which was the oldest in the region, remained the only ethnic area without a tertiary institution.
‘We have no doubt that you, our fair-minded democratic President, will not countenance such unfairness and disparity, and therefore it is our hope that sooner or later the area will be given a befitting tertiary institution like a Nursing Training College and one of the modern state of the art technical institutions.’
He said the Traditional authority was ready to partner government and would release land for such development exercise.
PresidentAkufo-Addo was accompanied by Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Defence Minister, Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, Minister for Special Development Initiatives, Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Hajia Alima Mahama, the Upper East Regional Minister, MrRockson Ayine Bukari, Deputy Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Mr Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, Minister for Water and Sanitation, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, and other government officials.
The President has since rounded up his tour of the Upper East Region, and is expected to continue same in the Northern and Upper West Regions.