CSOs present petition to Speaker on 1V1D construction in Northern Ghana 

By Albert Allotey 

Accra, May 22, GNA-Members of civil society organisations (CSOs) in Northern Ghana have presented a petition to the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin on the construction of the One Village One Dam and the Pwalugu Multi-purpose Dam. 

The CSOs, led by the Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA) have appealed to the Speaker to intervene through Parliament to get the government and other actors involved in the construction of the One Village One Dame (1V1D) and the Pwalugu Multi-purpose Dam in the North to account to the good people of Ghana. 

“We wish to humbly seek your intervention to call for value for money audit and transparency and accountability of the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) of the country’s oil money you approved for these 1V1D projects.  

“Also, Summon the Special Development Initiative Secretariat and the Northern Development Authority to appear before Parliament to respond to questions on 1V1D expenditure and performance. 

“Embark on a parliamentary field trip to 1V1D project sites in some of the communities where the dams are said to be 100 per cent complete to acquaint yourself with the realities on the ground.” 

The petition said: “Mr. Speaker, our attention has also been drawn to a recent revelation regarding the payment of US$11 million on account of works executed on the purported Pwalugu Multi-purpose Dam.  

“We the citizens in the area have not seen any sign of development on the site. We therefore wish to equally implore you to demand explanations from the Executive on the expenditure of the said US$11 million on the Pwalugu Multi-purpose Dam.  

“As citizens and, by extension taxpayers, we own the right to information on the said expenditure, as well as the use of all public resources.” 

The petition was copied to the Ghana News Agency by Mr Bismark Adongo Ayorogo, Executive Director of NORPRA. 

It said: “While recognizing the important role of small earth dams in the socio-economic transformation of communities in northern Ghana, we wish to share with you the state of government’s 1V1D and the Pwalugu Multi-Purpose Dam with documentary evidence (Videos & pictures) and to register our disappointment over the poor state of the 1V1D and the non-existent Pwalugu Multi-Purpose Dam.” 

The petition stated that in theory, the 1V1D Policy as one of the Government’s flagship programmes under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP) was meant to facilitate and promote double cropping in a year (2018 Budget, Parag 394), increase agricultural productivity, enhance food security, and reduce the food import bill, (2017 Budget, Parag. 496) for improved livelihoods of the people.  

“This was greeted with great excitement by many across the country. In fact, the people of Northern Ghana were drowned in indescribable joy,” it said. 

It added; “This joy was however short-lived as none of the 570 dams constructed by the then Ministry of Special Development Initiatives (MSDI) in Northern Ghana contained water for all year-round farming in beneficiary communities.” 

The petition said: “Mr. Speaker, we wish to point out that the Northern Patriots is in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA), a civil society organization based in Bolgatanga with funding support from the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), engaged in tracking the 1V1D expenditure and performance from 2017 to May 2024.  

“We found that all the dams are always dried up in the dry season, a period water is very much needed for dry season farming to address issues of low agricultural productivity, food insecurity, unemployment, poverty and hunger in line with the policy objective of 1V1D.” 

It also found out that, on average, GHS 670,000 of Ghana’s oil money was spent on each 1V1D project. This gave a total amount of Ghc381,900,000.00 and that consultancy fee, which was 10 per cent of the contract sum, stood at GHS 38,190,000.00. 

“Mr Speaker, our right to information was also not respected and protected as the information sought under the Right to Information Act, 2019 (ACT 989) from the Special Development Initiative Secretariat (SDI) and the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) on how procurement of the 1V1D projects was done was denied,” the petition stated. 

It said it was a historical fact that properly designed and constructed small dams in some communities in northern Ghana have been acknowledged in evaluation works done under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS, 2003) and the works of Kpieta B. etal, (2013) and Acheampong etal, (2014) to have significantly contributed to improved livelihoods of farming communities.