EU-GAP to rehabilitate Busa Irrigation System – Project Manager, AWMP
The Project Manager of the Agricultural Water Management Project (AWMP) under the European Union, Ghana Agricultural Programme (EU-GAP), Mr Stephen Maclean, has hinted of plans by the EU-GAP to rehabilitate the Busa Irrigation System in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region.
He said the intervention would see the rehabilitation of nine existing dams including the Siiru and Sankana irrigation dams in the Nadowli-Kaleo District as well as the construction of six new dams at communities such as Piina and Gurungu in the Lambussie and Wa East Districts respectively.
The project would be funded by the European Union (EU) and the French Government through the French Development Agency (AFD) and implemented by Ghana’s Ministry of Finance, Ghana Agricultural Development and Authority (GIDA) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA).
Mr Maclean, made this known at Busa, a farming community in the Wa Municipality, when he led a delegation from the EU and the AFD to monitor the current state of the Busa dam.
Mr Maclean said the dam was rehabilitated in 1995, 37 years after it was constructed, and had since not seen any maintenance.
He said the degraded walls of the dam would be repaired, and the canals and drains de-silted to improve upon the flow of water to help save farmers from the hurdle of digging wells to draw water for their plants.
The intervention, he said, would include filling of gullies and reshaping of the dam wall, working on the spillway approach, and repair of canal and drains.
“Over the years the walls of the dam have eroded, the canals are spoiled, so this intervention is to repair the dam wall and repair the irrigation component,” he said.
He said the rehabilitation of the Busa dam was expected to start in the last quarter of 2024 after the necessary studies and procurement processes were completed.
The Deputy Head of Mission, EU Delegation to Ghana Mr Pieter Smidt Van Gelder, said the overall objective of the project was to enable access to a productive environment-friendly infrastructure to contribute to enhanced household income and increased trade of commodities.
He said the intervention which was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic would eventually be executed to impact the livelihood of farmers.
The leader of the farmers at Busa, Mr Abu Ahmed, commended the EU-GAP and its partners for the intervention and said the dam would help farmers especially women farmers to be able to farm during the dry season to earn a living.
The team later visited the Neem Seed Processing facility in Wa which was managed by the Tibourataa Women Group to observe the production processes at the facility
FROM RAFIA ABDUL RAZAK, WA