Youth farmers appeal for rehabilitation of Vea irrigation project

Youth farmers who are beneficiaries of the Vea Irrigation Project in the Upper East Region have appealed to government to rehabilitate the broken canals and laterals of the facility to enable them to engage in dry season farming.

 Speaking to the media after a desilting exercise of some of the canals and laterals spraying weedicides to contained weeds around the place, they explained that if for now the project could not be fully rehabilitated, at least the broken canals and laterals should be desilted to enable them to undertake some form of agriculture activities this dry season.

The Vea Irrigation Project, constructed in 1965, had over the decades, supplied water to several communities including Vea, Bongo, Nyariga, Yorogo, Yorogo-Gabisi, Dindubisi, Bolgatanga, Zaare, Yikene, Gowrie and Sumbrungu to enable farmers engage in all year round farming.

The leader of the group, MrApiko Ayorogo, explained that as a result of the erratic rainfall patterns experienced in the region, yields from the farming season are not always enough to feed most families throughout the year and added that dry season irrigation activities were all that they needed to supplement the yields.

He revealed that due to the current nature of the facility, most people who used to cultivate various kinds of crops such as rice, soybeans, millet, sorghum and vegetables including pepper, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage could no longer do so leading to high rate of  rural urban migration among the youth.

Mr Ayorogo said the facility since its establishment in 1965, had not witnessed any major rehabilitation leading to the breaking down of most of the canals and laterals that discharge water to farmers in the above mentioned communities for dry season farming.

As result of the bad siltation and deteriorating nature of the dam, it has thrown about 4,000 farmers out of business, particularly those who engage in dry season farming as the farmers could no longer access water from the dam to continue their farming activities and improve on their livelihoods.

A visit to the facility revealed that the facility had developed siltation challenges on both the left and right canals as well as the laterals that transport the water from the main reservoir to the farmers.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, YOROGO-GAABISI

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