The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said a total of 570 dams are being constructed in the Upper East, Upper West and Northern Regions.

Another 15 warehouses are also in the process of being constructed as part of government’s efforts to improve the agricultural and to create the conditions for all-year-round farming.

“It is long overdue and that is why we have committed ourselves to the programme of 1-village-1-dam, so that every part of the northern region of our country will have access to water and irrigation to be able to support farming all year round,” the President said during a durbar of chiefs and people of Sandema in the Builsa North district of the Northern Region, Friday.

In a breakdown, the president said “Builsa area is getting 20, 10 for Builsa North, 10 for Builsa South. There are two in Sandema, two in Yaga, two in Chuchuliga, two in Sanyasi, and two in Kandema.”

The President told the Sandema Naba, Azaksuk Azantilow, that government is also establishing 50 warehouses across the country to provide for storage for the output of farmers.

As part of measures to stop farming produce from rotting away the president said storage facilities will also be provided as well.

“At the end of this year, when the 50 warehouses are in place, that is also going to be a thing of the past. Five of these warehouses are going to be constructed in the Upper East Region, of which Sandema will have one,” he added.

In response to a request for tractors by Naba Azaksuk Azantilow, to boost mechanized agriculture in the Builsa North District, President Akufo-Addo revealed that Government has received a $150 million facility from the EXIM Bank of India for the creation of agricultural mechanisation centres, across the length and breadth of our country.

“Parliament is debating that as we talk now, and I am hoping that, by the time Parliament rises on the 27th of July, the loan would have been ratified, and we can get on with establishing these agricultural mechanisation centres which will provide agricultural services for our farmers,” he said.

Free SHS

On the Free Senior High School Policy, the President noted in 2017, 90,000 more young men and women had access to senior high school education than in 2016.

“This year, the number will double to 180,000 more young men and women in our secondary schools. And, in doing so, we are also extending rapidly our teacher population. We are employing 8,000 more teachers this year to take care of this additional number of students,” he added.

On the absorption of the Chuchuliga High School, President Akufo-Addo assured the Sandema Naba that “I will pass on the message to the Minister for Education when I get back to Accra. Naba, you know the relations between you and I are such that I am your advocate in Accra. I will be your barrister in the government in Accra.”

Touching on the request for the elevation of Builsa North from its current status of a district to a municipality, the President, in the presence of the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, told Naba Azantilow that “she will be able to respond to your demand in due course. I am sure, when she gets back to Accra, she will make whatever calculations she is making about the elevation, (and) Sandema must be part of it.”

Earlier in the day, President Akufo-Addo inspected ongoing works at the site of the construction of a 1,000-tonne warehouse, which is scheduled to be completed in December 2018; visited the site of construction works on the Navrongo-Chuchuliga-Sandema road. He also cut the sod for the construction of a new district police headquarters in Sandema.