Joy News has catalogued the sorry stories of dams in Nakori and Douri in Upper West region constructed with proceeds from Ghana’s oil.
The dams meant to aid poor communities in the region have been terribly done. This is contained in ‘Leaking oil’, a Joy News Hotline Documentary, portions of which have been embedded in this piece.
In December 2008, the government awarded a contract worth over ₵800, 000 to a local contractor, Adam Wala, to rehabilitate an irrigation dam at Nakore in the Upper West region.
A project status implementation report from the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority dated February 13, 2019, indicates that the rehabilitation work is completed.
But, Joy News checks reveal this is inaccurate.
Eleven years after ₵800,000 dam was purportedly constructed, the wall meant to hold the water in the dam is yet to be constructed.
Osman Ibrahim, a former Assembly member of Nakore confirmed this.
He says the only work done by the contractor was to place boulders at the banks of the dam and a pipeline that channels water from one point of the dam to the other.
In an interview with JoyNews, Adam Wala, of Adam Wala Enterprise Limited, the contractor who worked on the dam, revealed why the project stalled.
He claims he could not complete the project because he did not receive all the funds needed for the job before the contract was abrogated.
Documents sighted by Joy News’ Kwetey Nartey from the National Investment Bank, explain the rationale for the abrogation.
According to a document dated January 12, 2012, the contract was terminated because the contractor performed below expectation.
The Bank’s report further reveals that it called on the Irrigation Development Authority, the body that claimed the project was completed, to present estimates for additional funds necessary for the completion of the project.
Wa Central MP, Rashid Pelpuo told JoyNews the additional funds were not released by the NIB bank because of unsatisfactory work. He knew this because he was part of a meeting that reviewed the status of the Nakore Irrigation Dam project.
Impact on farming
The effect of the stalled dams on local farmers has been devastating.
Farmers at Nakore are helpless. Their farms lie fallow and dry. The source of water is miles away. Their dam was their hope, but, it’s not been completed to channel water to their farmlands.
Osman Ibrahim a former Assemblymember recounted.
Narrating her ordeal, a 74-year-old farmer, Pusunaa Abudu said he is unable to plant in the lean season because of the lack of water.
According to him, he could not store any grains for the dry season because flood waters destroyed his crops. He doesn’t know where his family’s next meal will come from.
Nakore is not the only community where government-allocated oil funds have been deployed.
Same situation at Douri
In 2008, 75,000 cedis was disbursed for the rehabilitation of irrigation dam at Douri in the Upper West region.
Eleven years on, it’s only a concrete wall that was constructed by the contractor, J.K Royal Friends Ghana Limited.
The Douri dam has been besieged by overgrown weeds.
This too is affecting local farmers in Douri, Solomon Masuaza, an Assembly member of the Nasayiri electoral area narrated to Joy News.
According to him, the project was not communicated to the townsfolk. “The contractor only constructed the wall and that was the last time we set eyes on him,” he said.
State of oil-funded projects
In 2011, parliament passed the Petroleum Management Act that mandates up to 70 percent of oil proceeds go into the national budget.
The law further directs that these funds should be channeled to development in key sectors such as education, health and water infrastructure, among others.
But, a 2017 Project Inspections Report by PIAC revealed that 50 percent of all oil-funded projects in three regions – Upper East, Upper West and Northern – are now ghost projects.
According to the 2015 Ghana Poverty Mapping report, these areas have the highest poverty rate. Poverty incidence is pegged at 70 percent in this part of the country.