Madam Paulina Patience Abayage, the Upper East Regional Minister has asked contractors working on the Tono Irrigation Project to ensure that they do quality job.
She warned that shoddy work would not be accepted and that the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) was going to see to it that there was value for money.Top International Engineering Corporation has been engaged to carry out the rehabilitation.
She gave the warning during an inspection tour of the Kassena-Nankana Municipality, where she paid courtesy calls on the Paramount and Divisional Chiefs in the area including Naba Bosingo Olando Ayamga Awini III, the Paramount Chief of Naaga Traditional Area, Naba Clifford Asobayire Abagna IV, the Paramount Chief of Kologu, and Pe Denis Aniakwa Baliana Adda Asapare II, the Paramount Chief of Navrongo.
The Regional Minister underscored the importance of the project to the development of the region, saying, many farmers depended on it for water to undertake agricultural activities. The Tono Irrigation Project was constructed in 1985 by the government to promote agriculture production.
It supplies water to about 4,000 smallholder farmers in eight communities in the Kassen-Nankana Municipality and the Builsa North District. The project could irrigate an area of about 3,860 hectares but only 1,300 hectares is being used by farmers as result of the breakdown of the laterals and major canals, carrying water to the various farms.
The government under the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP) has secured US$31 million from the World Bank and the USAID for rehabilitation of the Tono and Vea Irrigation projects.
Madam Abayage noted that when completed, it would give huge boost to agriculture production and reduce poverty among the people in the region. She urged the Irrigation Company of Upper Region (ICOUR) – the company responsible for managing the Vea and Tono Water schemes, to make sure that these were properly maintained.
Mr Joe Iqao Shaopingi, the Social Officer of Top International Engineering Corporation, assured the Regional Minister that the company would use the appropriate materials and in the right quantities for the job.
He added that everything would be done to complete the project in 18 months.The company is currently employing 70 local people and the figure is expected to be increased to 150.The Regional Minister was accompanied by Mr Frank Fuseini Adongo, her deputy, Mr Mahammadu Azonko, the Regional Coordinating Director and some officers at the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC).