$993 million Pwalugu “legacy” dam/irrigation project commences Featured

By News Desk December 02, 2019 492 0

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod on Friday for building work on the Pwalugu multipurpose dam and irrigation project to begin.

According to the President, the US$993 million project is the “single largest investment ever made by any government in the Northern sector of the country”.

It also fulfils a pledge President Akufo-Addo made on February 21 when he delivered his message on the State of the Nation.

Tackles scourge

At the sod-cutting ceremony, the President said the pledge he made was to the effect that construction of the dam will help stop the perennial flooding caused by spillage of the Bagre Dam.

“Today, we begin the process of realising this pledge,” he said. “Today, we start the process of helping to bring respite to the people of the northern regions of our country, and to lay the foundation for the sustained growth and development of the area.”

Three projects

The Pwalugu multipurpose project will consist of three main components, namely construction of a hydropower plant, construction of a solar farm, and the establishment of an irrigation scheme covering an area of 25,000 hectares.

President Akufo-Addo noted that the 60 megawatt hydropower plant and the 50 megawatt solar power plant will be the very first hydro-solar hybrid system in Ghana, the two technologies complementing each other to provide reliable and stable electricity supply to the national grid.

The irrigation component of the project is the largest ever to be built in the country, with 15,000 outgrower beneficiaries. The President said it will complement the gains made by programmes such as One Village, One Dam and Planting for Food and Jobs.

Food security

With the transformation of the North hinging on creating infrastructure and supporting agriculture and agro-based industries, the President bemoaned how, in the dry season, agricultural work comes to a halt, as farmers remain dependent on rain-fed agriculture.

“Irrigation, therefore, remains a key strategy to achieve food security, the eradication of poverty and generation of rural employment in the Northern sector, in particular, and generally across the country,” he said.

“With millions of dollars spent on rice imports annually, in the midst of an abundance of fertile land, this project has the potential to increase annual rice production in the country by up to 117,000 metric tonnes, reducing rice imports by as much as 16 per cent,” the President said.

The Pwalugu reservoir will equally be able to accommodate up to 120,000 cages of fish, each measuring 25 square metres, he said, with an average yield of two tonnes per cage, making possible the continuous development of Ghana’s aquaculture and fisheries.

Complements agenda

This project, President Akufo-Addo said, is also crucial to the realisation of the One District, One Factory initiative, as it will serve as a catalyst to developing agro-industry and reviving the Pwalugu tomato factory in particular.

“Other hydroelectric projects, such as Akosombo and Bui, were intended also to have irrigation schemes but they have, unfortunately, not materialised. The story of the Pwalugu Multipurpose Dam and Irrigation Project will be different,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo announced that the cost will be borne entirely by the government and the project will be executed by Sinohydro under an engineering, procurement and construction contract. It will be completed in 50 months.

“In all, 2,200 Ghanaians, skilled and unskilled, will benefit fully from the project, with the contractor mandated also to source services such as catering, security, water, cement, steel, office logistics and other supplies locally,” the President said.



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