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1Village 1Dam: Government constructed “mud ponds” at inflated cost – Development Economist

A Development Economist and Senior Lecturer with the University for Development Studies, Dr Michael Ayamga-Adongo,  has described dams constructed under the 1 Village 1 Dam Policy of government as “mud ponds” that are of no benefit to the poor, alleging that at the cost of GHS250,000 per dam,  the cost is a rip-off for which someone must be held responsible.

“I took time to visit a number of Dams constructed under the 1V1D policy. I lowered my expectations because the dams come with a special warning label from the Minister of special initiatives saying “these dams are not meaningful dams. They cost 250,000 GHS each. Be warned!” All I can say is my heart still bleeds,” he indicated in the opening lines of his social media criticism of the policy.

The ardent critic of the policy posited that given that the dams are unable to serve the poor or are drying up as early as January, by implication, no dams have been constructed.

“Even my low expectations were too high. I still have images of these mud ponds flashing across my mind every now and then.  How can the poor be ripped- off in this manner? Some of these dams have no water even in January. 

In some, I saw pigs trying to make use of the remaining mud while it lasted. Some dams had their enbankment washed-off which technically means no dam had been constructed,” he argued in a post. 

The internationally respected Development Economist concluded from his own estimates and analysis that the average cost of a dam should not exceed GHS60,000.

“The Minister of Special Development Initiatives almost got us. If she thought by saying the dams cost only 250,000GHS we will be grateful for any pothole in a valley she should come again.

In almost all instances, the principal equipment used in the construction of the dams was a bulldozer or excavator. No spillway, no canals (so no cement), no preparations of adjoining lands. There were no stone reinforcements in the embankments. 

The cost of 250,000 GHS is a rip-off. By the work I saw, it should not take a bulldozer 10 days to do those jobs. It cost about 1,500GHS to rent a bulldozer a day. If it is the diesel guzzling type, you may spend 500GHS a day on diesel. That works to about 20,000GHS.

Let me even say the bulldozer is the lazy type and used 30 full work days and not 10 days. We are talking about 60,000GHS,” he declared.
The 1Village 1Dam Policy was initiated mainly to allow for all-year round farming in Northern Ghana that has only one rainy season. 

The construction of the dams has however been criticised by many who argue that they are not fit for purpose but the Ministry of Special Development Initiatives insists the dams are useful with only a handful that need finishing touches.

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