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Learn from fallouts of projects funded with oil revenues— ACEP urges govt

  • SOURCE: Graphic | Graphic
  • The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), has urged the government to learn from the fallouts of projects funded with petroleum revenues to hold the future selection and allocation.

    It explained that the government would continue to select projects to be funded with petroleum revenues, hence the need to learn from the failures of previous allocations to serve as a model to ensure value for money.

    “The Ministry of Finance and agencies responsible for selection, budgeting andplanning of projects implemented under the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA) have a lot to learn from the successes and ‘failures’ of oil-funded projects to serve as models for future projects.”

    “This is necessary as more projects will continue to be planned and implemented with funds from the ABFA,” a recommendation in a report on a value for money audit carried out on selected projects funded with oil revenues highlighted.

    The energy think-tank explained that although oil revenues continued to be relevant to Ghana’s development, the manner in which projects were executed had the potential to truncate the impact of the revenues on development, hence the need to relook at the project selection and allocation based on the failures of previous projects.

    “ABFA disbursements must be made to projects that have been assessed to guarantee high economic, social and environmental benefits to the communities where projects are allocated . As much as possible, broader consultations should be held with the communities for whom projects are designed. This will increase value and utility of projects funded by government,” it added.

    Findings

    ACEP conducted an impact analyses on two selected irrigation projects – Ohawu and Keyime earlier and reports show that all but the Ohawu irrigation project has had more positive impact on the project communities.

    This is because residents of Ohawu continue to face the same challenges as they faced prior to the rehabilitation as the project remains uncompleted.

    “Perhaps the challenge of the Ohawu project would have been prevented had GIDA taken the necessary measures to ensure that its evaluation of rehabilitation works on the dam was well done,” the report noted.

    The Keyime Irrigation Dam

    The Keyime Irrigation Dam is located in the Adzonkor rural community in the Agortime-Ziope District in the Volta Region of Ghana. It serves more than fifty (50) communities in addition to Adzonkor, for all their domestic, livestock rearing and farming applications.

    Adzonkor is mainly an agrarian community with its people engaged in food crop production such as rice, maize, tomatoes and okra.

    In 2007, the dam wall breached and could no longer hold water. Requests were made to the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA), through the district assembly, for rehabilitation works. However, due to lack of funds, the request was not met at the time.

    In 2013, the project was earmarked for rehabilitation following further requests. Finally, in October 2014, the contract for rehabilitation of the dam was awarded to Grumah Twins Company Limited. Work on the dam began in 2015 and was expected to have been completed by February 2016. However, the project could not be completed within the stipulated time due to lack of funds.

    Ohawu Irrigation Dam

    The Ohawu Irrigation Dam is located in Ohawu, a rural community located in the Ketu North District in the Volta Region of Ghana. Like Keyime, it is an agrarian economy with its people in crop production such as rice, maize, tomatoes andonions.

    The Ohawu dam serves the Ohawu community, the Ohawu Agric College and 10 other communities for all their domestic, livestock rearing and farming applications.

    The dam was constructed in the late 70s but later became malfunctioned when the dam wall collapsed. The Ohawu community requested for dam rehabilitation-mainly the reconstruction of the dam wall, extension of the dam canal and construction of a walkway along the ends of the dam.

    Like the case of Keyime, the project was awarded to Grumah Twins Company Limited in October 2014 and was expected to be completed by February 2016. The project could not be completed within the stipulated time due to lack of funds.

    Pre rehabilitation impact

    Farmers in Keyime experienced low farm yields and income because they had to rely on the rains and as a result, farming was done twice a year.

    Farming was, therefore, not seen as a lucrative venture and most young people resorted to providing transportation services by using motor bikes in the community.

    Members of the community engaged in charcoal production which they sold during the dry season to make additional income.

    The report also highlighted the social situation of the community which often experienced water scarcity resulting in health complications due to the reliance on alternative sources of water.

    Community folks had to depend on the rains and in the absence of rains, sometimes had to dig trenches to get water. This was very unhygienic for them, especially as they had very traditional means of treating the water for use – usually by using alum to settle the impurities.

    Post rehabilitation impact

    The report said farmers were now recording increased farm yields and incomes because they could grow more tomatoes, okra, garden egg, pepper, and maize and with the help of the dam, farming was done all year round.

    The farmers harvest up to two crates of okra every three days and five crates of tomatoes every five days to earn at least GHȻ200.00 respectively depending on the farming season and market supply and demand.

    “The completed dam has stirred up the interest of the farmers to farm new crops such as lettuce, cabbage, onions, cucumber and beetroot on the farms to increase their income,” it said. — GB

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    Graphic

    The Daily Graphic is a Ghanaian state-owned daily newspaper published in Accra, Ghana.
    With a circulation of 100,000 copies, the Graphic is the most widely read daily newspaper in the country
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