Kpong Left Bank Irrigation Project – 63% complete
Rehabilitation works on the Kpong Left Bank Irrigation project in steadily in progress and is almost 63 per cent complete.
The project, expected to cost some $35 million is being funded by the World Bank and also covers about 2,000 hectares of land.
The digitised system after completion will enable the project scheme managers to monitor the level of water in the supply canals and the quantity of water that farmers use for irrigation.
Being implemented under the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, it is focused on improving farm produce of more than 1,000 farmers more producing legumes, cereals and vegetables in large quantity for commercial purposes.
The project, when completed will be the third-largest irrigation project in the country after the Tono Water project in the Upper East Region and the Kpong Irrigation Scheme Project.
Assurance of the project.
According to the Project Coordinator of the GCAP, Mr Osei Owusu-Agyemang, he has given an assurance that the project would be completed in December, indicating 37 per cent of the work left to do.
He indicated that when the project became operational, it would help boost agriculture, particularly cereal, legume and vegetable production in the country, serving both local and export purposes.
“The completion of the irrigation scheme will imply farmers will no longer rely on rainfall for their agricultural activities. This provides a better climate change adaption given the global uncertainties in the rainfall pattern,” he said.
“After rehabilitation, the total area which is about 2,000 hectares will be cultivated twice yearly. This gives a cropping intensity of 200 per cent, thereby guaranteeing increased food security and income to the farmers,” he added.
Mr Owusu-Agyemang further explained that the current system, being mechanical did not have any installed technology to regulate the flow of water.
Additionally, it was unable to calculate the quantity of water farmers used hence, being charged according to the number of hectares of land they were cultivating.
“A farmer may have about five hectares of land and will demand a lower amount of water, depending on the kind of crop he is cultivating. Other farmers may also have smaller farms and demand a large quantity of water, if this continues, a lot of farmers will be paying a lot of money for no reason,” he said.
“This new system will make the farmers know the amount of water they are using and how much they have to pay. This is efficient and it will ensure their money does not go to waste,” he added.
What about job creation?
Contract Management Specialist for GCAP, Mr Philip Daniel Laryea, the project was also going to help generate jobs for both skilled and unskilled workers during the operation phase.
According to him, about 600 skilled and unskilled labour would be employed at the peak of the construction phase. Additionally, an estimated 12,000 direct jobs per year would be created when the project became fully operational.
Also, it would bring better remuneration to the rural folks and thereby enhance their living standards.
“This is one of the surest ways to tackle extreme poverty in the area,” he added.
The Government of Ghana awarded the $35 million rehabilitation and completion project to OM Metals-SPML Infra JV, a joint venture of Om Metals Infraprojects Limited of India in 2018.
With this, the work involves redesigning and construction in a modernised way to make control of how much water is released to farmers who are expected to pay for the service to ensure sustainability.