A research conducted in 2021 by the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) found that 40 per cent of dams constructed under the One-Village-One-Dam (1V1D) initiative did not meet the requirements of the project design.
The research also found that the depth and storage capacity as well as the quality of the embankment and spillway of many of the dams, fell short of what was designed.
It was further found that the location of most of the dams was unsuitable as most of them were sited in bad landscape and on waterways, which made them break during the rainy season.
The research entitled: “Impact of irrigation improved productivity and market value for smallholder farmers: Evidence from One-Village-One- Dam Policy in Ghana”, was to assess the impact of the policy on irrigation and agriculture in general.
A total of 30 communities where the 1V1D dams were sited and 30 communities that did not have the dams were used in the study, which employed random sampling selection procedures with a total of 1,470 households in the five regions in the north interviewed.
Professor Charles Amoatey, the Principal Investigator on the research, presented the findings at the Advancing Local Leadership Innovation and Network (ALL-IN) Ghana Baseline Dissemination workshop, held in Tamale.
The workshop was organised by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development(ICED) in partnership with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab.
It was to create opportunities for selected organisations to disseminate their research findings and interventions to help influence policy implementation and decision-making processes in the country.
The five regions in the north were noted to be the poorest areas in the country and experienced erratic rainfall with a long dry season.
This made it impossible for dry season farming by residents resulting in poverty and food insecurity.
The IVID initiative was therefore, to allow the construction of larger and multipurpose dams in the area to promote dry season farming and help reduce poverty.
Professor Amoatey said it was also found that 14 per cent of respondents indicated that 1V1D dams were a main source of water for domestic use such as drinking and washing.
He said over 80 per cent of households indicated that farmers were unable to use the 1V1D dams for dry season farming.
He added that “Also only 9 per cent of the respondents used the dams commercially.
He said, “The dams dry up during the dry season. Few can use them for planting vegetables and fruits like watermelon. Some communities in the Upper East, Savannah and Upper West Regions use dams for limited vegetable production.”
The research recommended the expansion of the water holding capacity of the dams, fixing of valves on the dams to enable them to carry water to irrigation farms, and training farmers on irrigation farming.
It called for the involvement of community members in paid jobs for the maintenance of the dams.
It further called on the government to come out with clear policies and guidelines to clarify the roles of each stakeholder within the 1V1D value chain.
Dr David Ameyaw, the President of ICED and Co-Director of the ALL-IN Programme, said the project was a joint research programme in Africa that sought to create opportunities for researchers to drive evidence-based decision-making.
He said there were about 12 research works ongoing in eight countries in Africa under the ALL-IN programme, four of which were in Ghana.
He urged stakeholders to join hands to promote research works in the country.
The ALL-IN Research grant is funded by Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk & Resilience at the University of California at Davis in collaboration with ICED.
By Albert Futukpor, GNA