Russia - Ghana relations/

12-03-2003

Need to re-package Bui Dam Project - Kufuor

President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday said the reactivation of the Bui Dam Project was very vital to the government's development programme.

He said its development would augment power supply and provide irrigation facilities to utilise the agricultural potentials in the northern parts of the country.

However, he said, there was the need to re-package the project to ensure that the country benefited from its potentials.

President Kufuor made the observation when the Yagbonwura, Doshie Bawa Abudu I led a delegation from the Gonja Traditional Area, in the Northern Region to pay a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu.

He said last year, the project was put on tender but only one firm bid for it and that there was, therefore, the need to review and re-package the project.

President Kufuor said since the project was initiated during the First Republic with the assistance of Russia, negotiations were underway to seek more assistance from the Russian government on the reactivation of the project to make it viable.

"There are vast lands sprawling around the project area, which are dry during most part of the year that have no access to irrigation facilities. It is unfortunate the project is being delayed," he said.

He said for the creation of a second region for the Northern Region, a feasibility study should be conducted and the report studied by Cabinet before a decision could be taken.

President Kufuor said the vast economic, agricultural and tourism potentials of Gonjaland were yet to be tapped and utilised to make a huge positive difference in the well being of the Ghanaian.

On rehabilitation of roads in the area, President Kufuor appealed to the Yagbonwura and the people to exercise some patience since the initial work had begun and would continue to ensure that the Fulfoso-Damongo-Sawla road was completed, and also work had begun on the Bole-Bamboi road to Wa in the Upper West Region.

President Kufuor said government would take a decision on the re-settlement of the people displaced during the 1992 and 1994 conflicts in the Kpandai area.

He appealed to all Ghanaians to live in peace and harmony as citizens of the country and whenever there was any misunderstanding, the law should be sought to seek justice and peace, adding, "always be tolerant of each other and not resort to weapons".

President Kufuor urged the Yagbonwura to endeavour to bring peace to the Dagbon Traditional Area as the problem had been in existence for a very long time.

He said; "it is in the interest of all Ghanaians that Dagbon would be restored to peace and harmony".

The Yagbonwura in an address read on his behalf by Mr Ahmed Ewura, President of Gonjaland Youth Association, appealed to government to establish a Teacher Training College in the area.

He explained that since most of the people lived in remote areas, the establishment of such an institution would help train teachers, who would accept postings to those places.

The Yagbonwura appealed to government to speed up efforts to reactivate the Bui dam project and also review the membership of the Bui Dam Development Board to include some representatives of the Gonja and North Mo Traditional Areas.

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