Former President John Mahama has refuted claims that his administration diverted funds meant for the construction of the Pwalugu dam.
The multipurpose dam was to be constructed as a flood control measure against the annual flooding within the area.
It was also to be used for agricultural purposes and for the generation of cheap power for an industrial enclave in the Upper East Region.
But the former President, who is campaigning to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) into the 2020 elections, told party members at Bongo in the Upper East Region that the funds for the project had not even been signed as of the time he left office.
“We started the design, we’ve been working with the World Bank and we were trying to get the African Development bank onboard before we left office. Then somebody goes and says they diverted the Pwalugu money. It is not true. Pwalugu did not reach the stage where the funds had been signed onto.”
“The money they are talking about is another dam in Juale, that is on the Oti River on the border between Ghana and Togo,” he added.
John Mahama explained that funds for the Juale project was instead reassigned because of some compensation issues they did not get funding for.
“The Brazilians were going to finance it, and they gave us $250 million and they said we should add $50 million. So the dam was to cost $300 million and it was a 50, 60 megawatts plant. But we realized that the water was going to spill over into Togo.”
Mahama said they asked the Brazilians to work out the compensation for the spillover into Togo “and it came to more than $100 million.”
“So it came to almost four hundred and something million. So it was not looking feasible and Brazil said they were not going to add any additional money. So finally they agreed that you can apply the money to a different project, but it should be in the area where the dam was going to be so the people there would benefit. So it went back to Parliament and Parliament approved it and the money was re-assigned for the northern segment of the Eastern corridor road. And that is what was being built until NPP came and that one too has come to a standstill,” Mahama explained.
We’ll build Pwalugu multi-purpose dam to counter Bagre spillage – Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has hinted of government plans to construct the Pwalugu Multipurpose dam in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region.
The dam, when constructed will serve as a counter to the annual spillage of the Bagre Dam from Burkina Faso, and also generate electricity for the region.
Speaking at Tongo in the Talensi District after an assessment of the devastation of floods in the Upper East Region, Dr. Bawumia said the NPP government is committed to the construction of the Pwalugu multipurpose project which would serve as a flood control mechanism and a source of irrigation to thousands of farmers.
“The studies have shown that the construction of the Pwalugu dam will provide a flood control mechanism and with the dam, it is clear that the spillage of the Bagre dam will be controlled. It will also generate hydroelectric power for the people of Upper East and serve as a source of irrigation of farmers”.
“On October 1, a meeting will be held at the Jubilee house specifically on the Pwalugu multipurpose dam project. We are very determined to make sure this project comes to light and ‘Insah Allah’ it will be done.”
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citinewsroom.com/Ghana