Plans by the erstwhile Mahamah-led NDC administration to build a multi-purpose dam at Pwalugu in the Talensi District of Upper East Region seems to be in limbo as government still soliciting funds to execute the project. In 2008, the Parliament of Ghana contracted a loan of $525 million from Brazil to construct a multi-purpose dam at Pwalugu in the Upper East Region and the Juala Dam in the Northern Region.
Although Ghana received the money in 2009, government abandoned the two projects and diverted the money for the construction of the Eastern corridor road. The project when completed is expected to provide a 22 megawatts hydro-electricity generation to the Northern parts of the country.
It is also expected to serve as a control measure to perennial floods in some parts of the Upper East and Northern regions due to the Bagre dam spillage. The proposed Pwalugu multi-purpose dam will serve as well the purpose of irrigation for over 20,000 hectares of arable land.
The feasibility studies were still on course until the previous government was ousted. The current administration having realized the importance of the project promised to continue from where its predecessor left it. But Deputy Minister of Agriculture In-charge of Annual Crops, Dr. Sagre Bambangi revealed that construction of the dam is still under feasibility level while government is securing funds for it.
According to the deputy minster; “The Ministry is aware of the earlier plans by our predecessors to build a multi-purpose dam in Pwalugu but it was still at feasibility studies stage and so, the Ministry is going to continue with these studies and also go for a design. It is after the design that funding can then be sort for and then when funding is achieved then, we can embark on such a venture. It is a very capital intensive project and demands a lot of funds.”
When asked when feasibility studies will be over for the dam to be constructed, the minister said: “I can’t tell you we expect it in a year time or two year time. It is still at feasibility studies and studies can produce results that are either positive or negative or inconclusive and sometime you will have to go back and review the studies. So until you are sure that, when you go about it this way or that way, all the technical studies including even the social dimension and environmental dimension, you cannot say authoritative that this is the time that we are going to do it….So I cannot pronounce a definite period within which such a dam will be constructed.”