Activities of trespassers threaten Ashaiman irrigation dam
Activities of trespassers threaten Ashaiman irrigation dam Website
The Ashaiman Irrigation Farmers Co-operative Society, has appealed to government and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector to eject trespassers operating along the irrigation dam at Ashaiman. The dam, being operated under the Ashaiman Irrigation Scheme, could dry up because the trespassers had developed its banks into human settlements. The Scheme has a potential area of 155 hectares of which 97 hectares have been developed into rice and vegetable farms. Mr Ben Kanati, Secretary of the Society, who made the request at a press conference at Ashaiman on Friday, said apart from building houses, schools and Churches along the banks of the dam, trespassers also discharge waste water into it. He said " Whereas roads leading to the dam have been turned into a refuse dump and a place for defecation, the wire fencing on the boundaries provided by the Japan International Co-operation Agency have also been removed." Mr Kanati said members of a task force, formed by the farmers to guide the area were assaulted on several occasions by trespassers. He said the farmers numbering over 100 pay returns to the Ashaiman Irrigation Centre bi-annually for the use of the dam and that the activities of the trespassers was a worry to the users of the facility. Mr Kanati said the Scheme had a research centre which served 22 projects of the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority. He said the milling machine at the Scheme milled over 2400 tones of paddy rice from Afife, Okyreko and the Affram plains every year. Mr. Kanati said "farmers operating under the scheme produce rice seeds for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to be distributed to farmers country wide making the dam beneficial to the whole country." Mr Simon Apio, Deputy Director of the Ashaiman Irrigation Centre, responding to the issues raised by the farmers after the press conference confirmed the activities of the trespassers. He said the Centre sought the assistance of the Tema Development Corporation and the police to arrest trespassers but that had not deterred the offenders.