It’s common for politicians to make all manner of promises on political platforms during electioneering. Such utterances by politicians make the electorate think that the politician is capable of doing almost everything.
Many years ago, one of Ghana’s past Heads of State was on a working tour to Kuntunase, a town which is more than 100 kilometres from the coast. There was a durbar of chiefs in honour of the Head of State. At a point, the leader of the nation asked the Paramount Chief of the area to name one very important need of his people. The Paramount Chief hesitated for a while, then one of his sub-chiefs whispered into his ears, “Nana, tell him we need a habour!” So, the Paramount Chief requested for a habour in an inland region!
The sub-chief who made the suggestion had visited his son in Tema, and had gotten excited about the beauty of the harbour, and thought it wouldn’t be bad if they got one at their village.
Even though Nana had made notoriously preposterous promises in the past, things were no longer getting funny. He has crossed the line of absurdity into that of deliration. People tolerated his One District, One Factory promise; but as soon as he mentioned the construction of a dam at every village, I said to myself, Aba kade, Nana is going to do his thing.
This is my reason: in Ghana, village dwellers are predominantly farmers; a typical village has at least 500 inhabitants. Assuming 300 people in a village want to do a minimum of an acre each of farming, and I’m being very magnanimous with my estimates; there would be the need to construct a dam that will irrigate 300 acres (120 hectares).
The cost of a dam project depends on size; for instance, a USU50,000 dam can irrigate one hectare of farmland. In this case, the type of dam that can irrigate 120 hectares will cost US$24 million. Even if Nana’s One Village, One Dam policy is meant for villages in the then three northern regions, the cost could be unimaginably colossal. There are approximately over 6,000 villages there. So, if we want the costing, the costing, the costing, let’s multiply 6,000 villages by 24 million dollars. This will give us 144 billion dollars! And the GDP of Ghana is nowhere near 144 billion dollars.
GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in a country over a period of time. This is crazy, isn’t it? If you agree with me, Join Kwaw Kese, and with a clinched fist, hit the side of your head and shout abodam!
So, as soon as Nana mentioned that he is going to build a dam in every village, I remembered the ridiculous Kuntunase chief; and I said to myself, kai, matter come! When it is coming, it is doing. Agenda 144 in the making. Nana will soon promise one village one harbour. Sosket, this is what Daddy Lumba will call aben wo ha.
Anthony Obeng Afrane