Member of Parliament for South Tongu Constituency Honourable Kobena Mensah Woyome has called on government to dredge Tordzi River to Avu Lagoon.
The Lawmaker speaking to the Media on the current situations affecting farmers and residents of the area has called on government through the Ministry of Works and Housing to collaborate with Ministry of Food and Agriculture to dredge the Tordzi River through Tsavanya, Agbagorme, Agbakope, Xikpo to Avu Lagoon to help boost economic activities of the people.
In the South Tongu District of the Volta Region, communities such as Tordzinu, Tsavanya, Hikpo, Agbagorme, Agbakope, Lakpo, Dabala, Dabala Junction among many are into major vegetables and sugarcane farming as a means of their livelihoods.
Some of the vegetable crops are tinder, turia, marrow, indiana okra, obegen, bed eye, chilli pepper among many.
For many decades, the people are being affected with perennial flooding which largely affect their vegetable crops production.
There are many villages and towns in South Tongu where vegetable farming serves as the main economic activities and occupation as the only means for their livelihood.
Among the villages, Hikpo is one of the major towns where vegetable crops production in South Tongu and by extension Volta Region takes place.
Aside the high and persistent post-harvest losses which have constituted a major drawback to the efforts of the hardworking farmers of the district, the perennial flood has contributed largely to lost of farm lands and produce.
Mr. Woyome explained that, the affected communities have about 5,000 populations who are solely into farming along the Tordzi River/creek. Basically, the people have been depending on water from the creek for irrigation purposes.
During the raining season, the farm lands of the people get flooded to the extent that, all of its coarse of the creek get flown to the bank of the river thereby destroying large farm lands of vegetable crops. When this happens, hundreds and thousands of Ghana cedis worth of work get destroyed.
The Tordi River/creek is taking its coarse from Northern Togo down to Kpetoe, Zoepe, Agortime Afegame, through to South Tongu and affects communities such as Tordzinu, Tsavanya, Agbagorme, Agbakope, Hikpo into the Avu Lagoon.
Even when it rains along Kpetoe, Zoepe, Agortime Afegame, the River overflows its banks and get flooded to affect farming activities in South Tongu.
Explaining further, Mr. Kobena Mensah Woyome said, there is a need for an urgent dredging and distilling of the creek, if not, a time will come where all the farming lands will be flooded with water from the creek when it overflows.
He called on the Hydraulic Department of Ministry of Works and Housing to quickly begin engineering activities for dredging and expansion to contain the volume of water during the peak seasons to tackle the situation.
“The perennial flooding also affects the local economy of the people. The people borrowed monies from banks, micro financial institutions and others to carry out their farming activities. Most of the farmers could not pay the loan as a result of flooding which destroy their faming annually.” Mr. Woyome added.
The MP visited the place to ascertain the current situation and also encourages the farmers on plans underway to address the issue. He finally called on the Central Government, to help salvage the situation to prevent losses of the farmers.
Mr. Fred Sodoke, the Agriculture extension agent at Xikpo speaking to the media said, okro production is the cash crop of the resident of Xikpo and other adjourning communities.
According to him, the farm land in the area is very fertile because, farmers do not even engage in using fertilizers but their crops do very well. The area serves a hope for farmers along the South Tongu District.
Adding to that, Mr. Sodoke explained that, people come from Ketu South, Akatsi South and North, Central Tongu, North Tongu and others to do the Okro farming at Xikpo on large scale and get paid.
“It has created a job for aggregators. People outside the community are employed to do sowing, weeding and harvesting and get paid.”
Another problem facing the people is exportation of farm produce, meanwhile, over 1,000 tonnes of okro are produced every 3days. The farmers are making a huge impact and need government’s support.
He disclosed that, since he was transferred to the area in 2019, he wrote many proposals for support but he is yet to be attended to.
Mr. Fred Sodoke also appealed to the government and anybody who is touched with the story of the people to intervene to help dredge the Tordzi river.