By Mark Kawalya
Uganda’s Ministry of Water and the Environment has rolled out a new climate-resilient irrigation project that will see over 108,000 farmers from Kabuyanda, Isingiro District, supplied with water over the next six years.
The project’s goal, according to Aisha Sekindi, Minister of State for Water at the Ministry of Water and the Environment, is to increase the farmers’ ability to adapt to climate change by installing innovative, water-saving irrigation equipment.
Sekindi, who presided over the project start-up event, said, “The systems will benefit farmers in Kabuyanda sub-county, Kabuyanda town council in Isingiro West, and Kikagate sub-county in Isingiro South.”
Bright Rwamirama, the Minister of State for Animal Industry of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries, was also present at the launch.
Information from the Ministry of Water and the Environment shows that the irrigation systems will be supplied by a brand-new dam constructed on the Mishumba River in Isingiro District.
The structure will have a maximum crest length of 314 meters and a predicted height of 33 meters, with a capacity of 8.8 million m3 of water.
The site of the dam is the Rwoho Central Forest Reserve, a protected region located south of the Bugamba Central Forest Reserve in Rwampara and Isingiro districts of southwest Uganda.
According to Ugandan authorities, the project also includes repairing and reforesting a 500-hectare area using native species in an effort to lessen the damage.
Thanks to the new initiative, the government of Uganda will install piped irrigation systems to cover 3,300 hectares of fertile land over the next six years.
People currently rely on rain-fed agriculture in the areas where the irrigation project will be implemented, which hinders their ability to provide for their own food security and long-term livelihoods.
The Ugandan Government will finance the project, worth $190.1 million, with the support of the World Bank, which will contribute $169.2 million, and local beneficiaries, who will contribute $18.5 million.
The World Bank provided $300 million more funding to the Uganda Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers Program for Results (UgIFT) in 2020 to support the Micro-scale Irrigation Program, which is a component of UgIFT, and 40 local governments around Uganda.