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Delays in Finalizing National Irrigation Plan Causes Concern :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Delays in Finalizing National Irrigation Plan Causes Concern

Charles Waita, a farmer in Kamuli, who lost more than 6 acres of cassava, maize and beans to drought, says the rainfall patterns are unpredictable and he cannot keep moving his garden from one area to another for fear of grabbing his customary land.

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The delay to finalize the national irrigation master plan for 10 years has raised concerns.

In 2017, a framework master plan to design the final 25-year national irrigation master plan was launched. According to the framework to design the plan, it should spell out the feasibility, the approach and the cost of irrigation schemes throughout the country.

The master plan aims to foresee the popularization of irrigation, demand-driven water irrigation demonstrations centers that will be necessary to improve agriculture and animal production as well as people hygiene and sanitation.

However the plan has been delayed for more than 10 years because of funding and the acquisition of an expert. According to the Ministry of Water and Environment, two consultant firms were hired and fired between 2009 and 2019.

According to Siras Aogon, a Member of Parliament from Kumi Municipality, climate is changing and droughts are becoming more frequent, yet the national irrigation master plan has taken years to be finalized.

He says the law has over delayed for 20 years now and this is affecting districts like Kumi located in the Teso sub - region, which are always hit by food scarcity.

//Cue in “the water stress…

Cue out …really handled quickly.”//

According to Gilbert Kimamzi, the Commissioner for Water Production at the Ministry of Water and Environment, the delayed plan should have increased the utilization of land from 5% to 10% by 2015, to 25% by 2020 and to 70% by 2035. This means that by 2035 3.03 million hectares of land should be under irrigation, but only 15,000 out of the 560,000 hectares are under irrigation in Uganda in 2020.

//Cue in “that was a…

Cue out …irrigation master plan.”//

Charles Waita, a farmer in Kamuli, who lost more than 6 acres of cassava, maize and beans to drought, says the rainfall patterns are unpredictable and he cannot keep moving his garden from one area to another for fear of grabbing his customary land.

Rose Mutonyi, the Woman Member of Parliament Bubuulo west in Manafwa district says the problem of water lies in distribution of the water for irrigation and repairing of the water sources which takes a long time.   

//Cue in “I represent a…

Cue out …now turns to MP’s.”//

Eighty percent of farmers in Uganda rely on rainfall to water the land, while irrigation is mostly for large-scale farms with crops like maize, rice, flowers and sugar canes.  

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