National and International

FARMERS EVICTED FROM WETLANDS TO GET IRRIGATION SCHEME

By Alex Byakatonda

KABALE: Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal, Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), in partnership with the Ministry of Water and Environment, has Thursday commissioned the construction of an Irrigation scheme in Mishundo A of Bugarama parish in Buhara Sub County, Kabale district, as one way of offering alternative livelihood options to farmers, who have been evicted from wetlands.

According to the Dr Willy Kakuru, the Building Resilient Communities, Wetland Ecosystems and Associated Catchments in Uganda, National coordinator, in the Ministry of Water and Environment, the irrigation scheme, which is expected to cost 582 million shillings, is targeting enterprise farmer groups, under the Green Climate Fund.

The Building Resilient Communities, Wetland Ecosystems and Associated Catchments in Uganda, is being implemented in 24 districts in the country, with support from United Nations Development Program and the government of Uganda.

The main aim of the project, is to restore and sustainably manage wetlands, and support target areas in wetland areas of Uganda, to reduce on the risk of Climate change, posed on Agricultural-based livelihoods.

The coordinator of the irrigation project from –MAAIF, Eng. Andrew Kato, said that the construction of the irrigation scheme will be undertaken by BAATA Construction Company.

He added that the irrigation scheme project, will also include setting up of five fish ponds, solar powered water pumping system, a project office and a VIP latrine among others.

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Eng Kato, added that the irrigation scheme, is meant to act as a demonstration for the farmers evicted from wetlands, as one of the alternative livelihood enterprises.

The Kabale University Secretary, Canon Johnson Baryantuma Munono, the lead project beneficiary, who also offered over 30 Acres of land, to accommodate the project, called on all concerned stakeholders to ensure that the project becomes a success.

The Kabale Resident District Commissioner, Godfrey Nyakahuma, who presided over the commissioning of the irrigation scheme, commended government and asked the beneficiaries to incorporate it with the recently launched the Parish Development Model, in order to improve on their livelihoods.

He commended Canon Munono for offering his land to Government, to benefit the Wana-inchi.

The Kabale District Vice Chairperson, Miria Akankwasa, who represented the District Chairperson, Nelson Nshangabasheija, also commended government for giving alternative sources of income and livelihoods for the wetland evictees, saying that these enterprises will act as a source of relief and hope for them.

The Kabale District Principal Secretary, James Mugisha, who represented the Chief Administrative Officer-CAO, Edmond Ntimba, emphasized on the need for proper packaging of messages about the importance of vacating the wetlands to the farmers, in addition to alternative livelihood ventures.

He also called on the farmers to adopt commercial farming, if they are to benefit more from such government programs.

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