Lamwo flags off construction of sh750m irrigation project

LAMWO, (UG): Leaders in Lamwo District on Monday broke ground for the construction of a Shillings 750 million Irrigation scheme in Madi Opei Sub-County in the northern Uganda district. 

The Project, which is under the Development Response to Displacement Impact Project-DRDIP, being implemented by Epicenter Africa Limited, will sit on a 15-acre piece of land donated by the community of Pama Village, Okol Parish, Madi Opei Sub-County.

The project was conceptualized in 2019/2020 with the aim of pumping water for irrigation through solar power, under the project name, Ametmet- Okot-Paloga Solar Power for Irrigation, to increase crop production and improve the livelihoods of the beneficiaries.

Davis Usenge Onyango, the Project Engineer and manager of Epicenter Africa Limited, said in 2021, the irrigation project was redesigned, to include the entrepreneurship components, where the water is pumped, and stored.

He says Beneficiaries will be guided on how to use the water to grow cash crops and seedlings. The redesign changed the project name to Ametmet-Okot-Paloga Irrigation Enterprise.

The project includes nursery shades for seedlings production of fruit trees such as avocados, watermelon, oranges, macadamia, vegetables, and indigenous trees to be sold at cheaper prices, to encourage other community members to plant more trees to conserve the environment.

Onyango reveals that the entire 15 acres of land will be fenced, and five acres of the land will be used as a model farm to train the beneficiaries on good agronomic practices and multiplication of seedlings for improved livelihood and sustainability of the project.

The construction of the irrigation system which is the hydrant and drag hose pipe, is expected to be completed by December 2023.

Patrick Muhenda Agaba, the Lamwo District Production, and Marketing Officer, commended Epicenter for starting the work in order by landscaping, something he said is not followed by some contractors.

Agaba advised that the beneficiaries should be urged to embrace the growing of oil seed crops.

The government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Local Government is implementing a 7-year National Oil Seed Project from 2021-2027 with funds from the International Fund for Agriculture development-IFAD and Opec Fund for International Development-OFID.

According to Agaba, growing the oil seed crops could attract more funding for the enterprise and enable the beneficiaries to earn more.

Thomson Obong, the Chief Administrative Office of Lamwo, urged the contractor to speed up the construction work since it has to be completed in three months.

Obong appealed to the community to embrace the project and ensure its sustainability so that they are able to counter the persistent changes in weather patterns which are negatively affecting agriculture.

Jane Ajilong, the administrator at Epicenter Africa Limited appealed to the community to nurture the project for posterity.

Once completed, the irrigation scheme will have a solar pumping station, pump well, pump house, and water reservoir of between 30,000-40,000 litres to benefit 81 community members.

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