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Karamoja Leaders Demand Desilting of Dams :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Karamoja Leaders Demand Desilting of Dams

The multi-billion water projects such as Kobebe in Moroto, Arechek in Napak, Longoromit in Kaabong, Kaomeri in Abim, and Kailong in Kotido which were constructed between 2009 and 2011 are now silted due to the poor management by the pastoral communities.
Kobebe dam recoverying water after a prolonged drought that dried off the dam

Audio 3

Leaders in the Karamoja sub-region have demanded the Ministry of Water to desilt the dams to increase storage during this rainy season.

The multi-billion water projects such as Kobebe in Moroto, Arechek in Napak, Longoromit in Kaabong, Kaomeri in Abim, and Kailong in Kotido which were constructed between 2009 and 2011 are now silted due to the poor management by the pastoral communities.

Leaders are calling for the desilting of the dams and the construction of more water dams to capture the access water that is causing flash floods in the community due to heavy downpour.

Faith Nakut,  the Woman Member of Parliament for Napak district said that they currently have six dams, which also require desilting, and other four dams are yet to be constructed along with one manmade lake in Lopei Sub County. 

Nakut said that the creation of more dams would help to address the challenge of pastoralists trekking long distances to water their livestock. She also observed that inadequate water facilities have always forced the herdsmen to cross over to the neighboring districts in Teso struggling for water sources.

Nakut appealed to the water ministry to consider desilting the existing six dams as they wait for funds to create more dams. She observed that the streams are now pouring water to Teso yet it could have been captured and stored to help the Karamojong community during the dry season.

Nakut is optimistic that creating more dams would help boost food production in families through irrigation.

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John Robert Adupa, the LC III Chairperson of Lotisan Sub County that is hosting Kobebe dam noted that desilting the dams would increase the storage capacity.

Adupa urged the water ministry to pay more attention to dam maintenance because the sub-county has limited resources to manage the facility.

Adupa explained that they are struggling to revive Kobebe dam which is in a poor state after the water taps and valves got spoilt.

He said that several calls have been made to the district authorities and other partners to support the maintenance of the dam but all in vain.

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Jackson Angella, an elder in Moroto district wondered why water facilities such as Kobebe dam were vandalized when the security forces were responsible for the protection.

Angella also blamed the Moroto district engineers for blocking the channels of water that used to feed the Kobebe dam during the time of security road construction.  

Angella noted that the authorities in Napak, Moroto, and Kotido districts should come together and lobby for the resources for the protection of the dams.

He also expressed fears that the dams may not store enough water in this rainy season because of the silting and it may result in flash floods.

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Eng. James Bond Olinga, the Karamoja Regional Manager of Water for production said that they are planning to revamp several dams which are in a poor state before creating more.  

Olinga noted that the dams require desilting and they are already carrying out the assessment to ascertain the level of sediment so that they can decide when to carry out the process.

Olinga said that they also plan to construct the two dams in Lemusui bordering Nakapiripirit- Amudat, and the Nawoiporon dam will be in Kotido bordering the Kaboong and Moroto districts under the Karamoja drought resilience project.

The project has a component of the main dam and valley tanks around the dam to act as a buffer so that the animals only access the dam during the dry season.