The Shillings 25billion dam is planned to have a 14-meter high embankment and carry up to 2.8 billion liters of water. The works are projected to end in December 2022
Site clearance for the water Dam
The ongoing construction of Sinat water dam in Maaru sub county in Kotido district has excited residents, saying it may help end cattle rustling. The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries is financing the 2km long water dam.
The community say the government has thought it well to establish for them a water dam, which will help to address the problem of insecurity, water stress and pasture for their animals. Peter Maruk, one of the pastoralists told URN that they have been trekking long distances in search of water for their animals and sometimes they collide with raiders along the way.
Maruk says that he has been moving with his animals to Kobebe grazing area in Moroto district but the Turkana pastoralists could connive with Matheniko of Moroto to attack them and make off with their animals. ‘’ I’m so excited seeing the works commencing, it’s a great achievement for us pastoralists, at least now we can say the government really cares about us,’’ he said.
Kizito Lokuda, another pastoralist noted that the dam will to some extent address the insecurity in the region because the movement of animals from place to place has also been facilitating cattle raids. Lokuda says that this could have been the best alternative to address insecurity and the food crisis because it would limit the movements of animals and at the same time support crop production.
Albert Longok, a youth in Maaru sub county is excited about the construction, saying that he intends to take on fish farming and vegetable growing as one way to avert malnutrition. Longok suggests that the government sets up such projects in all sub counties to avoid congestion and ensure that the youth are involved in productive programs other than raids.
‘’I can assure you this dam will hopefully make us grow our own food, hunger will be history but of course we still demand government support for mechanized agriculture’’ he lamented. Paul Komol Lotee, the LC V chairperson of Kotido district, says that if completed, the project will help settle the herdsmen who have been trekking long distances to look for water.
Komol says that pastoralists have been moving to areas of Teso, Acholi and Lango to search for water and the new dam will be a permanent solution to water stress. According to him, the water project is going to boost crop production since the area and its surrounding looks very fertile. "You cannot believe that our people are now migrating to settle in the bushes to do more farming. If it was not for the unpredictable rains, our crops would do better than they look now,” Komol added”.
Kennedy Robert Okuda, the Kotido Productions officer has welcomed the development, saying it’s a long term dream of settling the pastoralists in Karamoja, Okuda vowed to play his part to ensure that the works are monitored and completed as per the time frame agreed upon. The Shillings 25 billion dam is planned to have a 14-metre high embankment and carry up to 2.8 billion litres of water.
The works are projected to end in December 2022