The project is expected to benefit 63,200 smallholder farmers in Isingiro, Kanungu, Lamwo, Lira, Tororo, Mukono, Wakiso, Mpigi, and Rukungiri districts. Under the project, the government plans to build two new large-scale public irrigation schemes in Kabuyanda, Isingiro, as well as Matanda and Enengo irrigation schemes in Kanungu and Rukungiri districts.
Parliament has delayed the approval of funding amounting to 990 billion Shillings to finance the construction of irrigation schemes, drainage
channels and dams as part of a new climate-resilient irrigation project.
The project is expected to benefit 63,200 smallholder farmers in Isingiro,
Kanungu, Lamwo, Lira, Tororo, Mukono, Wakiso, Mpigi, and Rukungiri districts. Under the project, the government plans to build two new large-scale public irrigation schemes in Kabuyanda, Isingiro,
as well as Matanda and Enengo irrigation schemes in Kanungu and Rukungiri districts.
The irrigation project will also be implemented in the Eastern, Northern and Central regions, where the government is seeking to provide farmers with access to irrigation and other agricultural services and to
establish management arrangements for irrigation service delivery, through expanding services at Nyimur Multipurpose Irrigation Scheme in Lamwo and Amagoro irrigation scheme in Tororo.
According to the breakdown, the government has borrowed 623
billion Shillings (USD169.2 million) from the International Development Association
of the World Bank Group to finance the irrigation for climate resilience
projects and an additional 367 billion Shillings to finance the competitiveness and
enterprise development project. The money was approved by the World Bank on June 18.
According to the Ministry of Water write up, the project is expected to contribute to the improvement of farm incomes, rural livelihoods, food security and climate resilience, sustainable natural resources management and agricultural enterprise development. The Ministry observes that access to irrigation is critical to allowing farmers to cope with climate variability, to increase yield and intensification, and diversify towards higher-value crops.
MPs rejected the loan requests while debating two reports from the National Economy committee tabled by MP Wamakuyu
Mudimi on grounds that the government is yet to utilise money borrowed for the same
Richard Okoth Othieno, the West Budama North MP, says that the
National Economy Committee didn’t clearly indicate how the debt burden would
affect Ugandans. He also explained that the loans worth 412 billion Shillings that were approved last year
for irrigation haven’t been absorbed to date.
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Cecilia Ogwal, the Dokolo Woman MP, says the government has been
slow in absorbing loans, adding that there is no strategy and adequate capacity
to promote irrigation in the country. She asked the government to put its house in
order before applying for another loan.
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Kampala Woman MP Nabillah Naggayi Sempala says Ugandans detest
the high level of borrowing and it's worse that the government continues to borrow.
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Rosemary Nauwat, the Amudat Woman questioned why the government
needed money to compensate people for their land on an irrigation project,
saying there could be a ploy for officers to steal part of this money.
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Jessica Ababiku, the Adjumani Woman MP
questioned why other regions have not benefited from the loans. The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said there were
several issues that are unclear in the proposal including a suggestion for
farmers to purchase on farm equipment and that farmers were
never consulted on the loan.
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First Deputy Prime Minister, Moses Ali said that
if Government borrows and the money has not been absorbed, it does not mean
that more money should not be borrowed for critical areas. He says the
responsible Ministries that haven’t used the money should be held accountable. Uganda’s public debt stood at 53
trillion Shillings as at April 2020.
to the World Bank, the Agriculture sector employs 70 per cent of Uganda's population, providing income,
employment and livelihoods across the country. However, the sector continues to be subject to climate change, as evidenced by increased droughts and erratic rainfall.