Ntoroko District Starts Excavation of Valley Dams

The excavators will also be used to clear the invasive weed in the district, that has covered over 80% of the grazing fields.
Some of the Mechanized Equipments for valley dam excavation in Kanara sub county.

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The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries has supplied two excavators and a bulldozer to Ntoroko District to dig up valley dams.

The district is prone to prolonged droughts which have affected cattle keepers whose basic source of livelihood is livestock.  Statistics from the veterinary office indicate that at least 2000 heads of cattle die each year due to lack of access to water.

The excavators will also be used to clear the invasive weed in the district, that has covered over 80% of the grazing fields.

Dr. Patrick Businge the District Production Officer says the government intervention is timely owing to the prevailing harsh condition resulting from prolonged drought. Businge says that valley Dams will enable the district to overcome the challenges of water scarcity for animals.

Businge also said the production office is planning to provide quality pasture in the district ahead of the rainy season which will save animals from starvation in the near future.

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William Kasoro, the LCV Chairperson Ntoroko, says that excavation of valley dams has commenced in Kanara and Butungama sub-counties. Excavation will also be rolled out in Rwebisengo Town council, Rwamabale, and Rwebisengo sub-counties. 

According to Kasoro, six valley dams will be dug in each of the sub-counties in areas that can easily be accessed by the pastoralists.

Steven Asaba, the LCIII Chairperson Rwamabale sub-county says the invasive weed and prolonged drought had made animal rearing a problem in the Ntoroko cattle corridor. He however says that he is optimistic that the clearance of the grazing fields and digging of valley dams for water points will save the animals from death.

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According to the recent census the Ntoroko cattle corridor has over 230,000 heads of cattle, however, due to the prolonged dry spell seasons, the district has low milk production capacity.

In 2015, the government promised to construct concrete underground tanks in Ntoroko District, which would store water during the wet season and provide adequate supplies to the pastoralists during the dry spell.   

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