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Residents Vandalize Perimeter Fence of Agoro Irrigation Scheme :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Residents Vandalize Perimeter Fence of Agoro Irrigation Scheme

Markson Odongkara Labongo, the Superintendent of Agoro Self-Help Irrigation Scheme Cooperative Society Limited (ASHISCO) says that fences protecting the headwork and the main dam have all been brought down by community members.
Head work section of Agoro Irrigation scheme were locals have vandalised perimeter fence and invaded on it for sand mining

Audio 6

Residents of Tegot Kwera South Village in Agoro Sub-county, Lamwo District have been accused of vandalizing perimeter fences at Agoro irrigation scheme.

The government rehabilitated the irrigation scheme that sits on 1,675 hectares of land in the area in 2013 at a tune of 27 Billion Shillings to boost crop production during the dry season. The rehabilitation works also saw the erection of perimeter fences at the main dam and the water intake at River Okura to keep off locals from easily accessing the site.

However, years later, large sections of the perimeter fences that include wire fences and concrete poles have been vandalized.

Markson Odongkara Labongo, the Superintendent of Agoro Self-Help Irrigation Scheme Cooperative Society Limited (ASHISCO) says that fences protecting the main dam have all been brought down by community members.

He says the fences were meant to limit access of locals to the irrigation structures but notes that it's currently being accessed illegally by locals.

Labongo says many locals are currently illegally conducting sand mining and fishing at the headwork of the irrigation scheme and the main dam while others use it as dumping sites that are posing threats to the water quality.

//cue in: “The main challenge…

Cue out:…is very harmful.”//

According to Labongo, their efforts to sensitize the community has landed on deaf ears over the years adding that the locals have continued to pollute the water which has, in turn, affected its quality for crop production.

//cue in: “We had been…

Cue out:…the head work.”//

Early this year, a section of farmers raised concerns that the water from the irrigation scheme had become toxic and alleged that it was drying off their crops.

Grace Acayo, a rice farmer at the irrigation site says that the water coming out of the dam lacks nutrients and is warm which can’t support couldn’t support the growth of rice. 

She also noted that the design of the irrigation scheme was tampered with during rehabilitation in 2013 which has left the farmers unable to access water because of the depth of the water canals.

Luo

//cue in: “pii ma en…

Cue out:…cam idi poti.”//

But Odongkara says following concerns from the farmers, a team from the Ministry of Agriculture last year visited the irrigation scheme and conducted a test on the water quality but found nothing toxic as alleged by farmers. 

//cue in: “That concern we…

Cue out:…in the dam.”//

Michael Odokonyero, the speaker Agoro Sub-county acknowledges receiving complaints of vandalism of materials from the irrigation scheme. Odokonyero says the vandals are targeting wires, angle bars, and steel from concrete poles which are sometimes used as snares or by children.

He notes that theft of the perimeter fences has left the dam and head work at the irrigation scheme exposed to children and pollution.

Luo

//Cue in: “Kony pa gin…

Cue out:…dam eno ni.”//

Agoro irrigation scheme which is meant to benefit more than 1,000 farmers in the parishes of Ywaya and Pobar is currently being deserted by farmers over inability to access water due to deep water canals. The majority of the rice farmers have currently relocated to the main course of River Okura for easy access to water their gardens.

The government was meant to kick off the rehabilitation of the irrigation scheme by last year. But the process has stalled despite hundreds of water pipes delivered at the irrigation site meant to change the current open water canals.

Brenda Akao, the Communication Officer for the Ministry of Water and Environment Northern Region says the rehabilitation has stalled for the past one year due to a shortage of funds.