Eng. Nicholas Lubanga, one of the officials from the Water and Environment Ministry overseeing the project, says the mistakes that lead to loss of the crops could be expected since it was the first time for the farmers to interface with irrigation technology.
A group of farmers under Magezi-Muliro Farmers'
Association, which received the pilot demonstration mini irrigation scheme in
Mabwombe Village in Mende Sub County in Wakiso District, are crying foul after
losing their crops to heavy rains.
Although irrigation is practiced during the dry season, URN
has learnt that the have been irrigating their plants in rainy season. Irene
Nabukeera, the leader of the twelve affected farmers, says that they irrigated
their crops during the first days of the rain season with an assumption that
rains would be intermittent.
She says they had planted high-value crops including Sukuma
wiki, green pepper, and cabbage, watermelons, eggplant, tomatoes and onions
among others. She however, the crops
were swept by rains leaving the land bare.
//Cue in: “Tubadde tugikozesa…
Nabukeera couldn’t explain whether they received technical advice
on irrigation. She instead argued that since the rains have been irregular in
some past seasons, they thought that it may delay or be little.
She however, says that by the time they realized that rains
were serious, it was too late.
Eng. Nicholas Lubanga, one of the officials from
the Water and Environment Ministry overseeing the project, says the mistakes
that lead to loss of the crops could be expected since it was the first time
for the farmers to interface with irrigation technology.
//Cue in: “since the project…
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He said that although the project is under the Environment
Ministry, they had advised farmers to seek technical support from extension
workers on the best practices.
Herny Lubulwa, the Wakiso District Agricultural Officer notes
that his department was available to guide farmers on how to use the irrigation
scheme for the betterment but he was equally surprised that farmers could
irrigate during a known rain season.
//Cue in: “They have been…
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Lubulwa says as climate change effects are becoming real in
Uganda with prolonged droughts and dry spell, the intervention of irrigation is
inevitable. He however, says there is need to equip farmers with skills and
knowledge of applying the technology if they are to benefit.
Mabwombe scheme is one of the several irrigation
schemes that were put in several parts of the country by the Water and Environment
Ministry. The project, whose intention is to help in teaching farmers and
disseminating information on irrigation technology, is valued at over Shilling
Several mini irrigation schemes have been constructed in Kasese,
Lira, and Soroti districts among other parts of the country. The most recent
one is situated in Mityana District.