Kanungu Residents worried Matanda Irrigation Scheme won’t benefit them

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Residents of Kanungu District have raised concerns over failure to benefit from Matanda Irrigation Scheme, a project that was initiated by Government of Uganda with financial assistance from World Bank (WB).

The irrigation scheme, currently being managed under the Ministry of Water and Environment is expected to pass through four sub-counties of Katete, Kanyantorogo, Kihihi Town Council, part of Nyakinoni and Kihihi Sub-County where Matanda is located.

It is intended to boost climate resilience, give easy access to irrigation and other agricultural services for effective service delivery for farmers in the area.

The scheme will provide quantity water supply for multipurpose use thereby increasing the overall crop, livestock and fish production within the specified area.

However, residents of Kanungu have tabled their grievances to the local authorities that they are worried they may not benefit from the scheme despite being ‘Project Affected Persons’ (PAPs).

“The irrigation scheme will only cater for people within the project area, yet drought affects all of us. The water pipes will pass through four sub-counties yet they are not the actual beneficiaries. Why pass the scheme in our land when it is the people at the extreme end of Kihihi subcounty to benefit as we are left out? We are similarly being affected by drought’’, says Asaph Byamugisha, a resident of Kanyantorogo.

Kanungu Deputy Resident District Commissioner, Gad Rugaju gives hope to the residents of the affected sub counties that they will be compensated as per the Uganda Land Policy.

“The affected persons will be compensated. It is not proper to progress with work without first compensating the people. It is against the land policy,” says Rugaju.

The Government of Uganda is committed to implementing the National Irrigation Policy (2018) thereby ensuring provision of irrigation services through piped water irrigation to crop and livestock farmers and ensuring that the project users are fully involved to promote ownership and sustainability.

 

 

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