By. Damba Rogers
Residents in Kikyusa and Kamira sub counties, Luwero district are strongly urging government to consider digging water dams in other parishes in the district to scale down the pressure thousands of people are putting on the two water dams in these areas.
Ministry of water and environment together with development partners (EU)through the Global climate change alliance project (GCCA) dag two water dams in the subcounties of Kukyusa and Kamira to help provide water to residents for domestic and production use during times of long dry spells as a way of scaling up agriculture adaptation to climate change in Uganda.
Luwero district is one of the districts in Uganda affected by long dry spells and this fails crop and animals growth, hence impacting negatively on people’s livelihoods.
During field visit by Environment Management for Livelihood Improvement-Bwaise facility with support from Care international to evaluate whether the project is living to its original design, Willy Musoke, the LC1 chairperson Kavule-Namanoga zone in Kikyusa subcounty, Wankanya parish strongly appreciated the project, asking government and development partners to consider digging water dams in other parishes to lift off the heavy burden their dam carries currently.
Mr.Musoke said, “residents from other parishes treck miles to collect water for irrigation, feeding their animals, use for domestic work in their homes from this dam.”
He adds that, this creates fear among them that water might at one time dry up due to the huge numbers access the resource whom they cant stop.
Lubadde Posiano who coordinates Caritas activities in the area added that they nolonger worry about changes in weather parterns ever since the water dam was sunk in their area adding that residents being dominant farmers, can now grow fast maturing crops for sell and home consumption and to Lubadde” this has increased on their incomes and health as well.”
In a distnace of over 25km away is Kitanswa village in Kamira parish, Kikyusa subcounty where another dam was sunk serving mainly pastoralists being that the area is dominated by cattle keepers and crop farmers.
Residents in this area just like thier counter-parts in Kikyusa appreciate the dam and vow to protect it to the tooth to serve them for years .
Women in the area doned in their traditonal wear, with smiling faces revealed that “before the digging of the dam, their husbands would spend over four months away from home in search for water to feed thier animals.”
The women also stated that the long absense of their husbands away from home created too much insecirity on the village and homes. Men being the main providers at home, this left wives with less to offer their children since they had almost no finances to support home activites, with others not concieving preganancies because men used to spend many months away from home hence creating more marital worries to them.
With the commissioning of the water dam, now residents are able to bring their animals to drink water, they also use it to irrigate crops. And this has reduced on the distanced now covered by resident to fecth water as well as men spending months away from home.
Even when the water dams have solved the problem of water during long dry spells, residents are raising problems among them being, failure to maintain the water pumps incase of mechanical falts, pay for the security guards and others.
Still resident reveal that the project has equiped them with better knowledge on how to save the environment among them is afforestation to recover the lost green cover through poor activities of man.
The water dams measuring over 70 meters in widith and over 80 in length were dag in vallies respectively with a water pump put in the middle to pump purified water into the tanks carrying 10,000 litres each, where it then sent to the taps for people to collect for use and constructed water bowls for animals to drink.
The eigth million Euros project funded by European Union commissioned last year in December is operating in 9 districts in the central cattle corridor (Nakasongola, Luwero, Nakaseke, Mubende, Kiboga and Sembabule) and three new adjacent vulnerable districts (Kalungu, Gomba, Lyantonde).
The Cattle Corridor remains one of the regions of Uganda most vulnerable to climate change, dominated by pastoral rangelands where livestock is raised with scarce water and pasture, due to environmental degradation, partially related to opening of new land for pasture, and fuelwood and charcoal production.