The Egyptian government has commissioned a Shs11 billion rain water harvesting project targeting 25,000 households in 23 districts under a bilateral cooperation agreement with Uganda.
According to Environment minister Ephraim Kamuntu, the project, which was launched yesterday in Nyenje village in Goma Division Mukono District, will involve the construction of gravity wells, water tanks, valley dams and procurement of equipment to harvest rain water to ensure 100 per cent water coverage in the country.
Beneficiaries include Mukono, Rakai, Lyantonde, Soroti, Oyam, and Apac districts among others. “They are already constructing valley dams in Nakasongola so that when rains come, we start harvesting water. We should move away from this mentality of just looking at rain water flowing away and when drought comes, we have no alternatives,” Mr Kamuntu said.
He said water was a key ingredient in agricultural transformation and the economy without which nothing can happen.
“All economic aspects such as fishing, livestock farming, tourism and health require water and if a friend brings you water, then that is a friend indeed,” he said.
Dr Mohamed Abdel Motaleb, the Egyptian minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, said the support was brotherly assistance to Uganda since they come from the same region.
“We have to help each other and work as a family. We need to forget about borders for the sake of the future generations. We want to send seeds for planting trees because without forests water will reduce in the lake,” he said in an interview.
cap: Environment minister Ephraim Kamuntu (2ndR) and Egyptian minister for Water Resources Mohamed Abdel Motaleb pump-test one of the boreholes which were commissioned in Mukono District yesterday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE