Government has secured $44.7 million (Shs111.3 billion) for the construction of Nyabanja multipurpose dam on River Dumbu, a tributary of River Malaba, in Tororo District.
The funding was secured through a water resource development programme from the World Bank cooperation in international waters for Africa and the Swedish International Development Agency.
This was announced by the commissioner for production in the Ministry of Water and Environment, Mr Richard Cong, last Friday while visiting the project site.
Mr Cong said the irrigation development and watershed management project is intended to alleviate poverty in the area by transforming the existing subsistence farming into large-scale commercial farming.
He added that according to the feasibility study undertaken in 2010, the dam will form a storage reservoir to hold 11.8 million cubic metres of water that will be diverted from wet season floods into River Dumbu to irrigate an area of about 5,531 hectares.
Mr Cong said besides providing water for irrigation, the government also anticipates tapping 47KW of hydro electric power from the dam, and supplying water for domestic use to 12,000 people.
He said actual construction will start in 2016 and that the government has outsourced for a firm to draw a plan for the dam which is expected to be concluded by October.
Mr Cong also met area residents as part of government’s commitment to involve them in the implementation of the project.
Minister of state for Primary Healthcare Sarah Opendi appealed to the communities to embrace the project for the development of the area. Ms Opendi, who is also the Tororo Woman MP, warned the residents against associating with those who may want to de-campaign the project.
Basis. The project is being implemented under the Sio-Malaba-Malakisi river basin management project which was identified by the Nile Equatorial Lakes countries.
Anticipated benefits. The project will start an irrigation scheme to serve 5,531 hectares of land. The government also anticipates to tap 47KW of hydro power from the project. A bridge will also be constructed across the dam to link Kirewa and Nabuyoga sub-counties.