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Mubuku scheme now in final stages

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By Enid Ninsiima

Posted  Friday, December 13  2013 at  11:59

In Summary

The scheme expected to cost Shs19 billion on completion, will improve farmers’ productivity.

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Kasese- Mubuku Irrigation Scheme is in the final stages of renovation as the government seeks to increase its capacity and efficiency.
The rehabilitation that is expected to cost more than Shs19 billion will be commissioned by President Museveni once complete.

However, farmers that the Daily Monitor spoke to said they are worried because the scheme’s rehabilitation might have been done without the approved bills of quantities.

“There are signs that the rehabilitation works are soon getting finished yet a section of the scheme, including the drainage system has not been or has been poorly worked on,” Mr Frank Twinamatsiko, the chairman Abasaija Kweyamba Mubuku Farmers’ Co-operative Society, said.

Mr Twinamatsiko made the remarks recently while presenting the beneficiary farmers’ report to Mr Vincent Rubarema, the Permanent Secretary, ministry of Agriculture at a meeting in Kasese Town recently.

According to the report the rehabilitation undertaken by Coil Limited started about two years ago.

In the report farmers appealed to both the Ministry of Agriculture and Water to ensure that the issue of drainage is addressed

The report also notes with concern the delays in the project that had been scheduled to take one year but was now in its second year.

However, in his address to farmers, Mr Rubarema, said the rehabilitation of the scheme is part of a wider government programme that seeks to forge a partnership to help in the increment of agricultural output that can accommodate farmers’ consumption and export needs.

He said a policy on Irrigation Schemes was in the offing and would spell out the roles of the government and farmers in order to strike out a proper understanding between stakeholders.

Farmers including, Mr John Rubandema, and Mr John Baluku, said the government should ensure that the system is efficient before it is launched.
For instance, Mr Rubandema said: “The yet to be tested system had been flooding nearby areas including roads due to poor draining.”

Other farmers also complained of water that spills on roads instead of gardens.
However, Ms Vero Murungi, the officer-in-charge of the scheme, said, The fact that the dry season had been too long, the scheme had been forced to only do night irrigation.

“The issue of water not reaching many of the gardens under the scheme is being handled,” she said.

The scheme
The cost. The scheme, once complete will cost about Shs19 billion. It seeks to boost farmers’ production capacity and efficiency.
Wider plan. The government says the renovations works on the Mubuku Irrigation Scheme is part of a wider plan to improve agriculture productivity in Uganda.

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