Govt plans to construct 687 solar irrigation sites

Solar installation at Bulangira, in Kibuku District by Nexus Green. PHOTO/ FILE

What you need to know:

Government is investing $90m (Shs331b) in the project to enhance agricultural practices.

KAMPALA. Government, through Nexus Green Limited, is on track to complete the construction of 400 solar-powered water irrigation sites in the northern and eastern Uganda by the end of 2023.

This is part of government’s funded design, supply, and installation of solar powered water supply and irrigation systems project.

Nexus Green, the contractor, specialises in designing, supplying, manufacturing, and delivering solar-powered solutions.

Government is investing $90m (Shs331b) in the project to enhance agricultural prosperity and social life of more than 25,000 Ugandans in water-stressed districts.

Project approval
 The project, which is owned by the Ministry of Water and Environment was approved by Parliament and the UK Export Finance in September 2019 and February 2021, respectively.
The project commenced on July 12, 2021.

Speaking ahead of an inspection visit by Members of Parliament from the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Rikki Verma, Nexus Green chief executive officer, said following the near-completion of preliminary project works such as land acquisition design works, procurement of key equipment, the actual construction is now in earnest.

“We spent the first six months of year one of the project on making site verification including confirming site locations and checking the availability of water, stakeholder consultations and undertaking designs and procurement of material for the first phase,” he said, noting that for second year, focus will be on construction and by the end of 2023, approximately 400 solar-powered water irrigation sites, would have been built.

The project will benefit at least 3,000 smallholder farmers with an average of six farmers on a 12-acre site benefiting from one  solar-powered irrigation site while at least 5,000 people in rural areas will get access clean drinking water as a result of the project.

Ms Gladys Kiseka Ndagire, a farmer and irrigation scheme beneficiary in Mpumu, Mukono District, said solar-powered irrigation mitigates changes in climate patterns.