MPs ask govt to commit its share of funding to Shs436b irrigation project

A staff from Nexus Green explains during an oversight tour by MPs of the solar irrigation project in Kwania District. PHOTO / Aloysius Atwiine 

What you need to know:

  • The project loan is structured in such a way that government makes a 15 percent contribution, a big chuck of which is yet to be received 

Members of Parliament on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee have asked government to fulfil its funding obligation in the design, supply, and installation of solar water supply and irrigation project. 

The project, which seeks to establish 687 solar irrigation sites across Uganda, especially in water stressed districts of northern and eastern Uganda, MPs were told has experienced delayed funding allocations from government, thus burdening the contractors. 

Speaking during one of the oversight tours of the project in Kwania District, Eng Maurice Barigye, the Nexus Green chief operating officer, said the project loan is structured in such a way that government must make a 15 percent contribution, noting that a big chuck of government’s funding was yet to come through. 

“As a result, we have been struggling a little bit,” he said. 

However, while responding to the alleged delayed funding, Dr Emmanuel Otala, the Environment and Natural Resources Committee chairperson, said government should play its part instead of having the contractor carry the burden alone.

“We want this project to succeed. We will do everything possible to support it achieve its objective. We will begin by ensuring that government plays its rightful role instead of having the implementer carry the load alone,” he said in an interview during a field visit of the project in the district of Amolatar, Serere and Kwania, among others. 

The project, which begun in July 2021, is expected to be completed in July 2024. 

However, despite funding challenges, Mr Rikki Tarun Verma, the Nexus Green founder and chief executive officer, said the project will be delivered within set timelines. 

The design, supply and installation of solar powered water and irrigation project, whose contract sum is about Shs436b, apart from enabling farmers to become more productive and harvest throughout the year, will also provide water for consumption in water stressed districts of eastern and northern Uganda. 

Dr Otala also noted that because of the importance of the project, it was important that from the outset it is done rightly to ensure value for money.

“We are now going to make our report to Parliament and also write directly to the Executive arm of government asking them to come clean on their 15 per cent co-funding even if it means coming up with a supplementary budget. This project has to succeed,” he said. 

Access to water 

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 access clean drinking water as a result of the project.


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