Farmers Invest In Irrigation Technologies to Fight Drought

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In short
Rose Kyomuhendo, a rice farmer in Kakonga parish, Rwimi Sub County says that during the rainy season, she stores water in her underground tanks, which she uses in the dry season to irrigate her garden.

Water scarcity is forcing farmers in Kabarole district to invest in irrigation technologies to water their crop fields. Most farmers across the district entirely depend on rain to water their crops. 




However, with the temperature becoming exceptionally hot because of the prolonged dry season, farmers have resorted to other means to cope with the situation. One of the technologies that have been embraced by the farmers is the treadle pump. 



The pump is manually operated using the feet to draw water from the ground to the garden.  It has two pipes each connected at one end of the pump. The first pipe is connected to the water source like a water tank and the other is joined with a pipe that has small holes where water passes during the irrigation exercise. 



A treadle pump costs between Shillings 600,000-700,000. Gerald Mwesige is one of the farmers using the pump in his garden.  He explains that the pump is the cheapest and most flexible way of irrigating crops. 
 
 
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Rose Kyomuhendo, a rice farmer in Kakonga parish, Rwimi Sub County says that during the rainy season, she stores water in her underground tanks, which she uses in the dry season to irrigate her garden.
 
 
Kyomuhendo wants the extension workers to train farmers staying near water sources on how to irrigate their crops during the dry season.  

 
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In Rwimi Sub County, Rwimi Rice Farmers Association purchased five treadle pumps to irrigate their rice fields. Charles Baguma, the chairperson, says that using the pumps has been a success, since farmers no longer struggle to water their gardens and even remain in business during the dry season. 
 
Baguma however says some farmers cannot afford the irrigation technologies because they are still expensive and as a result, farmers have lost all they have planted.  

He advises farmers to get into recognized groups and organizations so to acquire irrigation water pumps and pay in installments. In 2011, government launched the Irrigation Master Plan (2010-2035).
 
 
The plan maps out irrigable districts across the country. It also shows which type of irrigation would be suited for each part of the country depending on availability of water in form of river, lakes and where artificial valley tanks would be set up.

 However the plan has hardly been implemented due to inadequate financing. 

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.