By Steven Ariong
Leaders in Karamoja sub region have asked government to concentrate in constructing multipurpose water dams for production instead of wasting time and money constructing valley tanks that can’t keep even water for a month.
The leaders made this appeal during the regional consultative meeting with the team from the office of the prime minister in Moroto.
Paul Lokol the district chairperson Nabilatuk district said every financial year government through the ministry of water spends about Shs400 to Shs500 million constructing each valley tank for five valley tanks per parish across the region yet they don’t keep water for a long time.
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He says the money that the ministry is spending for constructing valley tanks in various parishes in the districts can be converted and construct one big multipurpose dam per district that can keep water throughout the year.
“Government spends to about Shs5 bn to Shs7billion constructing a multipurpose dam, so the money which is being spent on constructing five valley tanks per parish can be converted and construct one big multipurpose dam for each district,”Lokol said
Over the last three years government through the ministry of water and environment has so far constructed over 100 valley tanks across the nine districts of Karamoja
with the move to promote irrigation scheme in the region however, these valley tanks dry up quickly when it reaches dry season.
Each of these valley tanks has water holding capacity of 10 million liters compared to big dams like Arecek in Napak and Kobebe in Moroto.
Arecek dam which costed government about Shs7 billion has 2.3billion litters while Kobebe which costed government Shs6 billion has 2.2 billion litters and they have never dried up since they were constructed ten years back.
John Paul Kodet district chairperson Napak says that its only big dams that can help to bail out the region from drought.
“Yes these valley tanks would be good if they were keeping water for the whole year without drying because our problem is how to make water available for the livestock use,” says Kodet
Jino Mery district chairperson Kaboong said construction of valley tanks seems to be an avenue where people in the ministry eat money.
“These valley tanks are not helping us at all, government should stop wasting money with valley tanks,” he said.
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