MOROTO – Leaders in Karamoja sub-region have warned government to stop wasting tax payers’ money constructing valley tanks in the region that cannot keep water for a long time.
In a telephone interview with PML Daily, Mr. Francis Kiyonga, the district LCV chairperson Amudat said that the government has wasted a lot of money constructing shallow valley tanks per parish at the cost of Shs300m each tank which does not provide water for long for the pastoralists.
“Lest not take Karamoja as a region to be used for eating tax payers’ money in the name of constructing valley tanks. Why can’t government use that money and construct one multibillion dame for each district that will serve the entire district than spending money constructing pit latrines in the name of valley tanks and dry within two month,” he
Over the last three years, government through the ministry of water has constructed 81 valley tanks across the eight districts of Karamoja with the move to promote irrigation scheme in the region, however, these dry up quickly when it reaches dry season.
The valley tanks are constructed in every parish in Karamoja region at the cost of Shs300 to 500 million each, although the tank keeps a capacity of 10,000 million liters but they dry quickly when draught intensifies.
Mr. Ambrose Lotukei, the district LCV chairperson Kotido said the money that the government through the ministry water 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.
“Constructing one multipurpose dam costs government about shs 5 to 7 billion so the money which is being spent on constructing five valley tanks per parish can be converted and construct a big multipurpose dam that will keep water for thousands of animals per district,” he said
Mr. Ambrose referred to the big dams like Arecek dam in Napak district which costed government about Shs7b and accommodates 2.3billion litters and it has never dried since it was constructed. Another one is Kobebe dam in Moroto which costed Shs6 billion and accommodates 2.2billion litters which has also not dried up since construction six years back.
Mr. Patrick Okotel, the senior engineer in the ministry of water in charge of eastern region, however, said valley tanks were cheaper and easy to sight compare to big dams.
“Issues of big dams is a long term planning and it requires a lot of money to establish a multipurpose dam,” he said.