MUKONO —State Minister for Environment Beatrice Anywar on Friday launched a mega irrigation project in Mukono District about 24 km, East of the capital, Kampala, aimed at boosting agricultural productivity.
The solar-powered irrigation infrastructure project will benefit thousands of families in Mpumu-Ntanzi Parish, Ntenjeru sub-country in Mukono district, the Minister said.
Ms. Anwar said during the launch that the government will ensure that farmers have access to irrigation infrastructure to mitigate the negative effects of climate change.
The Minister also noted said the government has lined up various projects aimed at promoting irrigation across the country to lessen dependence on rain-fed agriculture.
“The effects of Climate change has impacted the farmers because it’s very unpredictable,” she told reporters at the irrigation infrastructure.
This solar irrigation project, she added, comes in handy to make sure “our farmers add value to their crops and also solves the burden of looking for water for domestic use”.
Mr. Anwar also said that’ Ugandan government is working with the contractor, Nexus Green Limited to create a permanent site so that these solar panels are manufactured here. It will make energy much cheaper for Ugandans.
H.E. Kate Airey, the British High Commissioner to Uganda said the project will go a long way in improving the lives of smallholder farmers and reduce vulnerability in the catchment area.
Janet Rogan, Amb COP26 for Africa and the Middle East said climate change effects are real but said: “We are helping countries to adapt and build resilience”.
“The developed world needs to share clean technology with the developing world,” he added.
Nexus Green Limited is bringing new solar-powered irrigation technology to farmers who hope to boost production and reduce carbon emissions by replacing their old systems that are run with polluting fuel pumps.
The tech firm is a company that specializes in designing, supplying, manufacturing, and delivering affordable solar-powered solutions that reduce carbon emissions.
The government through the ministry of water and environment contracted Nexus Green to design, supply, and install 687 sites across the country utilizing financing from the UK Export Finance.
Each of the planned sites will comprise a water source, transmission pipeline, pumping to storage tanks with solar energy, distribution networks and for irrigation systems, and an on-farm irrigation system network.
Rikki Verma the CEO of Nexus Green Ltd said the company wants to bring down the cost of energy and improve the connectivity of Ugandans.
The Mpumu project in Mukono will be able to evacuate water from the existing borehole to a reservoir, from where the water flows by gravity to the command area and designated domestic water supply point.
In the National Development Plan III, the government said it making efforts to limit rain-fed agriculture by extensively pursuing construction of mini-micro irrigation schemes and multi-purpose surface storage facilities for the period 2020/21 – 2024/25.