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Kasese environment officer wants gov’t to stop unregulated irrigation

Kasese, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kasese District Environment officer Augustine Kooli has asked the government to urgently stop illegal irrigation along the banks of River Nyamwamba. He says that farmers have constructed irrigation channels which have diverted the water from its course into communities.

The demand comes a few days after floods devastated parts of Kasese district when major rivers from Mount Rwenzori burst their banks sweeping away houses and key infrastructure in the region. Although most of the damage was caused by the effect from River Nyamwamba, there was significant havoc from River Nyamugasana, Mubuku and Lhubiriha.

Kooli blamed the damage on increasing irrigation channels in the area.

Kooli also observes the need to end the increasing human activities including cultivation. He says such activities have forced farmers to divert water into their gardens and increased silting of the river. He also wants government to desilt local rivers so that the water can remain on its bed.

Deus Baluku, a resident of Kilembe says that most farmers tap into the river waters due to the absence of irrigation schemes in the district. He argues that the district with longer dry spells must be helped to have enough water to facilitate farming activities.

With the extent of the damage on the ground, Baluku says the government must aid its people to understand the disadvantages of unregulated irrigation.

On Monday, officials from the central and the local government in Kasese district begun carrying out an assessment of the damages caused by recent floods in the district.

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