Rakai, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A multi-purpose water supply project has been lying idle for ten years since it was commissioned in Kiyumbakimu village, Kagamba sub county.
The 7 billion Shillings project measuring over one kilometre long and about 200 meters wide was meant to provide sufficient water for domestic use, irrigation, cattle and other purposes in various villages, parishes and Kagamba, Lwamaggwa and Ddwaniro sub-counties.
It was launched in 2012 by the then Water and Environment Minister Maria Mutagamba. It was supposed to be implemented with funding from the Austrian government, the European Union and the Government of Uganda. But it has remained idle and now the authorities are reassessing the project and developing a new concept to utilize the project.
Joseph Mugumya, the fisheries officer in charge of Kooki county says the main objective of the project was not realized since it stalled at the first phase of construction, yet people continue suffering from water scarcity. He adds that the fisheries department will assess the project to ascertain whether they can use it for fishing or any other activity that can help the people in the area.
According to Muhammed Kanyike, the District Agricultural Officer, the project was meant for water production but it was expensive to maintain. He adds that several people including children have reportedly drowned in the dam because the contractor, Dott Services Ltd suspended operations without fencing it off.
Kanyike noted that they may need to do several lab tests to know the salinity content in the water before they decide on using it for something else.
He further says that although the salinity content may have reduced after ten years, they can only confirm that with the necessary lab tests.
Samuel Kaggwa Ssekamwa, the Rakai LCV chairman says they are looking for the best alternatives to utilise the stalled dam. He adds that they may look into desalinating the water but the technology may be a little expensive depending on the district’s resource envelop.
The affected residents have for long demanded government intervention to complete the project by using different technologies.
According to Douglas Muhiirwe, one of the residents of Kiyumbakimu village, at least three children in the area have drowned in the dam while bodies of unidentified people have been dumped in the dam due to the lack of a fence around it.
Oliver Rukundo, another resident says the contractor destroyed the only freshwater well in the village during the construction of the dam, and the alternative which the contractor availed was dirty, and not fit for human consumption.