Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda’s Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has applauded the Ministry of Water and Environment for establishing an institute that will help bridge the gap between theory and practice and also generate practical solutions to address the challenges the country faces in the water sector.
“I therefore request the leadership of the Ministry of water and Environment and other relevant stakeholders to use the water resources institute to profile the central position of water resources in national development with a vision of ensuring that Uganda’s water resources are utilized optimally, “ Rugunda said.
Rugunda made the remarks as he officially opened the Water Resources Institute in Entebbe on Wednesday. The event was one of the highlights of the Uganda Water Week March 17 to March 23.
He observed that discussion of water and environment issues need to get out of cocoons of water and environment sectors and involve other stakeholders such as politicians, students, the private sector, development partners, academicians, the media and the general public.
“This is because water affects us all, there is a need to increases sharing of experience, new concepts, innovations and practices in water and environment related issues,” PM Rugunda said.
Rugunda added that “The institute therefore should be able to influence the practice and policy for sustainable social economic development of the country.”
The Prime Minister observed the need for the institute to provide space for various stakeholders to contribute to innovative solutions that meet broad range of individuals, sectorial and national needs.
On the agriculture production, Dr Rugunda revealed that government is in final stages of adopting a national irrigation policy and is committed to investing in water for irrigation infrastructure to boost commercial farming.
“Against growing threats of climate change and associated negative impacts to the Uganda economy, create-resilient irrigation schemes are seen as the only way to provide reliable and sustainable water solutions for Ugandan farmers, “he said.
Many participants hailed the opening of the institute as for several decades, many knowledgeable people have retired from government work, and made redundant due to poor planning for their retirement time.
This initiative will now see the Directorate of water resources fully tap the knowledge from the retirees of the different ministry of water and other related fields.
The institute will be used as a research and training center and will utilize services of retired senior water officers who will train young water officers.