The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, has broken ground for the construction of Shs71billion Acomai irrigation scheme in Kamutur Sub-county in Bukedea District.
The project, which is under the Agricultural Value Chain Development Programme being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, is also expected to be constructed in Bulambuli District. It aims at improving access to water for agricultural production, thus increasing agricultural productivity, improve post-harvest handling, agro-processing and value addition and market access among others.
While officiating at the groundbreaking event on Saturday, 18 December 2021, the Deputy Speaker, who is also the Woman MP for Bukedea District was enthralled that the irrigation scheme that was once a dream is now a reality. She tasked the Ministry of Agriculture to closely monitor its implementation to ensure that the multibillion project is not mismanaged.
“I am glad that the dream that started in 2016 has finally come to reality. My people here know how long this journey has been and how much we need this project,” Among said.
“I don’t want you [the Ministry of Agriculture]to leave this baby in the hands of people who will mismanage it. On behalf of the people of Bukedea, I am interested in the success of this project and I will therefore monitor it myself,” Among said.
The Deputy Speaker also tasked the contractor, Dott Services, to make sure that the project is completed on time and further requested them to construct a technical school in Kamutur as part of their corporate social responsibility. The contractor welcomed the proposal and promised to have the school built within six months to the delight of the community.
Among’s urgent need for a technical school is premised on the several school dropouts as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. She advised parents to take parenting very seriously as government plans to reopen schools in January 2022.
“Covid-19 has affected our children; some of them got pregnant and they are now suffering from stigma, so it’s our responsibility to counsel our children. We also need to ensure that they are fully vaccinated before returning to schools,” she said.
The Minister of Agriculture, Frank Tumwebaze, pledged to speed up the compensation process to ensure timely implementation of the project, saying government has earmarked Shs1bn for project affected persons.
State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Peter Ogwang, tasked the contractor, to share the Projects’ Bills of Quantities with the District for proper accountability and transparency during the implementation process.
The proposed irrigation schemes in Bukedea and Bulambuli will cover a whopping 2,200 hectares of land and will come with additional infrastructure such as administration block, two drying yards, warehouse, workshop, bridge and 58kms of access roads.