Government Commissions Livestock Watering Infrastructure
Starting the 13th April 2021 the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries embarked on a week’s series of commissioning events across the Karamoja and Teso region in a bid to make water for livestock available for the pastoral communities that face hardships of long dry spells.
Pastoralist communities generally live in isolated, remote and underserved areas and rely on mobility to take advantage of transient availability of water and grazing to eke out a fragile livelihood.
One of the Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience project’s aims is to tackle constraints related to regional public goods, including water availability for humans and livestock. The relevance of this infrastructure in this region therefore cannot be over emphasized.
“The NRM Government has not been silent in addressing these challenges. A number of interventions in this project and other government projects are tackling these challenges. It is evident as you move through this area that a number of water reservoirs are being developed, power lines are being built, tarmac roads are now reaching Moroto which was not the case at the beginning of this project and the murram roads are in fair condition. Apart from isolated cattle thefts, cattle rustling and security have largely improved, and we shall continue providing these public goods as government,” Hon. Vincent Sempijja stressed.
During rainy season’s rivers flood, gardens are submerged and roads are cut off for days. When the sun shines, pastoral communities roam sometimes across the border to Kenya in search of water for their animals. Competition for grazing land has often sparked conflict between rival tribes. Thus the government saw it fit that water infrastructure interventions are necessary investments to improve the resilience of the pastoralist livelihoods.
The valley tanks and dams that have been established in the region will attract herders with cows, goats, sheep, donkeys and camels from far and wide. Up to 5 million animals a day drink and graze nearby these water points in the region.
“Hon. Minister our people are facing security insurgencies when grazing their cattle because of the type of lifestyle they live, we need government intervention on this if we are to enjoy these resources,” Said Mr. Emmanuel Ofwono, Chief Administrative Officer Abim District. To this Hon. Bright Rwamirama responded that the government needs to ensure that the objective for which this infrastructure was built is realized. This would require a robust operation and maintenance management system in place and that the government is going to work to ensure that security is guaranteed in the region.
The Local government leaders in the region expressed their gratitude for this infrastructure and many requested for many more similar projects in the region so as to settle the communities’ worries of looming droughts that are a constant set back in the region.
The government promotes valley dams and tanks as a way of conserving water. These are a partial solution and have a long-term viability to enhance resilience in the Arid and Semi-Arid regions.