By Patrick Jaramogi
The Egyptian Government has committed $1.5m (Shs3.8b) as technical support toward flood mitigation in Kasese district.
The deal is part of the ongoing Uganda- Egypt Joint technical cooperation in the areas of water resources management.
“The Egyptian government is concerned that every year floods continue to ravage Kasese and surrounding districts yet this can be stopped. Our technical team is preparing to do feasibility studies through fast track intervention to avert more damages due to rain floods in Kasese,” he observed.
He said the team would construct rain water dams to control the flood during the rain seasons. “The stored water can be utilized for domestic and livestock usage during the dry season,” said Yosry.
According to Dr. Yosry Khafagy, the Head Egyptian Irrigation Mission in Uganda, the deal was agreed during a visit by senior Ministry of Water and Environment officials to Egypt last month during the activities of the third Joint steering committee meeting of the technical cooperation protocol project.
The officials led by David Obong the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Water and Environment were in Egypt to jointly follow up the on-going activities of the components of the technical cooperation protocol projects.
The components include; supply of heavy equipment for construction of valley tanks, construction of 75 ground water wells, construction of five valley tanks and training and capacity building of Uganda officials from the Ministry of Water and Environment.
"The budget for all these amounts to $4.5 million over a period of about 30 months," said Yosry
Addressing the press at the Mission offices in Kampala yesterday, Yosry said so far 30 ground water wells out of the planned 75 have been constructed in 13 districts across the country.
"We shall be commissioning the 20 ground water wells under the second and third batch in October 2014 under the auspices of the two ministers of Water from Uganda and Egypt," he said.
He said this commission will be done along with the heavy equipment for construction of valley tanks.
Yosry noted that most water is wasted during rainy season yet the need for water for domestic use, crop and animals is high during dry season.
As a continuation of the Egyptian technical support to Uganda, the Egyptian government has since 1998 to date injected in $22.4m towards the control of aquatic weed in Lake Kyoga, Albert, Victoria and the mouth of Kagera River in Lake Victoria. The funds have also been instrumental in construction of landing sites in Masese, Kaliro, Amolatar among other sites.
“Egypt will continue providing technical support to Uganda to control aquatic weeds and enhance fish production on Uganda’s lakes and rivers,” he said.