Uganda Government to complete 400 solar-powered water irrigation sites by end of 2023

Solar installation at Bulangira, in Kibuku District by Nexus Green

Solar installation at Bulangira, in Kibuku District (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA – Government says it is on track to complete the construction of 400 solar-powered water irrigation sites in the Northern and Eastern parts of Uganda by the end of 2023 as part of its funded Design, Supply, and Installation of Solar Powered Water Supply and Irrigation Systems Project.

The project is being executed by Nexus Green, a solar energy company.

The Government is investing a total of $90 million in the solar-powered irrigation water project to enhance agricultural productivity, prosperity, and the social life of over 25,000 Ugandans in water-stressed districts in the country.

The project is owned by the Ministry of Water and Environment and financed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and Development. It was approved by the Parliament of Uganda and the UK Export Finance (UKEF) in September 2019 and February 2021, respectively.

The MPs are now conducting an oversight visit to assess the project grilled by Nexus Green officials on allegations of substandard works and delays. The MPs will visit 10 districts in Eastern and Northern Uganda including Nakasongola, Apitopat, Lira, Apac, Serere, Soroti, and Bukedea amongst others.

The project commenced on July 12th, 2021 with its first implementation sites being handed over to Nexus Green in August and September 2021.

365-days and 4 seasons of irrigation-fed farming

Rikki Verma, Chief Executive Officer, of Nexus Green said the project will increase the number of productive seasons from two to four seasons in a year.

“Having constantly powered irrigation systems will guarantee UGX 5m worth of revenue per acre, per season resulting in UGX 4.6 trillion which is over 3% of the country’s GDP year in and year out.”

The project is set to benefit at least 3,000 smallholder farmers. An average of 6 farmers on a 12-acre site will benefit from each solar-powered irrigation site, and on the water supply side, at least 5,000 people in rural areas will get access to clean drinking and cooking water while an average of 15,000 people will gain access to urban water supply systems.

Gladys Kiseka Ndagire, a farmer and Irrigation scheme beneficiary in Mpumu in Mukono district testified about the use of the solar-powered irrigation scheme. “Due to changes in climate patterns, it becomes difficult to assess when planting or harvesting season will be. With the irrigation idea, farmers have full control and can be able to plant anything from the start to the end of the year. I encourage fellow farmers to embrace irrigation and improve their yield outcome,” she said.

“After this project, urban dwellers in the target districts are expected to see a 60% reduction in water tariff on 220 urban water supply schemes, in addition to the benefits of green energy and carbon footprint reduction. We expect at least 2.6 million people to see a reduction and prevention of common chronic sicknesses such as typhoid, dysentery, and cholera generally leading to improved health and standard of living within the beneficiary communities,” Verma noted.

Additionally, 2,300 farmers will also gain agronomy skills on various high-value crops like passion fruits, tomatoes, apples, watermelon, rosemary bush, and macadamia, among others through the services of expert agronomists on the project, including information on access to markets, competitive pricing and farm management skills.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top