National Irrigation Master Plan Ready
The Minister of Water and Environment has assured Members of Parliament that the National Irrigation Master Plan is ready.
Sam Cheptoris was on Tuesday responding to concerns raised by Parliament's Budget Committee Chairperson, Amos Lugoloobi regarding the absence of a master plan ahead of budget appropriations for next financial year 2019/2020.
Cheptoris together with other ministry officials were appearing before the committee to present his sectors' budget performance for last financial year 2017/2018.
Lugoloobi observed that Uganda has a comparative advantage on food supply in the region and an Irrigation Master Plan would help the country exploit its strategic advantage in supplying food to the regional free trade area.
He also noted that without the master plan there would be problems in attempting to increase agricultural productivity. Lugoloobi told the minister that every time there is a drought, the economic performance is drastically affected with very low Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.
He added that parliament cannot continue to allocate resources to a sector that does not have a plan.
Cheptoris informed the committee that both the Irrigation Policy and the Master Plan are ready and that the Ministry's Permanent secretary Okot Okidi would avail the committee with copies.
Meanwhile, MPs Charles Illukor representing Kumi County and Kyamkwanzi Woman MP Anne Marie Nankabirwa also asked the minister to provide figures on functional boreholes in every district.
Kachumbala MP Patrick Isiagi noted that the ministry had quoted a total of 982 boreholes drilled during the year under review but he pointed out that some of these had dried up and yet the contractors had been fully paid. He demanded to know how the contracts are managed.