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Lamwo Farmers In Panic As Rains Come

LAMWO – About 520 Lamwo farmers are afraid that flooding from heavy rains could portend another bad season and harvest.

Most of the apprehensive farmers are within Agoro irrigation scheme and are united under Agoro Self-Help Irrigation Cooperative Society Limited, in Agoro Sub County, Lamwo.

They largely grow vegetables, maize and rice. They say the heavy rains and the unusually soggy weather might wipe out their crops and livelihood.

“Before this month (May) ends, we are expecting heavy rains that might even result into flooding. Last year we lost millions of shillings and if the trend continues, we are scared that many of our crops will be washed away,’’ Camila Akumu, a farmer, told theCooperator.

She grows and sells tomatoes, Sukuma wiki, onions and cabbage in Lira City.

She however, said flooding is caused by the Ministry of Water and Environment’s failure to repair the irrigation scheme.

In 2013, the Ministry of Water and Environment injected Shs 27 billion into the rehabilitation of Agoro Irrigation Scheme to boost farming productivity within the community.

However, due to the shoddy work, the facility has not helped members of the cooperative.

Moses Kifefe, a maize dealer, said the flooding is brought on by the ministry’s defective repairs.

“Farmers cried here, having lost whatever they had planted at that time and as we talk now, fears are rife and if no support comes our way immediately, whatever has been planted might go to waste,’’ he said.

Allan Ocaya, the chairman of the cooperative, said farming activities are going on well but they expect heavy rains anytime that might flood out their gardens if the Ministry of Water and Environment doesn’t act fast.

The ministry has already brought pipes at the site and other accessories to kick start the maintenance works.

“When we asked them why they had not kicked started the maintenance they argued that they were waiting for the release of funds from the Ministry of Finance so that they can get on the ground. We cannot do much we are waiting for them,’’ he said

Brenda Okao, the ministry’s communications officer for the northern region, said there are no funds allocated for repairs at the scheme.

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