Written by: Mrs. Jane Anyango – Communications/PR Officer (CAES)
Residents of Kanyonyi village, Wanzogi – Subcounty, Kalungi Parish in Nakasongola district have all reasons to celebrate following a successful project that has in this dry season relieved several households from shifting in search for water for their animals and domestic use. No animal deaths resulting from water scarcity has been recorded.
Kanyonyi village is one of the villages in Kalungi parish that is always severely hit by drought from November to March. The parish is composed of seven villages including Kabandi, Kanyonyi, Wanzogi, Kaombe, Katugo and Iremya with over 30, 000 animals affected every dry season. Residents used to trek for 13 km to Lake Kyoga to get water for their animals and human use. During this movement, 40 animals in a herd of 100, used to die, calves not counted.
The first dam in this area was constructed by government in 1960’s to help residents access water for domestic use but the water reservoir was filled with mud and eventually closed due to poor management practices. In 2011 Makerere University dons from the Department of Extension and Innovation studies embarked on a three year project aimed at harnessing water and its use especially production in water stressed areas. Makerere University collaborated with Egerton University (Kenya), RUFORUM which is an umbrella organization for African Universities and Bok University in Austria.
The project titled, “ strengthening Universities Capacities for Mitigating Climate Induced Vulnerabilities in East Africa (WATERCAP) was an initiative from RUFORUM an umbrella where different Universities in Africa come together to do training and research at an estimated cost of 150,000 Euros.
The project was led by Makerere University Dr. Paul Kibwika as the Principal Investigator and Dr. from the Department of Extensions and Innovation studies assisted by Eng. Nicholas Kiggundu from the Department of Agricultural and Bio systems engineering.