Uganda govt to embark on water harvesting technologies

Under the Integrated Rural Development Strategy (IRDS), Government has asked for proposals describing different water harvesting technologies that farmers can use.

The proposals should address practices like water harvesting from roofs, livestock and backyard irrigation, drip irrigation kit for one-acre land, run-off rain water harvesting system for irrigation and for livestock watering and fish farming.

Others should address pressurised irrigation systems for over five acres, de-silting of valley, installation of windmills and capacity development on proper use, management and maintenance in the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank ranches.

In Luweero district, fish farmers have already embarked on campaigns of harvesting the runoff water. The tapped runoff water is preserved for some time in the fish ponds and when it is clean enough, they pour in fish flies and the feeds.

For water purification, the farmers use moringa pond seeds, which they crush and spray on the top of the water.

The powder from the moringa seed karnels works as a natural coagulant, binding to the solids in water and making them sink to the bottom.

Since bacteria in water are generally attached to solid particles, treatment with moringa powder can leave water clear, with between 90% and 99% of the bacteria removed. Purification takes between 24 to 72 hours. Sand and ash are also added for further purification.

In Wakiso, especially in banana-growing areas, farmers pour crashed moringa seeds at the top of the holes meant for water harvesting.

They dig a hole of 5ft by 5ft within the vicinity of the banana garden, which they cover with a polythene bag.

Charles Kizito, a resident of Maya Bujasi village, says a hole of that nature has a storage capacity of 10,000 litres of water.

WIth this new technology, farmers expect to boost fish production and other agricultural activities.

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