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Uganda to construct an artificial lake in Karamoja sub-region

The government of Uganda has announced plans to develop an artificial lake in Karamoja sub-region to meet the needs of farmers in the area.

The outgoing Minister for Karamoja Affairs, Mr John Byabagambi said the feasibility studies and design for the artificial lake in Karamoja project have already been completed to pave way for construction works.

While handing over the office to his successor, Dr Mary Goretti Kitutu, Mr Byabagambi also announced that President Museveni and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of the lake.

The artificial lake will sit on a 10,000 hectares of land in Lopei locality located between the districts of Moroto and Kotido. It will have a storage capacity of 40 million m3 and the stored water will also be used to generate electricity, feeding 6 MW into the Ugandan national electricity grid.

Also Read:Uganda’s Nwsc to take over construction of stalled Kahengye water project

Climate change

Upon completion, the US $100M lake project will benefit farmers and pastoralists in the Napak, Moroto, Kotido and Abim districts in the Karamoja sub-region, as well as the Pokot community, who reside in between Kenya and Uganda to the east.

Uganda’s agriculture is vulnerable to climate change, increased drought and uneven rainfall. Water available in the Karamoja sub-region currently comes from dams located distance away from settlements including the Kobebe Dam in Moroto, which has now completely dried up and the structure has cracked due to the drought. Built in 2010, the facility was serving more than 5 million animals per day, with a storage capacity of 2.3 million m3.

The artificial lake is set to improve the resilience of vulnerable populations. The government will further strengthen the resilience of Ugandans to climate change, through construction of 20 valley dams across the country.

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Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya

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