The Ministry of Water and Environment, under its Water for Production initiative, has commenced the rehabilitation of the Longoromit Dam in Lobongia Sub County, Kaabong district. This project is part of the ministry’s efforts to restore five multi-billion-shilling water projects constructed between 2009 and 2011, which have since been silted due to poor management by the pastoral community.   

The Longoromit water facility, now dry and surrounded by cultivated land, is the first to undergo rehabilitation. Other dams scheduled for rehabilitation include Kobebe in Moroto, Arechek in Napak, Kaomeri in Abim, and Kailong in Kotido. The rehabilitation work will involve desilting, valve replacements, clearing shrubs from the reservoir, and repairing water traps, among other tasks. 

Eng. Patrick Okotel, the Mbale Regional Manager under the Ministry of Water and Environment, reported that an assessment revealed the dam was completely dry, with significant damage to control valves and other components. The rehabilitation of the 1.4 million cubic liter facility is expected to be completed within one week, costing approximately 51 million shillings, which is reduced due to the use of ministry-owned equipment.   

Okotel urged the district leadership to engage communities comprehensively to ensure sustainable operations and maintenance of the dam. He highlighted the issue of crop planting around the water catchment areas, which could lead to severe erosion during rains.   

Dr. Fredrick Eladu, the Kaabong District Production Officer, mentioned that before the dam dried up, it supported over 5,000 fish, contributing to the local economy and nutrition. He warned community members against cultivating around the catchment area to prevent future silting.   

Rakele Lotyang, the Kaabong District Secretary for Production, recalled the benefits the community reaped from the dam, including fish provision. However, he noted that UPDF soldiers had conflicts with the community over fish resources, leading to the abandonment of the dam. Lotyang emphasized the importance of monitoring and proper management of the dam by district authorities. 

Jino Meri, the LC5 chairperson of Kaabong district, stressed the positive impact of the dam on the pastoral community, particularly in improving household nutritional status through fish availability. He committed to supporting the project and acknowledged the community’s role in the past mismanagement of the dam. 

Meri called for full rehabilitation by the ministry and prioritized community sensitization on dam maintenance to prevent rthe recurrence of the issues.

Andrew Chelengat, the Kaabong District Chief Administrative Officer, identified the errors that led to the dam’s drying up and pledged to avoid these mistakes in the future. He appealed to stakeholders, the community, and security forces to collaborate in ensuring the dam is used correctly. Chelengat emphasized that a revived water facility would enable the community to grow vegetables for both consumption and income.


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