Floods displace Bukedea residents, demand contractor’s exit

Over 1,000 gardens have been submerged

Bukedea: A section of the angry residents whose houses were submerged by the heavy rain in the parishes of Acomai, Tajar, and Kamutur in Kamutur subcounty in Bukedea District have waged a protest, wanting Dott service company to limit their exit from their community.

Dott Service Company Limited is a company awarded by the central government to construct the Acomai irrigation scheme under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry, and Fisheries (MAAIF).

The project was allocated shillings of 71,868,100,592 and commenced on October 1st, 2021. It was expected to be completed within 24 months, but the agreed duration has elapsed.

According to the angry residents, the project was expected to address the problem of floods in their area, but instead it has worsened.

They said the water canals created by the constructor have forced the water to flood their homes and gardens, causing the majority of them to become homeless.

“We are not seeing any advantage from this project here. Instead, it has worsened; now we don’t have a place to stay, all our crops are damaged by water, and your channels have diverted water to homes’ ‘, said residents.

Mr. Sebi Asangolo, a victim, said he borrowed a loan of five million shillings from the bank and planted maize, but all the maize has been swept out by water. He said there’s no other alternative to paying back the bank loan apart from the maize he cultivated.

“How will I pay back the bank loan? All the gardens I hired and the maize I planted have been swept away by water. I ask for government intervention,”  he said.

Mr. Jackson Ojekede, Kamutur subcounty chairperson, told this that over 1,000 gardens have been submerged.

“The situation is very bad. All the gardens have been affected, and people have been forced to move to the nearby schools. People do not have anywhere to  sleep,” he stressed.

Ms. Mary Akol, the Bukedea district chairperson, says within two days, two subcounties of Kamutur and Kangole have been affected by floods.

She said the district was putting hopes on the irrigation scheme as a rescue for floods, but instead it has turned negative.

“We expected that project to be done by now, but we have failed to understand the cause of the delays; people are not doing well,”  said Ms. Akol.

Eng. Sebugwawo Anthanasius, the senior project engineer at MAAIF, told this publication that the project works are at 70.4% and have only elapsed for 786 days.

“This project work has been extended to ten months, so it will be complete by July 31st, 2024,”  said Eng Sebugwawo.

Sebugwawo also added that now that water has forced people to leave their homes, as part of the project, we are going to write letters to the office of the prime minister for relief assistance.

“This is an emergency. Let’s inform OPM, and we will source relief support for the affected persons,”  added Eng Sebugwawo.

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