CIBITOKE July 25th (ABP) – The Union for Cooperation and Development-Support to the Rural World (UCODE-AMR) in collaboration with the administration of the Rugombo and Buganda communes, organized on July 21, 2022, at Lake Dogodogo, in Rugombo commune, a meeting for restitution of the experience exchange visit, for the benefit of irrigation water users.
According to the chairman of the Federation of Associations of Irrigation Water Users (FAUEI), Mr. Charles Kwiringirantuko, the experience exchange visit carried out at the end of June 2022 in Nyabitsinda commune of Ruyigi province, greatly enriched them, with regard to the organization and the way of collecting water royalties. For him, although in Nyabitsinda the users of irrigation water do not yet have a federation, they arrive at a rate of 94% for the collection of these royalties, whereas in the communes of Rugombo and Buganda, they are less than 50% of the planned royalties. Another thing, the same official appreciated that the farmers themselves go to the collector to pay this money, without running after them.
For Mr. Kwiringirantuko, after the visit to Ruyigi, FAUEI is now considering changing the way of collecting these fees, so that the users of irrigation water pay that money into the accounts of water users’ associations. In addition, each time there will be reports on the money collected and its management.
However, to achieve that, in addition to raising the awareness of water user associations on the interest of these royalties, the FAUEI requires a municipal agent responsible for monitoring the collection of these royalties and the maintenance of the irrigated perimeter.
As for the communal administrator of Rugombo, Mr. Gilbert Manirakiza, the lessons learned in Nyabitsinda commune of Ruyigi province will help to improve the way things are done. For this, in Ruyigi, the irrigation canals pass through State lands, while in Cibitoke province, the irrigation canals pass through private lands, which means that the administration must associate the large operators, in the collection of water fees.
He said that this is why the latter had been invited to this restitution meeting, alongside the administrative staff and technicians of the BPEAE.
Thus, the communal administrator of Rugombo declared that the big farmers must understand that it is in their interest to pay these water royalties, as soon as they receive the rents of their irrigated lands. For the farmers, it is a feeling of satisfaction that the administration will become more and more involved in the irrigation sector. They explained that the resistance in the collection of royalties was linked to ignorance or to the fact that some of the big operators hid behind their functions to refuse to pay.