Through the IKI Small Grants, GIZ in partnership with APEFA are implementing a project called “Solar-powered irrigation and improved cooking stoves for communities”, in the two sectors of Ngeruka and Mareba Sectors of Bugesera District, Eastern Province.
In fact, the two sectors were chosen for this project due to their large number of vulnerable people. Ngeruka and Mareba Sectors have a total population of 63,000 people of which 9, 812 households are under Poverty.
On 15th April 2022, APEFA started the installation of the solar powered irrigation system in Muyange Village, Ngeruka Cell, Ngeruka Sector, Bugesera District. It is intended to serve three cooperatives’ members (KOJYAMUNGE, KOTEMUNGE and KOPABINGE).
The solar powered irrigation infrastructure system has been already installed, well-functioning and Solar water pump is pulling water from the water source (intake-Lake) hereafter Cyohoha Nord to the upper dam-sheet reservoir of 480 m3 so that the irrigation will be made by gravity system from dam sheet (Reservoir) into the scheme (cultivable land) which make this system to be easy by farmers.
On 8th November 2022, APEFA’s staffs; Eric Sibomana (M&E), Diane TUYISENGE, Livelihood expert and Gilbert UMUNYURWA, Irrigation Engineer, paid an onsite visit to evaluate the activities on “Solar-powered irrigation and improved cooking stoves for communities’ project”.
The APEFA’s team evaluate the success, the quality and the quantity of all activities implemented in this ongoing project in Bugesera District. They also provide their observation as well as the recommendations to achieve the project objective and sustainability.
The beneficiaries, that are 3 vegetables grower cooperatives members are happy with the project since it enables them to irrigate their land easily & efficiently.
Anastase Kazimbaya, a member of KOPABINGE Cooperative said that he is optimistic to have enough production due to the installation of solar powered irrigation system.
“It’s a very good system; everyone here is happy. The reason we are happy is that we used to face a big challenge of drought, but this time we found water for irrigation. All the Cooperative members are excited that in the coming days it will enable us to increase our harvest.”
Jean Marie Vianney Niyibizi, a member of KOJYAMUNGE Cooperative also expressed his gratitude.
“When we started to grow our crops with the help of irrigation system, it has changed a lot, now we are happy with the good harvest from our agricultural activities. Our fellow farmers, who are not the members of any cooperative, have already started requesting to be given such opportunity to irrigate their planted crops.”
“All the members of cooperatives, we have reached the stage of recruiting an Agronomist to help us in agriculture and disease control in agriculture. Besides, we also have an agreement to plant one selected variety of crops at every land, one side we grow tomatoes other side Onions.”- added Jean Marie Vianney.
Three hundred vulnerable small farmers households are expected to benefit from APEFA’s project for solar powered irrigation system, in order to achieve more reliable, profitable and sustainable production.
The Cooperative Beneficiaries are recommended to improve their agriculture activities within the area of the installed system in order to increase the production of irrigated crops.