UGANDA

GEOGRAPHY, POPULATION AND WATER RESOURCES

Area of the country

Cultivable land

Cultivated land

1993

1991

1991

23 588 000

16 759 600

5 027 880

ha

ha

ha

Total population

Population density

Rural population

1994

1994

1993

20 621 000

87

89

inhab.

inhab./km2

%

Water supply coverage

Urban population

Rural population

1991

1991

43

43

%

%

Basic statistics and population

Uganda, a landlocked country on the equator in central Africa, has a total area of 235 880 km2, 15% of which is occupied by freshwater swamps and lakes. The cultivable area was about 16 759 600 ha in 1991, which is 71% of the total area. The cultivated area is estimated to be 5 027 880 ha, or 30% of the cultivable area.

The total population is nearly 21 million (1994), of which 11% is urban. The average population density is 87/km2, but varies from 20 in the northeast to more than 300/km2 in the southeast and southwest. Population growth is 2.6% per year.

Agriculture is the mainstay of the Ugandan economy. The sector account-ed for 51% of the GDP in 1991 and over 90% of exports, and employs 80% of the employed household population.

Climate and water resources

Rainfall is fairly reliable and varies from 750 mm/year in the northeast to 1 500 mm/year in the high-rainfall areas on the shores of Lake Victoria and around the highlands. Temperatures average about 21°C, ranging from 15° to 30°C. More than two-thirds of the country is 1 000 to 2 500 m in elevation.

Uganda is the Åwater towerÅ of Central Africa. More than 15% of the area is made up of freshwater swamps and lakes, such as Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world: 69 000 km2 (of which about 29 000 km2 is in Uganda) with a maximum depth of 80 m and a capacity of 2 700 km3. The whole of Uganda lies within the Upper Nile catchment, with numerous rivers flowing into Lakes Edward, Victoria, Kyoga and Albert, and also directly to the Nile. The only outlet from Lake Victoria is the Victoria Nile. The main river into Lake Victoria is the Kagera, which rises in the highlands of Rwanda and Burundi. Although not known with precision, water resources are globally estimated at 66 km3/year.

Water resources:

Average precipitation

Internal renewable water resources – total

Internal renewable water resources – per caput

Global renewable water resources

Dependency ratio

Total dam capacity

De-salinated water

1994

1 133

267.3

39

1891

66

40.9

-

-

mm/yr

km3/yr

km3/yr

m3/yr

km3/yr

%

km3

106 m3/yr

Water withdrawal:

- Agricultural

- Domestic

- Industrial

Total

per caput

as a % of internal renewable water resources

Other withdrawal

1970

1970

1970

1970

120

64

16

200

20

0.5

-

106 m3/yr

106 m3/yr

106 m3/yr

106 m3/yr

m3/yr

%

106 m3/yr

Wastewater:

Produced

Treated

Re-used treated wastewater

-

-

-

106 m3/yr

106 m3/yr

106 m3/yr

Water balance

Irrigation potential

1991

202 000

ha

Irrigation:

1. Full or partial control irrigation: equipped area

- surface irrigation

- sprinkler irrigation

- micro-irrigation

% of area irrigated from groundwater

% of area irrigated from surface water

% of equipped area actually irrigated

2. Spate irrigation area

3. Equipped wetland and inland valley bottoms

4. Other cultivated wetland and inland valley bottoms

5. Flood recession cropping area

Total water managed area (1+2+3+4+5)

- as a percentage of cultivated area

- increase over last 10 years

- power irrigated area as % of water managed area

1987

1987

1987

1987

1987

5 550

-

80

-

-

-

-

-

3 570

-

-

9 120

0.2

-

-

ha

ha

ha

ha

%

%

%

ha

ha

ha

ha

ha

%

%

%

Full or partial control schemes: Criteria

Large schemes > - ha

Medium schemes

Small schemes < - ha

Total number of households in irrigation

-

-

-

-

ha

ha

ha

Irrigated Crops:

Total irrigated grain production

as a % of total grain production

Harvested crops under irrigation

- rice

- sugar cane

- citrus

- vegetables

1987

1987

1987

1987

-

-

-

-

3 580

-

-

t

%

ha

ha

ha

ha

ha

Drainage - Environment:

Drained area

as a % of cultivated area

Flood-protected area

Area salinized by irrigation

-

-

-

-

ha

%

ha

ha

Irrigation and drainage

Undisplayed Graphic

Water withdrawal (total: 0.2 km3 in 1970)

Withdrawal was estimated at 0.2 km3 in 1970 (Figure 1), of which 0.12 km3 was reported as being for agriculture, which seems to be an overestimate.

IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT

Undisplayed Graphic

Distribution of the water managed areas (1987)

In general the country is fertile and benefits from adequate rainfall, offering favourable natural conditions for agricultural production, with the exception of the far north and northeast, where the rainfall is confined to one rainy season. In the south, rainfall conditions permit more-or-less-continuous cropping.

In 1987, the total water managed area was estimated to be only 9 120 ha, or about 0.2% of the cultivated area. The full or partial control equipped area was 5 550 ha and the equipped wetland, 3 570 ha (Figure 2). On a pilot scale (80 ha), sprinkler irrigation was practised. Rice, sugar cane, citrus fruits and vegetables are currently the main crops grown under irrigation.

According to African Development Fund (ADF) estimates, Uganda has good potential for an expansion of its irrigated agriculture, with the amount of land which could potentially be cultivated under irrigation estimated at 202 000 ha. However, using the Victoria-Nile river and its tributaries, or the larger inland lakes, for irrigation purposes would have serious consequences for irrigated farming and the supply of water for countries to the north, especially Sudan and Egypt.

INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT

The institutions involved in irrigation and water development are:

•Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries (MAAIF):

-Department of Agricultural Development (DAD).

•Ministry of Water, Energy, Minerals and Environmental Protection (MWEMEP):

-Water Development Department (WDD).

TRENDS IN WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

Irrigation developments started in the 1960s, developing settlements using a top-down approach. Those projects are now managed by MAAIF. The schemes are operating with serious difficulties, principally because of budget restrictions.

In October 1991, a FAO project, Assistance in small-scale irrigation, started, with the aim of assisting the Government of Uganda in its strategy of promoting small-scale irrigation by strengthening the national capacity to plan, implement and provide supporting services for irrigated agriculture.

According to that project, rehabilitation of the abovementioned government schemes should first consider the organizational structure which would manage the rehabilitated schemes. Strengthening of farmer organizations and improvement of irrigated agriculture technology is a priority in some schemes; privatization might be a good alternative in other schemes.

MAIN SOURCES OF INFORMATION

Mihajlovich D. 1993. Assistance in small-scale irrigation. Irrigation Engineering Consultancy, project FAO-TCP/UGA/0154.

Statistisches Bundesamt. 1991. Country Profile Uganda.

UNEP. 1988. Strategic Resources Planning in Uganda, Volume IV: Water Resources.

World Bank. 1993. Uganda: Agricultural Sector Memorandum. Three volumes. Report No. 10715-UG.

This document was produced using an evaluation version of HTML Transit