The Ngudulugulu Irrigation Scheme Construction Essay

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Poverty is still widespread in Tanzania especially in the rural areas, as about 85 per cent of the poor live in rural areas. According to the Household Survey of 2007, Poverty remains overwhelmingly rural, with some 83 percent of individuals below the basic needs (food) poverty line being resident in rural areas. According to United Nations Development Project (UNDP), Tanzania's Human Development Index (HDI) is 0.398; this has been a conventional measure of national development, such as level of income and the rate of economic growth which gives the country a rank of 148 out of 169 countries with comparable data.

Poverty is particularly widespread among those involved in smallholder agriculture, livestock production and small-scale fishing. Within the agriculture sector, food crop producers are generally poorer than cash crop farmers. Both operate under cyclical and structural constraints, are subject to frequent natural calamities (drought and flooding), and lack market linkages, inputs, credit and irrigation water. Income inequality for rural areas has remained rather constant and is rooted in inequitable access to productive assets, including land, financial services, and livestock as well as to education.

There is clear evidence that poverty is higher among the population groups living far from markets, drinking water supplies and health clinics. The growth of agricultural sector has becoming lower (averaging 4.4 percent) than other sectors mineral, construction, and manufacturing and communication services in recent years. The share of agriculture activities to GDP was 24.6 percent in 2009 compared to 25.7 percent in 2008 (The Tanzania Economic Survey, 2009). Ngudulugulu Irrigation Development Project has taken into consideration the perception in the target communities of poverty.

The village is in Kwimba District Council, Mwanza region with command area for irrigation estimated at 8000 ha and a population of 20,050 resident where 9,664(48.2%) are male and 10,386 (51.8%) are female. This is according to the Tanzania 2002 population and household census. The village has been surrounded by different opportunities which can make agricultural industries possible. But this has been hindered by insufficient rainfall. In this village there is enough manpower since people are very much committed to their jobs; there is very fertile and virgin land which can be cultivated very easily. Furthermore, if there would be enough yields it could be very easy to get the market. But all these opportunities have never been utilized well as a result, low production of both food and cash crops in the village. The National Irrigation Master Plan has identified potential area for irrigation development as 29.4 million hectares. The country has high potential of surface as well as ground water resources.

In this regard therefore, there was a great need to establish the project to construct an irrigation scheme so as to serve smallholder farm families in order to raise the amount of crops produced and households' income generated annually.

Technology to be used on irrigation will be rain water harvest technology which for this case suits best with the climate around the village which is characterised by semi-arid condition.

The criteria proposed to select the project were as follows:

the annual rainfall and high probability of drought during the wet season;

the potential for small-scale irrigation development;

the existing area's paddy cultivation;

the size of the farming population;

the poverty index;

the district council's commitments to contribute to project implementation and availability of requisite qualified staff;

road access; and

the percentage of women-headed households.

Project Assumption

The project will be implemented under the following assumptions:

AS-1: The fund/budget for the project is readily available as per project schedule.

AS-2: Implementing council is willing and devoted to support the project

AS-3: Stakeholders are willing to devote adequate human and financial resources for undertaking the project.

AS-4: Inflation rate remains constant during project life cycle.

Involvement and Experience

The National Irrigation Policy (2009) emphasizes on participatory approach to be adopted as a standard methodology for the planning, design, implementation, monitoring & evaluation of all irrigation and water-harvesting project. Participatory approach techniques have to be applied in order to inculcate farmers' sense of ownership, commitment and responsibility for their irrigation schemes. There will be a challenge to introduce the cost sharing and recovery mechanisms. Back years on project development witnessed habit from the client that though implementation of such projects in their areas; there were a sense that all projects were owned by the government. In these thinking, most projects ended after donor funds cutoff. There were no means of project sustainability.

The design and formulation of this project took consideration of beneficiaries' involvement through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). Involvement of Beneficiary will be reinforced during implementation by actively engaging civil-society organizations, such as village and district councils and NGOs. Beneficiaries will be represented at district project steering committee level to ensure that their concerns, constraints and demands are satisfactorily met. Their commitments will be obtained in the form of equity, cash and labour contributions for the various project activities, such as construction of irrigation, roads, which they will undertake. In addition, they will bear full operation and maintenance costs.

Policies and Development Strategy

The Government of Tanzania is now giving higher priority to irrigation as a reliable strategy for food and cash crop production. This is reflected in reforms that have taken place including National Strategy for Growth and Reduction of Poverty (NSGRP) which emphasizes overall increase in irrigation assets; Agricultural Sector Development Strategy(ASDS) which provides strategy for agricultural production and productivity; National Irrigation Master Plan which provides a framework for planning of irrigation development and Agricultural Sector Development Project (ASDP) which provides the demand-driven investment strategy for the sector.

As for this matter and demand-driven effort of the need of irrigation scheme of farmer from Ngudulugulu village has a support of the National Irrigation Policy (2009) on the nature of irrigation type. The policy statement state that the Government will:

Promote the demand-driven irrigation scheme identification;

Undertake mapping and demarcation of the potential land for new irrigation schemes development;

Provide assistance for the development of the area targeted for irrigation expansion in collaboration with other stakeholders;

Assist in the mobilisation, training and organisation of smallholder farmers for new irrigation schemes;

Support in the management of newly developed irrigation schemes; and

Establish effective cost sharing and recovery mechanism.

The Project Approach

Ngudulugulu Irrigation Development Project attempts to answer four basic four questions originated from smallholder farm families themselves and other key stakeholders to address the problem of food insecurity as a result of insufficient rainfall around the area.

Who are the beneficiaries? The target group consists of smallholder farm families who are reliant upon paddy and vegetables as their major source of income. They have an average farm size of 1.0 ha per household, about half of which is cultivated, and they have very little assets, including livestock. Within the target group, the project will target resource-poor farmers, women and women-headed households who periodically face food insecurity, through specific interventions that address their Agricultural and produce-storage needs.

Why are they poor? Although the causal factors relating to poverty in marginal areas are numerous (economic, social and political), they are chiefly attributable to:

lack of supplementary irrigation facilities for production of both food and vegetable crops, the latter being the major source of cash income for women;

the inadequate supply of improved production inputs, such as seeds and fertilizer;

lack of representation of the poor in the decision-making processes in agriculture and Financial organizations in rural areas; and

Their limited access to various social services, such as safe drinking water, health clinics and education. The project will empower them, both economically and politically, help them grasp economic opportunities and improve their livelihood.

What will the proposed project do for them? The project will increase incomes for the targeted smallholder farmers through augmented production from:

(i) Expanding irrigated paddy areas

(ii) Increasing dry-season vegetable production;

(iii) Improving paddy yields from the judicious and economic use of inputs and improved crop husbandry practices

The project will increase agricultural production over an area of about 8,000 ha. The project will directly benefit a total of 20,050 people about 2,506 households family.

How will the beneficiaries participate in the project?

Securing beneficiary participation and involving grass-roots organizations in demand-led development initiatives. A balanced gender focus is a key critical issue in the project participation and involvement.

The following institutional modalities and mechanisms will ensure the participation of the beneficiaries:

establishment of water users' association (WUA) that are active in all decision-making processes, from scheme design to preparation and implementation;

their agreement to assume financial responsibilities, including contributing to part of the capital and full costs of irrigation facilities

Objectives and Output

The strategic goal of the project is sustainable improvement in smallholder incomes and household food-security. Its purpose is to enhance the institutional, organizational and technical capacities of farmers to construct, develop and sustain small-scale irrigation systems throughout the marginal in areas. The objectives of the project will be achieved by delivering the following three (3) outputs:

Increasing the availability and reliability of water through improved low cost systems of water control;

Raising agricultural productivity by improving agricultural extension services to respond better to farmers' needs; and

Building institutional capacity to realize, over the long term, the vast potential for smallholder irrigation development throughout the project area.

Main Activities

Under the output of water management system constructed the main activity will be the construction of new irrigation scheme and a reservoir dam of an average size of 200-250 ha, covering a total estimated area of 8,000 ha. The work will include the construction of diversion structures using low cost gabion and reinforced concrete weirs, off-take sluices, a canal network, infield water distribution and control structures, tertiary canals to minimize conveyance loss of irrigation water and flood protection embankments.

Regarding the Farmer's Organization Capacity and Services for Agricultural Development Improved output; capacity building to Village Extension Officers (VEOs) and Irrigation Technicians will be done and the officers will be given a contract to ensure that the technical support to farmers are provided full-time. On-farm trials and demonstrations will be conducted to bring about technological change in rice and vegetable production. In each block of the scheme, one simple adaptive trial and one demonstration on a volunteered farmer's field will be carried out, with technical assistance from the VEOs, irrigation technicians and research scientists. Demonstrations will cover, inter alia, planting density, row transplanting, and land levelling, weeding and fertilizer application.

The output will support training activities to farmers, which will include: (i) farmer-to-farmer exchange visits and farmer study visits to other projects and research stations, in order to exchange information and experiences, and discuss the technical issues/constraints they face with a view to finding appropriate solutions; (ii) short residential training courses for elected representatives of farmer groups in various topics of interest, such as on-farm water management, paddy production and supplementary irrigation of vegetables; and (iii) training farmers on identifying and selecting quality seeds needed for production. Women will form about 50% of training course participants.

Furthermore the capacity-building under this output will consist chiefly of three types of training:

An introductory seminar in each of the proposed scheme areas with the village council, local leaders and farmers, to discuss the general principles, conditions and proposed approach to irrigation development under the project;

Once the initial confirmation of establishment of a Water User Association (WUA) is received, a general training course in each scheme to help the farmers with the formulation of by-laws, setting up of financial accounts, scheme registration and the opening of a bank account, to make them fully aware of their rights and responsibilities; and

Training for the scheme leaders of WUA on various aspects, such as leadership qualities, WUA administration, operation and maintenance, water management practices and a cost recovery system; and

Appraisal Issues

The project will be screened further during implementation, in terms of their actual commitments of financial resources, their technical suitability and the farmers' interest in joining the Project.

The project was selected based on following criteria:

The technical aspects, including hydrology, soil suitability and technical viability;

The social features, including beneficiary demand and conflicts of interest over water and targeting;

The economic factors, such as economic and financial viability and market access;

The agricultural and managerial elements, covering beneficiary experience, farmers' organization and labour availability; the ease of implementation, namely topography, market access, the availability of construction materials and commitment of farmers;

The environmental impact of the schemes, based on a environmental checklist to be developed in Project year (PY) 1; and

Land distribution, to ensure that at least 80% of the plots owned by individual households in an irrigation scheme will not be larger than 3 ha each, and about 25% are owned by women

The project target group consists of smallholder farm families who rely upon paddy production as their major source of food and income. These families tend to have fewer household members, few assets, small landholdings and low crop yields. They are generally food-insecure and rely on income from casual labour for about eight months of the year.

Social Appraisal

It has to be learned that flexibility introduced with scope for modifications and revisions based on beneficiary and community needs to build social capacities in order to train Water User Association on Operation and Maintenance (O & M) of the scheme and leadership and financial management and . Gender responsiveness Specific activities targeted to women, priority access to land, extension services, irrigation wells and representations in WUA will change life after scheme operation.

Institutional Appraisal

Capacity building and training of beneficiaries and other stakeholders will enhance the institutional, organizational and technical capacities of farmers, the private sector and government to ensure that all relevant stakeholders have a buy-in of the project. Formation of water user association and well structures responsibilities will ensure sustainability of the scheme in terms of operation and maintenance since it will offer required and timely services to farmers.

In a proper organized manner the scheme structure will operate from Scheme itself (Scheme leaders), Block (block leaders) and Section (Section members) and water guards. Farmer shall be trained in various aspects of administration, general and financial management of a group-based irrigation scheme, system operation and maintenance, concentrating on basic technical aspects of water distribution and scheme maintenance. This is to ensure that farmers are aware of their rights and responsibilities as schemes members, the proposed organization and management arrangements for their scheme, the implications of having a scheme constitution and by-laws etc.

Economic and Financial Appraisal

Benefits and Beneficiaries

Benefits. The major direct benefits of the project will come from increased paddy and vegetable production derived from the expansion of irrigated areas, the improved water availability in new schemes, the limited and judicious use of fertilizers, and improved crop husbandry practices.

Other major project benefits are reduced transaction costs and the subsequent increased value added at the farm level, as a result of: (a) better access to markets, reduced transport costs and increased competition among traders after construction and regular maintenance of market access roads; (b) increased selling price of paddy, after support to village based marketing and storage groups and organizations; and (c) improved market position and negotiation skills of farmers, as a result of the above and, in general, of all grass-roots capacity building activities financed under the project.

Beneficiaries. The total number of families directly benefiting from the paddy-based irrigation schemes is expected to reach 2,506 on project completion, assuming an average irrigated plot size of 3.2 ha per family.

Financial Analysis

Significant yield improvements are expected only for paddy rice, as the project will concentrate mainly on irrigation improvement; most extension work will focus on paddy production. Yields are estimated to increase from 30 to 90% after completion of new scheme over those for traditional paddy cultivation.

Economic Analysis

The economic analysis took into account quantifiable benefits of irrigated agriculture development, e.g. increased paddy and vegetable production in the scheme area. Therefore

Technical and Environmental Appraisal

Consultation is critical especially during prior various studies such as soil, environmental, hydro Studies and Economic Viability Study. They have to be established before engineering designs which will lead to scheme construction. Hydrologist and soil scientist have to take experimental tests on the site to study the characteristic nature of the land to be irrigated. The results will give a way to either use the land or not because while irrigation is practiced it may be salty enough to cement the soil. Therefore the land becomes unfertile after few years on irrigating and environmental degradation occurs at the point in stage.

Project Implementation Plan

Management Arrangement

The project design is based on a demand-driven approach, where ultimate implementation responsibilities will lie with the beneficiary groups (Water User Association), in collaboration and cooperation with the public and private sectors and civil-society organizations, such as the district and village councils and NGOs. The Government will facilitate, regulate, supervise and monitor the project.

The following considerations will guide the implementation arrangements:

The project should pursue a gradual and flexible integration of its activities in the district within the framework of the Government's existing decentralization policy;

When the Government is unable to provide suitable staff for key project positions, these will be filled on a contract basis to minimize the Government's recurring costs; and

A strong and centralized project coordination function will be established to ensure smooth functioning of the project.

A Project Coordination Unit, headed by a project manager, shall be established at Kwimba District Council, which will be responsible for all coordination, monitoring. All policy aspects and decision-making process will be guided through the project steering committee on behalf of Sector ministries (Agriculture, Water and Irrigation) and to be constituted under the chairmanship of the Council executive director, and will include beneficiary and key donor representation.

In order to carry-out this project, technical personnel shall be formulated and deployed by Government. The team will comprise the Project Manager, Financial Controller, Supervising engineer, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, two village extension officers and two irrigation technicians. The organisation structure (See Annex III) indicates clearly how the project will be managed in terms of activities, human resources in delivering the role and responsibilities.

Project Time Management

The project main activities with indicative time frame have been organized logically to follow logical framework approach technique used to split into manageable objectives and outputs (see Annex I). The project activities have been scheduled as appropriate and estimated resource required assigned.

Project Budget

The total project costs over the five-year period of implementation, inclusive of contingencies, taxes and duties, are estimated at USD 2,496,554.68million. The Government of Tanzania will solicit and negotiate a Donor loan of a total USD 2,098,529.28 million for the construction of intake weir, charcoal dam, secondary and tertiary channels for irrigation systems. Beneficiaries will have to raise a total of USD 177,474.40 as their commitment to responsibly play their role as irrigation schemes ownership while the Government will offer USD 220,550.99 for beneficiaries' capacity development and taxes and duties. See Annex II has a detailed budget which has adopted the Government Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Government Financial Statistical Codes (GFS Codes).

Accounts and Audit

In line with sound accounting practices, the project will maintain separate accounts and records to accurately reflect the costs of the different outputs and activities. Each year the Controller of the Auditor General's Office or a private independent firm will audit the project accounts and the statements of expenditure, and submit the report to the Government and donor.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The project should design and set-up monitoring and evaluation tool and initiate an operational plan for comprehensive M & E system and procedures during project life time. It needs to be understood as an integrated reflection and communication system within the project that must be planned, managed and resourced and put in place the necessary conditions and capacities. The Project Monitoring and Evaluation has to effectively manage the project and ensure reporting and accountability responsibilities.

Risk Analysis

The project will operate under assumption that Country policies promote the project to successful implementation as well as the weather will support the construction activities of the project. It is expected that the country economy will remain stable in goodwill of the project implementation.