Eastern Nile Irrigation and Drainage Study
|Tuesday, 01 March 2011 06:53|
In their effort to satisfy the increasing food requirements of their growing populations, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan face a number of complex challenges associated with water scarcity, technology and institutions pertaining to irrigated agriculture. These challenges are likely to be exacerbated by the impact of Climate Change, expected to result in water scarcity/drought and rainfall variability-uncertainty in semi-arid regions of the Nile basin and by development- (urbanization, industrialization) and demography-induced growth in demand for water. Further, each of the three Eastern Nile countries has unilaterally planned ambitious irrigation development and/or expansion plans whose aggregate demand exceeds what the Eastern Nile can provide. For the most part, existing irrigation schemes in Eastern Nile are characterized by old irrigation and drainage technologies, resulting in poor water use efficiency and productivity, which makes irrigation rehabilitation and modernization a necessity. Irrigation management is also considered inefficient, with little involvement of end-users i.e. farmers in operation, maintenance and management of irrigation and drainage systems. This said though, irrigated agriculture is still of critical importance, providing for 50% of crop production (in volume) in Sudan and the entire production in Egypt and now, with drought and rainfall variability-uncertainty getting almost endemic, irrigation is geared to play a similar role in Ethiopia as well. It is factoring the forgoing realities and the appreciation of the inescapable need for regional cooperation to address these challenges that the three countries – Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan – jointly initiated the Eastern Nile Irrigation and Drainage Study Project .
Contribute to attaining the agriculture sector goals of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan including food security; to improve rural employment opportunities, livelihoods and income; reduction of rural poverty.
Results to –date
The Project has so far delivered two parallel results: (a) Cooperative Regional Assessment (CRA) – a jointly agreed tool/knowledge base of the three countries. Among others, the CRA conducted a diagnosis study on the basis of which developed guidelines for assessing and identifying irrigation projects. Further the CRA conducted a transboundary, distributive and institutional analyses – a compendium of analyses – which pooled together transboundary irrigation development challenges and opportunities and worked out costs and benefits that would accrue across the three countries along with the institutional and legislative reform requirements needed to support long-term Eastern Nile basin wide irrigation and drainage cooperation. Further the CRA examined the consistency or otherwise of the three countries’ agricultural development policies and proposed projects that would confer win-win outcomes for each cooperating country. (b) Engineering sub-component: has identified 737, 000 ha (in 4 schemes) and 620,000 ha (in 23 schemes) of potentially irrigable land in Sudan and Ethiopia respectively, made rankings and prepared actual investment projects on 7500 ha each in Ethiopia (worth USD 70 million investment) and Sudan (worth 40 million USD 40 million investment) .
Next Steps: Five year plan (2012-2016)
The foregoing project achievements are but only the foundation upon which further work needs to be advanced. Both the diagnostic/engineering and CRA studies have identified important areas of intervention that would help the three countries proactively address eminent challenges. In the next five years the project will concentrate on the following cluster of activities/project components.
Funding: The project is currently engaged in mobilization of funding to the tune of USD 5.8 million to finance the above activities
|Last Updated on Monday, 03 October 2011 14:05|