Technical and institutional evaluation of geray irrigation scheme in West Gojjam Zone, Amhara Region, Ethiopia
Journal of Spatial Hydrology
Department of Agricultural Engineering, Haramaya University, P.O. Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
The technical and institutional performance evaluation of Geray Irrigation Scheme was made in order to identify management practices for implementation to improve the system operation and the performance of the irrigation system. The evaluation was made based on the selected performance indicators such as conveyance efficiency, application efficiency, water delivery performance, and maintenance indicators. The availability of institutional and support services were also investigated through a questionnaire administered to beneficiary farmers and other stakeholders. The results obtained showed that the main and tertiary canal conveyance efficiencies were 92 and 82 percents respectively. Many of the secondary and tertiary canals are poorly maintained and many of the structures are dysfunctional. Application efficiency monitored on three farmers' plot located at different ends of a given secondary canal ranges from 44 to 57 percent. Water delivery performance was only 71% showing a very substantial reduction from the design of the canal capacity. Maintenance indicator evaluated in terms of water level change (31.9%) and effectiveness of the infrastructures showed that the scheme management was in a very poor shape. Dependability of the scheme evaluated in terms of duration and irrigation interval showed that the scheme is performing below the intended level. The 47% of the land initially planned for development is currently under irrigation while there is no change in the water supply indicating that the sustainability of the scheme is in doubt. The cooperative support services that had been rendered to the beneficiaries in the past four years were found to be minimal. Moreover, there were few indicators that show the production was market oriented. The evaluation clearly revealed the fact that conflict resolution remains to be the duty of the local community authorities and Water User Associations (WUA) has no legal right to enforce its bylaws. In conclusion, the overall technical adequacy of the scheme is rated very poor requiring tremendous mobilization of the community to sustainably manage it. Proper institutional setup needs to be in place, and WUA needs to be more empowered in order to enforce its by-laws.
irrigation system; questionnaire survey; water management; water supply; Africa; Amhara; East Africa; Ethiopia; Sub-Saharan Africa