The community s hand on the wheel
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CTA. 2001. The community?s hand on the wheel. Spore 92. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46156
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore92.pdf
The article in Spore 90 on irrigation management and 'Whose hand on the wheel?' rang more than a few bells with Beruk Kabtamu, planning and monitoring officer of the Lutheran World Federation s programme in Ethiopia. As well as reproducing the...
The article in Spore 90 on irrigation management and 'Whose hand on the wheel?' rang more than a few bells with Beruk Kabtamu, planning and monitoring officer of the Lutheran World Federation s programme in Ethiopia. As well as reproducing the article in their annual report (Yes, re-publishing is OK, if you mention Spore ed.), he told us about the 'Soil and water conservation projects which have been involved in 115 small-scale irrigation schemes for crop production and 12 micro-earth dams mainly for livestock and fishery since 1985. The beneficiary farmers in these villages are no longer affected by drought, are able to produce at least three times a year, have benefitted from increased household income and are food secure. Each project is involved in a village for two years intensively and two more years as follow-up. Then who manages the wheel? Before the intervention begins, the request comes from the community. Based on this, with feasibility and other technical studies conducted, the role and participation of the community, from planning through implementation to hand-over, is clearly identified and agreed upon. Once the project has completed the major construction work for irrigation with community participation the farmers are trained on irrigation agronomy, water management and the maintenance of structures and canals. In most rural areas, the community has traditionally had Abba Melak ( water fathers ). In such areas, the project strengthens them as Water Committees, with good results achieved in the gender balance. In areas where there are no such traditional institutions, the project establishes and trains them. Once the project hands over the structures, it is these water committees which manage the water distribution, maintenance and resolve any conflicts with minimum assistance from the local government bureaus and local synods of the ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. This has worked well, as witnessed from the project sites where interventions started more than 12 years ago are still functioning, with no major problem using the community management system.'