AMU hosts FAO-AgWA sponsored four-day training on ‘irrigation’

AMU hosted Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of United Nations and Agricultural Water for Africa (AgWA) sponsored 4-day training on ‘Assessment process of irrigation systems,’ that began at Video Conferencing Hall, Main Campus from 21st to 24th November, 2017. Click here to see the pictures.

The above training was aimed at getting professionals from across Africa acquainted with Mapping System and Services for Canal Operation Techniques (MASSCOTE) to deal with unsatisfactory performance of canal irrigation delivery systems and revitalize inapt management bodies so that dilapidated systems and financial constraints are taken care of and productivity gets stimulated.

The training has generated much-needed synergy where water professionals from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda were in attendance. On opening day, Mr Fethi Lebdi, Coordinator of AgWA from Sub-Regional office for Eastern Africa oriented participants on Rapid Appraisal Procedure.

University President, Dr Damtew Darza, opening the training termed it appropriate and in line with developmental agenda set by Ethiopian government to achieve remarkable economic growth in the country, where water is crucial. He further adds that such trainings are potentially important will enable us to harness and develop bespoke technologies to address problems.

Trainer, Mr Lebdi elaborating further said irrigation consisted of three core components i.e. technical, financial and institutional and having gauged the hitch, we need to have unambiguous policy that will serve the base for bankable project to spur productivity, ensure efficiency and improve socio-economic indicators for the end-users.

He also adds that in Sub-Saharan Africa modernized irrigation can be effective tool to combat food insecurity; therefore, having equity on the issue is a must. And in this new dispensation, newer understanding is dawning on all that water is no more for gratis, but it’s a service that entails a price.

He strongly stressed for small-scale policy to stimulate productivity and promote conjunctive usage like harvesting and conserving ground water that won’t allow system to get collapsed. Later in the day, FAO-invented irrigation technology MASSCOTE was discussed and queries were raised.

It focuses on re-engineering of management and options for modernization of improvement that will lead to a consolidated vision of the future of the irrigation system, management and a plan for a progressive modernization of irrigation management, canal operation and mapping the way forward in order to improve the service to users.

On subsequent 2nd and 3rd days, participants were apprised of assessing performance on small-scale irrigation followed by presentations and interviews with water-user associations in the field. Furthermore, groups visited head-works, canals and fields interviewing canal operators and farmers; measurements were also done and indicators consolidated, etc.

The last day was marked by recap, discussion of options for improvements, perspective for sub-region including policy, program, training and perusal of outcomes.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)