Sustainability Concerns of Smallholder Irrigation Schemes in the Bawku Municipality of Ghana
Irrigation development has become an important intervention to the people of Northern Ghana where rain-fed agriculture is no longer yielding the desire results. In view of the high degree of rainfall variability and unreliability, the development of irrigation creates opportunity for the people of this part of the country to cultivate at least vegetables during the long dry season. In line with this, the Government of Ghana with the support of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) rehabilitated a number of broken down Smallholder Irrigation Schemes in the Upper East Region in the early 1990s under the Upper East Region Land Conservation and Smallholder Rehabilitation Project (LACOSREP). In an attempt to promote community ownership and sustainable management of these schemes, the Water Users Associations were formed in each community to manage them. However, with the passage of time, it is becoming clear that the sustainability of these Smallholder Irrigation Schemes goes beyond the formation of Water Users Associations at the community level. Focusing on the Binduri Irrigation Scheme as a case study, this paper highlights the “taken-for-granted” issues or factors that threaten the sustainability of these Smallholder Irrigation Schemes.
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