An evaluation assignment for IOWater
(The News N° 17 - February 2010)
Irrigation and drainage are the essential keys for sustainable development of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the reasons which led the professionals of 23 countries of Central Africa and West Africa to create, more than ten years ago, the Regional Association for Irrigation and Drainage (ARID) with the aim of promoting sustainable deve - lopment and balanced management of lands and waters to increase agricultural production and to ensure food security in the countries concerned.
”ARID” supports National Irrigation and Drainage Committees in building and managing rural hydraulic works, in facilitating the dissemination of results and sharing experience in this field.
”ARID” organized the African Exhibition on Irrigation and Drainage (SAFID) in 2005 and 2008.
After more than ten years of operation, ”ARID” wished to develop strategic brain storming to face the new challenges in this sector and obtained financial support from the French Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs to start this assessment, which was carried out by IOWater.
The assessment allowed highlighting a set of strategic actions, dealing with communication, the statute of public utility of the Natio - nal Committees on Irrigation and Drainage, with the visibility of ”ARID” activities for the donors (the World Bank, FAO, ECOWAS, UEMOA, CILSS).
The development of a reference frame of advanced and low-cost technologies, adapted to small-scale farming, is also a strong axis for development.
National associations also have an essential role to play so that the national irrigation and drainage strategies can be supported by practical actions at local level.
The assessment also underlined a need for capacity building covering a broad range of training fields.