Barkina Faso
 
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Burkina Faso
Overview Background Solutions Documents
In Burkina Faso, the project looked at existing AWM activities around the Korsimoro Reservoir and explored inland valleys and water storage options with stakeholders. No study was done on bas fonds(inland valleys) in Burkina Faso but some lessons can be learnt from the study in Ghana.
Small Reservoirs
Water storage is an insurance mechanism for the smallholder. It acts as a buffer against rainfall variability and increases the resilience of farmers. With stored water, a farmer is able to invest in agricultural inputs and equipment to improve productivity.
  What are Small Reservoirs?
We consider small reservoirs to include water storage (mostly above but occasionally under ground), of less than 1 million m3 , the uses of which include agricultural production (for crops, livestock and fish).
 
The Opportunity
There is a trend emerging in water storage. Farmers are moving away from collective irrigation schemes towards individually-managed irrigation installations. Gravity-fed community schemes focus on the production of staple crops and tend to be inefficient and management-demanding. Conversely, small private irrigation saves water and is on-demand, so can be applied to high-value crops (vegetables mostly). These systems coexist and complement one another.

Stakeholders emphasized the importance of small dams for Burkina Faso but were concerned that they are usually designed only for irrigation when in reality there are multiple uses. Also management arrangements need to be improved at local, watershed and national levels. Rethinking the design, management and coordination around small dams is at the core of making them a viable solution.

Project
Countries
Burkina
Faso
Ethiopia
Ghana
India
Madhya Pradesh
India
West Bengal
Tanzania
Zambia
Water Storage Allows Diversification
Small reservoirs were often designed for a single purpose, but they are increasingly used as multipurpose infrastructures. As far as agricultural production is concerned, reliable access to irrigation water from storage creates potential for crop diversification.

Where irrigation water is relatively abundant it tends to be used to grow rice but less water-demanding crops can be grown in the short, dry season. Water storage also opens up opportunities for diversification of economic activities but this will not necessarily happen spontaneously and requires training.
 
New Approaches
  Rice-dominant irrigation downstream of a small reservoir is not necessarily the best or the only agricultural option.Growing high-value crops such as vegetables is a much sounder use, providing there is a market.

Conventional gravity irrigation, which relies on appropriate topography,can be replaced by pressurized irrigation systems.
Water governance must be suitable for multiple uses and new irrigation systems. This can be achieved through various mechanisms and institutional architectures.

Why is a new approach needed?
Investments in small reservoirs are high and can escalate. This is usually due to inadequate feasibility studies and poor management throughout the implementation phase. Proper procedures and their enforcement can address this, and high costs can be controlled without compromising quality.

Small reservoirs perform well below expectations when it comes to downstream (formal) irrigation. By contrast, they provide multiple benefits to many users. These are an economic and profitable reality and need to be accounted for in the design, construction and evaluation of small reservoirs.
 
 
Ensure Strategic Planning
 
  1 More strategic and better informed planning is needed to ensure the highest return on investment in water storage for agriculture.  
  2 Within irrigation investment projects in SSA, small-scale schemes currently offer significant performance advantages over large-scale systems. There is a trade-off between the economies of scale derived from collective water storage and the benefits associated with simplified O&M.  
  3 Once the limiting factor of water is removed, other factors make themselves felt. Only if sufficient efforts are made to overcome these constraints, will return on investment be positive.  
  4 Management models for storage often do not match the reality on the ground and in particular, do not take into account the variety of stakeholders and beneficiaries.  
Dry Season Vegetable Cultivation Around Kosimoro Reservoir
Understanding Changes in Reservoir Use
  The use of the Korsimoro Reservoir for dry season vegetable production upstream of the dam has had both positive and negative outcomes. Formalizing water management arrangements would help regulate water use among the users, stem the flow of new entrants to vegetable growing and protect the environment.

The Opportunity
  There are more than 1,300 small reservoirs in Burkina Faso. Government and donors have been promoting them to enhance irrigated production, in particular rice,downstream from the reservoirs.

Reservoirs in Burkina Faso are intensively used and generate considerable value. At the Korsimoro Reservoir, there are now over 1,000 ‘informal’ upstream vegetable producers using small pumps to withdraw water directly from the reservoir. Irrigated vegetable cultivation is three times more profitable per unit of area than downstream rice irrigation.

The unofficial irrigated area along the reservoir banks is seven times larger than the official command area downstream. The demand for cultivable land is high and the area is expanding.

The Research
  Researchers studied the Korsimoro Reservoir case to illustrate the positive and negative impacts of unplanned individual irrigation around communally managed water bodies.

Results were shared in a meeting with villagers and the Department of Irrigation to verify and finalize them.

The Current Situation
Organizational and Economic Aspects
 
The 1000 or so vegetable farmers cultivate 230 ha during the dry season and can generate healthy profits. They sell to local and regional markets but returns can be variable because of market gluts, pests and diseases.

Most vegetable farmers live in the area and some have land in the rice area downstream. More people are coming to Korsimoro for the dry season to earn additional income. The expansion of rice cultivation is limited by the lack of suitable land.

Cattle owners and fishers also need access to good quality water but they are not sufficently organized to address difficulties. Groups have been formed but remain inactive.

 

Comparison of incomes from agriculture
in the study site

Dry season cultivation Income per season
(USD/ha)
Paddy on owned land 1,130 - 3,340/ha
Onions on rented land 5,000-15,550
 

Impacts and Emerging Issues

Vegetable growers are feeling the impact of increased pumping. Towards the end of the dry season, small pumps cannot draw water from the reservoir.

At the same time, rice farmers are concerned about the growth in pumping. They see it as unfair that vegetable farmers do not pay water fees, do not contribute to maintenance of the downstream irrigation system, and do not seek permission to withdraw water.

Fishers are concerned about agrichemicals and pollutants from vegetable fields accumulating in the reservoir. Field observations confirm the improper use of large quantities of fertilizer and pesticides, and poor agronomic practices. Oil and petrol leaking from motor pumps also add to the pollution. Pastoralists claim that the vegetable cultivation is blocking passage of their cattle to the water.

Signs of over-use and conflicts are emerging.

 

How can the benefits be shared?
Solution – improved water management

Some form of water user management mechanism is needed to regulate water use among the various user groups, control the number of vegetable growers and protect the environment.

One potential entity is the Comité Local de l’Eau (CLE) or Local Water Committee. The CLE for Korsimoro was created in 2006 and includes representatives of the vegetable farmers’ union, the rice cooperative, cattle farmers, fishers, local chiefs, members of the district council, traditional chiefs and other office holders.

The CLE is ideally situated to address water issues around the reservoir, but it needs a clear mandate, strong leadership and resources to become an active agent for addressing water management issues. International donors could be the catalyst in shaping a reinvigorated Local Water Committee.

Potential Impact
  Korsimoro is now known as a hub for onion cultivation in the region. At harvest time, traders come from as far as neighboring Ghana to buy in bulk. With an effective local water management mechanism in place, upstream vegetable farmers could be seen as pioneering an innovative and profitable way of using small reservoirs.

However, the trends observed at Korsimoro Reservoir are typical of other reservoirs in Burkina Faso and indicate that broadening the planning and management approach of small reservoirs in the country to incorporate the broader group of users and uses would yield greater benefits.

Nariarlé Watershed Study
Assessing Likely Social and Environmental Impact of AWM Interventions
  AWM interventions may have a number of unforeseen impacts on the environment and society. This assessment was undertaken with people in the Nariarlé watershed to understand their current practices and to consider what might happen under various AWM intervention scenarios.

Physical Environment
  The Nariarlé watershed covers ~1000 km2 in central Burkina Faso, south Ouagadougou. The northern part of the watershed has the highest population densities. Access to markets, infrastructure and transport is good.

Average annual rainfall is 739 mm y-1 but variation is high within and between years. 88% is used as evapotranspiration, 9% is streamflow and 3% recharges groundwater. A characteristic of the watershed is the small reservoirs (of <0.1 ha).

Approximately, 72% of the watershed is rainfed agricultural land; <0.5% is irrigated. The remaining area is degraded savanna, forest and plantations.

Livelihood Activities
 
The majority of people are small-scale (0.08-5 ha) farmers growing rainfed crops for subsistence. Despite easy access to markets, income levels remain low.

Small and medium agro-business farmers are being established. They supply nearby markets with fruit and vegetables.

A diverse set of mainly informal institutional arrangements has emerged around the numerous small reservoirs in the watershed. Sometimes formal organizations complement or overlap with informal arrangements.

The various committees and groups reservoirs tend to have rather localized interaction. It appears that there is currently no single organization that coordinates the diverse land- and water-related activities across the entire watershed.

The formal water governance system has fairly limited influence on everyday decision-making in the watershed.

Attempts by governmental authorities to establish water user-groups are currently being developed. NGOs have been relatively successful in bringing together user groups from across the watershed.

The results indicate that there already exists a rich and diverse network of collaborative relations around land and water management and these should be strengthened and built on.

In Nariarlé formal-informal network analysis showed a clear disconnect between the Nakambe Basin Office (red) and actors connected to the Mayors office and Dept. of Agriculture, Water & Fishery (blue). Bridging this gap may enhance negotiation space of potential environmental impacts