(September 15, 2020) Dynamics of private smallholder irrigation using sand river aquifers in semi-arid lands

In many countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, smallholders are increasingly participating in irrigation development using their private capital with minimal government or donor support. This kind of farmer-led irrigation development is crucial in achieving food security and alleviating poverty for millions of smallholders who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. An important driver for farmers to invest in irrigation is the availability of water and seasonal rivers commonly found in semi-arid areas contain shallow alluvial aquifers that have the potential of supporting smallholder irrigation.

However, private smallholder irrigation takes place in informal settings and the derived benefits, challenges and failures of farmers which shape their development trajectories are not well understood.  Its continued and unchecked spread also raises concerns about sustainable management of land and water resources.

The objective of this research was to therefore assess the characteristics of private smallholder development along a seasonal sand river in Southern Kenya including the drivers, challenges and trajectories of farmers’ development over time. The webinar will present the methodology and findings of the research.

Speaker: Mr. Benson Mutuma Karimba is a graduate engineer and researcher from Kenya. He recently graduated from IHE Delft with an MSc specialization in Land and Water Development for Food Security and won the WSE thesis Award 2020 under the theme of sustainability.

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September 28, 2020  
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