C KABUTHAb , H BLANKa
and B VAN KOPPENa
aInternational Water Management Institute (IWMI), P O Box 2075, Colombo, Sri Lanka
E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
bWinrock International, P O Box 60745, Nairobi, Kenya
This paper reports on a workshop held in Kenya in February 2000. The workshop reviewed the experience of low-head drip irrigation or bucket kits and other individual irrigation technologies, with users providing feedback concerning their experiences. The bucket irrigation kit, produced by Chapin Watermatics Inc., has been marketed in Kenya since 1996, with over 3000 bucket kits sold in Kenya through December 1999. Between 70 and 80 per cent of bucket kit users are women who generally produce vegetables for home consumption while marketing any excess. Farmers experienced problems with the bucket kit including problems with the filter, dripper spacing, accumulation of salts and with non-availability of the kits themselves and their spare parts. The paper discusses farmersí experiences and lessons in using the bucket kits and the way forward based on discussions at the workshop. Improving the technology, developing local means of assembly and manufacture, and devising a plan for expanding the marketing of the kits are discussed. Broader issues deal with marketing, credit and agricultural production issues faced by small-holders as they enter commercial production. The successes and limitations of womenís groups in addressing some of these issues are also discussed.
Investment in smallholders has been identified at the World Bank as the investment that will contribute most to development in Sub-Saharan Africa in the early 21st Century. It is also widely recognised that women play a prominent part in crop production in smallholder farms. These same women take almost no part in the design process and have extremely limited roles in management, resource control and strategic decisions. Men too suffer restricted access to the decision making process but, because women fulfil such a prominent role and because their restrictions have been more severe, it is now necessary to explicitly consider their needs. It is hoped that adoption of gender-sensitive approaches will assist the smallholder irrigation sector to fulfil itís potential in contributing to sustainable rural livelihoods.
Recent research in southern Africa explored constraints to successful irrigation. The study looks at the factors that exclude people from decision making and identifies gender disparities associated with particular aspects of design. Poor and insufficient user participation at the outset of projects is often to blame. Field studies also identify specific issues, such as land preparation, maintenance and marketing, which illustrate disparity between needs and opportunities for men and women irrigators.
Gender-aware approaches are crucial to enabling and empowering investments and thus must influence the earliest stage of developments. If the potential of irrigated production is to be fulfilled, both men and women must contribute effectively to design to improve user-friendliness.
This paper presents some findings from the Gender-sensitive Irrigation Design study, funded by DFID, UK and carried out by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers in Southern Africa. It discusses implications for future participation activities and gender-sensitive design.
Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources, Egypt
Gender is part of the whole socio economic environment in which water management takes place. Socio-economic factors, and therefore gender, play a critical role in ensuring the success, cost effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of water management activities.
Incorporating a gender perspective into the Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources/ MPWWR will enhance gender sensitive water policy and planning in Egypt. Therefore, the Advisory Panel Project/APP has addressed the gender issue within its framework through different activities and analyses at field and institutional levels.
The general outcome of the case studies on field level showed that both men and women are involved in irrigation and agriculture. Female farmers contribute relatively more labor to the water management process than that they have control over the management of resources and decision making. Furthermore, at the institutional level, most decision making positions in the MPWWR are accepted by male staff members.
The study gave among other recommendations, the following major ones:
Bioresources Engineering and Environmental Hydrology, University of Natal,
Pietermaritzburg, Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209 South Africa
Africa operates some of the largest irrigation projects in the world based on surface and overhead sprinkler systems for production of different crops ranging from bananas to wheat. Large projects of sugar under irrigation are also common. The total amount of irrigated area on the other hand is an insignificant fraction of that which can be irrigated. Micro-irrigation accounts for even a smaller fraction. Despite Africa having the conditions that demand use of micro-irrigation the technology has barely been adopted. Many crops including fruit trees, vegetables, flowers and even sugar cane are produced under micro-irrigation. The introduction of low cost infrastructure materials mainly from the Indian subcontinent, promises to provide for cheaper entry into this potentially lucrative technology. The current status of micro-irrigation and future impact on Africa are explored. The role training should take up in the next century is also examined.