DIRECTOR General of the National Irrigation Commission, Marco Ndonde, has called for a need to observe the national comprehensive guidelines for the sustainability of irrigation schemes.
He gave the call on Tuesday while opening the National Irrigation Commission for the joint information sharing workshop in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through the Project for Capacity Development.
Mr Ndonde said the project that started in 2015 /2016 for the Promotion of Irrigation Schemes under the District Agricultural Development Plans Phase II(TANCAID II Project) will wind up in August this year has cost 6.4bn/.
He said the project has helped in strengthening the system in irrigation development projects in line with the Comprehensive Guidelines though formulation, implementation and operations and maintenance of irrigations schemes.
“Irrigation development in the country needs to be implemented as stipulated in the comprehensive guidelines for the sustainability or irrigation schemes as described in the mission and vision of the National Irrigation Commission,” said the director general.
Mr Ndonde urged all directors of the National Irrigation Commission and other irrigation stakeholders to make sure they use the comprehensive guidelines effectively during implementation of the irrigation activities.
To make the projects sustainable even after the project winding up, he said, the Irrigation Development Fund which is in the final stage before taking off will see sustainability of irrigation infrastructures development as well as maintenance for improved agriculture sector.
He said farmers in the irrigation schemes had been educated on the need to contribute for the maintenance of irrigation infrastructure development and maintenance when the need arises as they have seen the benefit through the project.
The director general said there would be a number of sources of revenue which would be injected into the infrastructure development and improvement such as irrigation services fees, while farmers will contribute five per cent of the produce for the mission.
The Zonal Irrigation Coordinator, Mr Okundese Emmanuel, said the capacity building for the project supervisors and engineers have paid well, whereby the monthly collection has increased from 2m/- to 20m/- in some of the schemes which will be channeled to maintenance and other running costs of the facilities.
Moreover, he said, farmers are now keen on upkeep of the schemes and infrastructure development, as they are beneficiaries.