Published: NOVEMBER 22, 2021
Clean fresh water ! We were excited when we saw the water coming out of the borehole we drilled in Mkombozi Village in Hai District. This is a milestone in the solar irrigation project. In scope of the solar irrigation project we empower communities to use water pumped solar-powered from a groundwater reservoir to irrigate their fields. Due to irrigation farmers are not anymore dependent on rain-fed farming only and can start farming as a all-year-round activity. The successful drilling is the foundation for installing solar-powered pumps and to start the irrigation soon. In preparation of the drilling we commissioned a hydrogeological survey in close cooperation with the local government authority of Hai District and the Pangani Basin Water Board (PBWB) . Thanks to the recommendations of PBWB we found promising drilling sites in all three project villages. The successful first drilling in Mkombozi Village proof to use that close cooperation with local government authorities and an overall participatory approach is key for fruitful projects on building local climate resilience. In order to deepen the participatory approach and ensure the sustainability of the project we started to train local farmers in climate smart farming and agribusiness. The training builds the capacity along side with the solar irrigation scheme for farmers improve and diversify food production, enhance climate resilience and overall social well-being. Farmers learnt how to make decisions on farming activities in a changing climate and what measures the can take. The agribusiness training will enable farmers to use the surplus of water accessible over the solar irrigation schemes to gain a surplus harvest and increase their income. This will raise the overall social well-being and also ensure that the farmers can fund the maintenance of the solar irrigation scheme by paying small maintenance fee. Planned trainings for technicians on maintaining the solar irrigation schemes bring the sufficient knowledge for a continuous sustainable use of the irrigation technology into the communities. Only one small drilling but soon the basis for enhance food security, social-well beeing and climate resilience in the project villages in Hai District. We are excited to keep you updated how the project will grow, how the local communities will take ownership of their new water source and how the first farming season with solar-powered irrigation will impact the project village.