Spate irrigation is a resource management system that can contribute significantly to local food production and livelihood security. In spate irrigation systems, short-duration floods in ephemeral rivers are diverted for irrigation, groundwater recharge, rangeland improvement or local forestry. The system occurs in some of the world’s poorest and remotest areas. This project is co-convened by UNESCO-IHE and MetaMeta. The project target areas are: Sudan, Yemen, Pakistan and Ethiopia.
Spate irrigation offers considerable scope for economic growth by well-targeted support and by better governance. The improvements concern agricultural production, non-agricultural production and improvement of livelihoods in general.
The rationale of the project is that spate irrigation in general and the large menu of resulting improvements requires much more attention and should be promoted at the level of national policy and operational management. The spate-irrigated areas in most countries constitute poverty pockets; consequently, making use of the potential for improvements effectively contributes to poverty alleviation.
The overall goal of the project is to develop spate irrigation policies and capacity-building programmes based on solution-oriented action research and documented practical experiences that use an evidence-based approach to contribute to rural poverty alleviation and accelerated growth in marginal areas in the four target countries mentioned above (Ethiopia, Yemen, Pakistan and Sudan).
Activities and Outputs
In all four countries, national networks in the Spate Irrigation Network will be set up and/or strengthened, and spate irrigation will be mainstreamed in at least one higher educational system.
Six young water professionals will obtain their MSc degree in Land and Water Development with a research focus on spate irrigation.
In addition, 15 mid-career water professionals will attend the international short course on Spate Irrigation and Water Management under Drought and Water Scarcity at UNESCO-IHE.
Finally, a total of six applied research projects that yield quick results will be completed.