New Paper: Using irrigation to kick-start multiple-use water services for small-scale farmers in Malawi: a case study of the Nkhata Bay District

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New Paper: Using irrigation to kick-start multiple-use water services for small-scale farmers in Malawi: a case study of the Nkhata Bay District

You may be interested in this new publication about lessons learned in building up multiple-use water services (MUS), and especially how rural sanitation could be better linked along Lake Malawi.

Using irrigation to kick-start multiple-use water services for small-scale farmers in Malawi: a case study of the Nkhata Bay District
By: Sam Stedman, Alien Mathews Mnyimbiri, Zinyengo Kawonga, Mphatso Malota, Dalo Njera, Ralph P. Hall and Rochelle H. Holm
Irrigation and Drainage
DOI: 10.1002/ird.2282

Abstract
Irrigation schemes are an important part of meeting the national agenda in Malawi, yet the design and management of these schemes have not taken advantage of emerging approaches that could improve their performance. One such idea is the concept of multiple-use water services (MUS). This case study focuses on rural irrigation systems in the Nkhata Bay District, evaluating system usage, profi les of the irrigators, and barriers to irrigation to identify opportunities to kick-start MUS using existing organizational structures. Interviews were conducted with 141 respondents from 5 functioning irrigation sections. The study found that there are already systems in place for cooperation, with both the government and communities each contributing to long-term sustainability. Basic MUS could advance the water– energy– food– health nexus and build more resilient communities. The following recommendations would enable communities and development partners to advance irrigation-based MUS in Malawi: (i) target long-established, committed, farmer groups; (ii) provide reliable and sustainable local technologies to lift water; (iii) improve access to markets and inputs to support higher-value cash crops being grown on irrigated land; (iv) create an overlap between community-level irrigation and borehole committees, private sectors, local government ministries and development partners.

Specifically:
"There is also potential for the reuse of urine as part of the irrigation efforts, as both a constant water supply and fertilizer. The opportunity for treated household faecal sludge reuse as part of MUS, using established technologies, could also support uses in agriculture, irrigation, aquaculture, and forestry in the study area."

The full paper can be found, and read for free, here: rdcu.be/6UkZ

Rochelle Holm, Ph.D., PMP
Mzuzu University
Centre of Excellence in Water and Sanitation
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