Factors influencing sustainability of smallholder irrigation projects: a case of Kuywa Scheme, Bungoma County
Oduor, Ismael O
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated factors influencing sustainability of smallholder irrigation projects in Western Kenya, a case of Kuywa scheme in Bungoma County. In irrigation schemes all over the world, there is always a difference between irrigation potential and the actual acreage of land put under irrigation. The extent to which the potential of a smallholder irrigation scheme is exploited can be used to measure the level of sustainability of the irrigation scheme. This research therefore investigated the factors influencing sustainability of Kuywa smallholder irrigation scheme whose exploited irrigation potential was initially found to be 13%, the highest in the province yet lower than the anticipated national target of 40%. In this study, the smallholder irrigation farmers' attitude, their socio-economic status, their irrigation knowledge and markets for irrigated crop produce were interrogated to determine how these factors influence sustainability of the scheme. The study used descriptive survey design. The sampling procedure used was census approach and the data collection method involved questionnaires, interview schedules, observations and document analysis. These instruments were used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Data collected was cross tabulated with sustainability which was measured as low for irrigated land below O.2Sacres, moderate for irrigated land between 0.2S-0.S acres and high for irrigated land between 0.S-1.0 acres. This study found out that there were more farmers 60(44.2%) with negative attitude than those with positive attitude 45(33.1 %) in Kuywa scheme. It was also found that SI.8% of farmers were food poor. Negative attitude and high food poverty among the farmers were some of the factors that led to low sustainability. This study determined Kuywa irrigation scheme had a sustainability level of27.8%. The study concluded that 27.8% was a low level of sustainability occasioned by negative farmer attitude, low farmer participation in operations and maintenance and poor irrigated crop produce marketing among other reasons. This study therefore recommends that project pre-feasibility studies be made mandatory in all such projects; capacity building involving all project beneficiaries be undertaken and formation of a marketing federation be ensured in order to increase sustainability of smallholder irrigation schemes not only in Kuywa but also in other similar projects in Western region of Kenya. It is hoped that improved self management of the scheme through farmer participation in operations and management would increase sustainability of the schemes and reduce expenditure incurred by the Exchequer in the rehabilitation of previously funded schemes in the process increase irrigated land to the anticipated national target of 40%.