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Upscaling maintenance operations in a large-scale irrigation scheme to solve drainage issues: Going beyond a managerial perspective

Ducrot R., Otake M., Riera A., Famba S., Nguenha R.. 2018. Irrigation and Drainage, 67 (4) : p. 582-593.

In large?scale irrigation schemes built in flood plains the state of the drainage systems not only affects the performance of irrigation but also the quality of life of the population. However, maintenance of the drainage infrastructure is often neglected. This paper draws from two transdisciplinary interventions dealing with the maintenance of drainage infrastructure in the Chokwe Irrigation Scheme in Mozambique: one tested an experimental intervention that called on farmers and experts to solve local drainage issues. The other used a participatory mapping, modelling and simulation approach to discuss the barriers to upscaling different solutions at scheme levels. Managerial issues such as a good communication between actors, a good match between tasks and resources, and the scheduling of maintenance activities were important, but the most difficult challenge was addressing the underlying economic, social and political drivers that affected the relationships between actors and consequently their willingness to cooperate. Thus, the development of perennial solutions calls for (re)internalization of the social and political dimensions in scheme management and to rethink the issue of equity not as a moral injunction but as a condition for irrigation success.

Mots-clés : mozambique

Thématique : Irrigation; Drainage; Méthodes mathématiques et statistiques

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