The Kigoma Team is excited to report that the Global Easy Water Product (GEWP) small-scale irrigation kits have arrived in Kigoma. Rweyemamu, our Program Agronomist, has been working tirelessly to decide the most efficient and effective spacings for the kit sizes and adapting them to the conditions of small-holder farmers in Kigoma Region. We set up a GEWP system in the front of the office and were amazed by the ease of installation and use. A GEWP consultant will be joining us this week to train Sustainable Harvest staff and help with installation in Kibwigwa Village. We are now eagerly anticipating the arrival of the other kind of irrigation system that we will pilot, made by a company called Drip Tech.
We have finished construction on the water catchment system in Mkabogo village, as well. The supplies were transported to the site, the pipes laid and the construction of the water holding tank completed. The water source that will be used to extract water was initially discovered in poor condition; people who used it were forced to stand in a muddy swamp in order to gather their water. We have been working closely with the community group that oversees water use in the village, called the Water User Group, to include a rehabilitation of this water source in our project. This low cost, additional benefit will have a positive impact on the coffee growing community, especially women and children who usually collect water for their families. We are also collaborating with the nearby coffee washing station in order to ensure the security and safety of all equipment and supplies for the project.
Kibwigwa Village, our second construction site for the 2011 dry season, has now been prepped. The construction will be on private land, so we had to take careful consideration when laying pipes, altering the landscape and finding a location for the water tank. The trenches are being dug and soon, the pipes will be laid. The target date for the completion of this second construction site is within the next two weeks. With the help of the landowners in the area, Rweyemamu has completed the difficult task of laying out plots for irrigation. This will ensure the ease of installation when the GEWP consultant arrives to the village this week.
We are now ready to move onto the next steps. These include beginning agronomy trainings on crop management, surveying participants, and installing the irrigation equipment. Our first round of training sessions is set up for next week; we are eagerly anticipating meeting all participants and discussing the added value of irrigation in the Kigoma Region.
This post was written by Laura Paslawski, Africa Program Manager