Small scale irrigation using collector wells. Pilot project - Zimbabwe. Fourth progress report April 1994 - September 1994

Lovell, C. J.; Murata, M.; Brown, M.W.; Batchelor, C. H.; Thompson, D. M.; Dube, T.; Semple, A.J.; Chilton, P.J.. 1994 Small scale irrigation using collector wells. Pilot project - Zimbabwe. Fourth progress report April 1994 - September 1994. Wallingford, Institute of Hydrology, 95pp. (IH Report ODA 94/9) (Unpublished)

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The ODA TC pilot project "Small scale irrigation using collector wells - Zimbabwe" began in October 1992. This report outlines progress made on all aspects during the fourth six months of work. The six project schemes are now complete. Two additional schemes for Plan International (NGO) are also near to completion. As planned, these schemes represent a range of physical, social, economic and institutional settings. The number of families obtaining domestic water from 011k-funded schemes is 1319 and the number of families with allotments on the community gardens is approximately 577. Individual socio-economic baseline surveys have been carried out for the six project communities and now provide data on social, institutional, economic and agricultural aspects of rural life before scheme installation. This information is being used in monitoring and evaluating the impacts of the schemes on the communities and in drawing up guidelines for the design and implementation of future schemes. Shortage of water is the principal problem reported by respondents at all sites. At some, the priority is for a cleaner and more reliable source of domestic water. At others, the priority is for water to allow vegetables to be grown for home consumption and for sale. Monitoring of garden performance is proceeding well. The first scheme completed in Chivi District in 1991 continues to produce high returns, recording an average gross margin of Z$19,900 per ha per year for three years of operation. First gross margins recorded at pilot project schemes are similarly high, being Z$18,204 and Z$25,444 at Muzondidya and Gokota respectively. The figure for Gokota actually represents less than one complete year and is an indication of the excellent returns possible from small areas intensively cultivated if water can be made available in these dry areas. Social and institutional "teething" problems were encountered at most of the earlier schemes. However, production figures indicate that these have been overcome. Valuable lessons have also been learnt by project staff that led to significant improvements in implementation of the later schemes. Good progress has been made on the comparison of well design at each scheme location. Total water use from the collector wells is typically 15-20 cubic metres per day. Improvement to yield by radial drilling has been very good at four of the five sites drilled to date, and both pump tests and well performance suggest that the wells at Dekeza, Nemauka and Mawadze could in fact now support a garden larger than 0.5ha if required. First results comparing performance of the collector wells with other well types at each scheme location indicate that single high yielding boreholes may be technically viable in some areas. However, real comparison can only be made when pump tests are completed during a period of drought. Economic viability of siting high yielding boreholes to support community gardens is also shown to depend very much on the success rate of drilling. Excellent progress has been made to distil experiences and knowledge gained during this pilot phase and to draft guidelines to assist future development of community gardens using groundwater. A decision tree is being developed that shows key steps now known to be important to achieve successful collaboration with communities and to help ensure implementation of schemes more likely to be sustainable from a social point of view. This also includes the key steps required to determine the most cost-effective well design to support a community garden in any area. Indicative values of agroeconomic performance of different types of irrigation system operating in Southern Zimbabwe highlight the important role that community gardens using groundwater can play, addressing in particular the primary needs of improved health and poverty alleviation in poor rural communities in dry areas. Indeed, much interest is being expressed by various organisations in the region wishing to develop these type of schemes. It is timely, therefore, for discussion amongst senior GoZ staff and ODA to determine how best to proceed from this pilot phase and to develop groundwater based community gardens on a wider scale.

Item Type: Publication - Report
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Other
CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: _ Pre-2000 sections
Funders/Sponsors: Overseas Development Administration
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Scanned legacy/working document
Additional Keywords: 1994/105
NORA Subject Terms: Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 19 Oct 2011 11:42 +0 (UTC)

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