Management of Irrigation Projects in Ghana: Case Study of the Dawhenya Irrigation Project

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The Dawhenya Irrigation Project (DIP) is located on the Accra-Coastal plain approximately 40 km East of Accra-Aflao Highway. The construction of D.I.P had occurred over numerous phases first, as of 1959 to the commissioning of the pump station in 1973 and was mainly for rice production. For these years before the major rehabilitation in 1999-2000, farmers at D.I.P. only cultivates once a year, with low average yield of rice and low average income. After the rehabilitation, the average yield of the farmers increased from 5.5 tons/ha to about 7,8 tons/ha. This means maintenance is a key component in yield increase and management of irrigation projects. This research was therefore undertaken to study the management and to assess the crop yield of DIP, thereafter to recommend improvement strategies of DIP for the sustainability of the irrigation project, hence increasing the fanner's productivity and their income. The results indicated that 80% of the farmers currently working at the (DIP) confirmed that access to inputs was difficult, whereas 83% stated that the absence to credit facilities was a limitation to the farming activities. There was low coordination and integration of agricultural activities and poor monitoring of farm activities at project site by the management of Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) which brought about failure to achieve project objectives. Moreover, there was poor information flow between project engineers and the farmers on technical guidance in the operation and maintenance activities and also the number of staffs from (GIDA) for the planting periods was on a decline which delayed implementation of decision. Another important findings were the poor maintenance of the irrigation systems and low soil nutrients (organic carbon, total nitrogen, organic matter, phosphorous, potassium), which appeared to be major constraints in sustaining adequate levels of the crop yield. For operation and maintenance of the irrigation systems to be improved, there must be effective co-operation between the farmers1 organisation and GIDA. Farmers' organisation must be educated in cooperative management and administration, as well as building on their capacity in management of the project by GIDA extension staff to increase their productivity. The executives of the farmers' organisation must play a leading role for farmers to have direct access to inputs and credit facilities.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Civil Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science