International: Maesera Irrigation Canal Rehabilitation 5-Year Plan


The village of Masaera Kilema, in the Moshi Rural province of northern Tanzania, has water rights to 200 l/s from the Wona River, which flows perennially from the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.  Approximately 70 years ago local engineers built an irrigation canal to redirect water to the village for the purposes of irrigation and domestic use.  Many unintentional leaks and breaches have formed in the canal walls allowing water to escape back to the river or to illegal farm plots between the canal and the river.  During the dry season this has devastated the crops in Masaera and has begun causing conflict in the village.  During the rainy season, uncontrollable flows are undercutting the banks and scouring canal surfaces.

In the last 20 years there have been efforts to repair the leaks.  A number of outside organizations have either volunteered or been hired for the tasks.  In general, there was limited, if any, engineering work performed.  In addition, the village has been reluctant to fix or maintain the canal due to the unstable political climate in Tanzania and the culture of dependency due to the relative ease of obtaining financial aid from the West.

As we, EWB Valpo, partner with the villagers of Masaera to repair the canal and improve the overall quality of life, we foresee six goals to be achieved by the summer of 2013:

1)      Have a functioning canal that is not in danger of failure, that provides sufficient water to grow crops in the dry season and does not flood in the wet season.

2)      Have a canal system that is maintainable by the local population.

3)      Have a village population that is able to recognize and repair problems with the canal.

4)      Have a village that is aware of water-borne diseases and safe drinking-water practices.

5)      Have a well-established, reliable, respected water council, able to regulate water usage, coordinate repair efforts, and raise and manage necessary funds for repair and maintenance operations.

6)      If deemed feasible, have a reliable, piped, freshwater system that is a source of safe drinking water within 400 meters of every home in Masaera.