Construction of Waterways for Agriculture Irrigation Offers Promises
to Bazbina Farmers and Community- Akkar
As part of BALADI, RMF/USAID is contributing $159K to rehabilitate and improve the irrigation water conveyance network in Bazbina (2,400m of canals) and decrease water loss due to seepage caused by existing earthy water canals, and help the farmers of Bazbina (Akkar District) access sufficient water to irrigate their crops, stone fruits and vegetables.
The provision and the conservation of irrigation water are expected to enhance the agricultural productivity of 115 benefitting farmers. Bazbina farmers live under significant economic and social burden caused by the high presence of Syrian refugees [Bazbina is classified under the worst category of vulnerable populations as per UNHCR vulnerable populations’ map].
The Project aims at enhancing the participatory water management to ensure sustainable irrigation practices through the established partnership among Bazbina farmers, the Municipality of Bazbina, the Agricultural Cooperative of Bazbina and the North Water Authority. Not to mention, the project offers promises to an improved livelihood of 580 persons from Bazbina host community by increasing their main income from agriculture production.
In mid-July 2014, RMF/BALADI completed the rehabilitation and construction works of two planned sections. In total, 400 meters of concrete-lined canals were built across 200 dunum of stone fruits and vegetables lands. As a result of these works, 30 small to medium scale farmers started benefiting today from the newly built water canals. Prior to project implementation, one dunum (1000 sqm) required five (5) hours of continuous irrigation because of water drainage and loss in previous earthy canals, which is equivalent to 67 USD- cost of water paid by farmers. Now, with the use of the newly built canals, one (1) dunum requires only one hour of irrigation. The project helped at decreasing the water cost on farmers to 13 USD per dunum instead of 67 USD.
“We, the inhabitants of Bazbina, owned abundant water that we couldn’t use to meet our needs. We used to pay lot of money to get our crops irrigated. Today, with the help of RMF/BALADI project, we no longer worry about getting the water at the right time, nor for the quantity needed” said Bassam Ibrahim, a farmer benefiting from concrete water built canals. Farmers also expressed their satisfaction from the implemented work. Installation and construction works are running smoothly, with no damage or negative impacts on surrounding lands.