MetaMeta and Centre for Environment (CEC) India’s delegates began a joint experiment for climate-smart irrigation in Gambella Region. In a training that took place from 10-13 October 2016 in Gambella Ecohub, the delegates trained a team of the Horn of Africa Climate Change Programme (HoA-CCP) of HoA-REC&N on how to use a Waterpad and the system of Water for Agriculture Rejuvenation (SWAR). The training also included skills on measuring and monitoring the outcome of the experiment.
CEC India, which developed SWAR, has been working for the past three decades to improve farmers’ livelihoods in drought prone areas, focusing on crucial irrigation for farming. CEC suggested use of SWAR to use scarce water more efficiently. (See: www.swartechnologies.org). The Waterpad is a technology that ensures an efficient use of water and nutrients in the soil. (See: www.waterpads.nl/ en). MetaMeta developed this technology and had success in Turkey.
One objective of HoA-CCP at the Gambella EcoHub is to demonstrate and test several small-scale irrigation measures that can be adapted to save water, conserve soil, and lead to increased crop yields. During the training, pilot plots of land in the EcoHub were used to demonstrate both irrigation techniques. Women from the local Maro Bet Cooperative were involved in the training sessions by making clay pots that were used in SWAR. In the coming months, these techniques will be monitored and more plots will be established in the Ecohub.
The experiment could contribute to achieving the goal of Gambella EcoHub. Beyond the EcoHub, the system could be shared on a larger scale, creating more opportunities for farmers in Gambella and beyond. The HoA-CCP is one of HoA-REC&N’s flagship programmes