Advancing New Pathways for Sustainable Deployment of Agricultural Ground Water With Gender-Sensitive Data Sharing

Advancing New Pathways for Sustainable Deployment of Agricultural Ground Water With Gender-Sensitive Data Sharing

Cush Ngonzo Luwesi (University of Kwango, DRC & United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Ethiopia), Amos Yesutanbul Nkpeebo (University of the Free State, South Africa), Paa Kofi Osei-Owusu (Conservation Alliance International, Ghana) and Raphael Muamba Tshimanga (University of Kinshasa, DRC)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0163-4.ch013
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At the basin level, watershed resources (water, land, and ecosystem services) are often managed in “silos,” whereby gender-sensitive data and analytics are employed by different stakeholders without regard to existence of similar systems in other parts of the same sub-catchment. These cases create missed opportunities and insights for harnessing better innovative water interventions from baseline scenarios by examining the relevant frameworks, protocols, and tools for data sharing as well as the means of disaggregating water and climate change data into gender-sensitive formats transferable to similar sub-catchments. Innovative water solutions would enable optimal water services provision and financing without farmers depending wholly on external organizations to provide solutions to their financial challenges through taking part in technological development of viable water infrastructure.
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In the next 20 years, increasing the productivity and incomes from smallholder crop, livestock, fishery and forestry production systems will be very crucial to achieving global food security (FAO, 2013; FAO, 2014; CCAFS, UNFAO, 2014). Largely, the world’s rural communities are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture which is provisioned, supported or complemented by water ecosystem services. Indeed, balancing the requirements of the aquatic environment and other uses has become of critical importance in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, the ways in which many smallholder farmers are already intensifying their production is extremely ecologically compromising making it necessary for very urgent for a fundamental shift away from unsustainable agricultural intensification using appropriate technologies that can be applied in the local context to achieve Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) or more specifically, Climate Smart Agriculture.

Most parts of SSA is beginning to experience increasingly frequent, deeper and more persistent droughts coupled with simultaneous intense rainfall and flooding events. Studies indicate that climate change affects not only the mean yield of the crops, but also induces variability in crop yields which means a significant increase in household vulnerabilities to climate change. There is no blueprint for an “ideal” system for agricultural water provision but key technical, organizational and financing issues need first to be addressed prior to establishing an operating groundwater provision technology (Luwesi et al., 2012). An integrated Holiyas, Grundfos and MPesa (HGM) technology is suggested to be among such solutions filling the gap in agricultural water supply through a groundwater recharge sub-system (Holiyas), groundwater pumping sub-system (GrundfosLifelink) and ICT based water management sub-system for both withdrawals and payments (MPesa mobile money). Enhanced coherence, safety and productive capacity are required to cover all water rights at anytime and anywhere in the area of interest. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are eagerly recommended to ensure sustainable financing of the new system through cost sharing to attract further financial support for future development of groundwater resources.

Climate change also leaves strong implication for livestock feed quality and quantity and thus, their productivity. According to recent climate adaptation models, this variability is likely to become greater in the future. It is therefore very noble that the post-2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) allocates extensive focus to water management under its Goal 6 (ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, UN, 2014) and placing a premium on water cooperation. At the national levels, water resource management can open up opportunities for mainstreaming climate change adaptation, aimed at achieving development objectives such as increased water security and agro-ecological resilience (Luwensi et al, 2017).

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