Read The Conversation article from FutureDAMS researchers Tom Higginbottom, Roshan Adhikari and Timothy Forster ‘Big irrigation projects in Africa have failed to deliver. What’s needed next’. The article is based on the Nature Sustainability paper Performance of large-scale irrigation projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
Failures of large-scale irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa have been acknowledged for several decades. But our research suggests that this has had little impact on the way planners or governments approach such projects.
Given actual outcomes achieved, it is arguable that many large-scale irrigation projects have not delivered a return on investment. Even those that were initially viable have since gobbled up funds for maintenance and rehabilitation. Greater and more systematic monitoring and accounting of performance is needed to address these issues.