Institutional And Managerial Aspects of Traditional Irrigation Systems; The Experiences of Two Schemes In Amaro Special Woreda, Southern Ethiopia

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Addis Ababauniversity


This study tries to demonstrate the management practices and the insti tutions that contribute to the long time persistence of traditio nal irrigation systems and identify the major challenges that traditional irri gato rs encounter in ru ral areas of Ethiopia. As reviewed li teratures indicate, traditional irrigation pract ices in Ethiopia are not studied well and there is no sufficient in formation documented. Moreover, past studies conducted in this regard are concentrated on the techni cal or the hardware aspect, whil e, the soft ware or in stitutional and management aspect is neglected. Therefo re, thi s study is aimed to improve understanding and knowledge of traditional irrigation practices. The focus is on experiences of two schemes in Amaro special Woreda, Southern Ethiopia. It is based on socio-technical systems theory, whi ch outlines that irri gation systems are shaped by interaction of technical and social aspects. Irri gation technical practices are socially constructed, have social requirements for use, and social effects. This study al so uses Uphoffs irrigation management framework anal ysis. The data coll ection methods of this study are both qualitative and quantitative with primary and secondary data sources. Household survey using structured questitionnare, with required sample size was used to collect primary data at the field level. Secondary information was collected using structured checkli st. Key informants interview and focus group discussions were also conducted. The data was analyzed using SPSS computer software producing appropriate tables and summaries. From this study it can be concluded that the irrigation activ ity In Amaro is well establi shed and persisted for long. Some of the factors that contri buted for the pers istence are: the presence of volunteer and ski lled water distributors (Qorros), communally accepted local rules, skills to establi sh structures, ownershi p feelings of the irrigators, and existence of traditional irrigation management in stitutions (irrigation committees). Key words: irrigatio n, management, institut ions, and trad itional



irrigation, management, institut ions, and trad itiona l