RUNOFF VOLUMES METHOD (WATER BALANCE)

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					     3RD REGIONAL CONFERENCE ON
AGRICULTURAL WATER MANAGEMENT IN ESA

USE AND IMPACTS OF THE RIVER BASIN GAME
   IN IMPROVING AGRICULTURAL WATER
 MANAGEMENT IN MKOJI SUB-CATCHMENT IN
               TANZANIA

         KOSSA R.M. RAJABU
RUAHA WATER PROGRAMME – WWF TANZANIA
United Nations Conference Centre, Addis
            Ababa - Ethiopia
         SEPTEMBER 15-19, 2008
  OUTLINE OF PRESENTATION

Introduction (Background to RBG)
Short description of Mkoji sub-catchment
Short Description of RBG
How RBG is played
Results
Use and impacts of RBG
Conclusion
   Introduction (Background to RBG)
 Water is a basic natural resource, which provides for
 various social and economic needs
 Like in most of sub Saharan Africa, livelihoods of
 local communities in Mkoji sub-catchment (MSC) in
 Tanzania are largely dependent on agriculture
Major Water Resources Management Issues
 High variability, poor and uneven distribution of r/fall
 Increasing water demands hence increased
 competition for water for various uses
 Increased conflicts over agricultural water use
 because of severe stressing of Mkoji River.
        Introduction contd.
Widespread use of water rights not been
successful in halting over-abstraction of water.
In situations where technical and bureaucratic
measures alone have failed to bring about
equitable and sustainable water allocation and
use, local water users should be brought together
to discuss the issues at hand.
Therefore, a participatory dialogue and decision
support tool, called River Basin Game was
adapted from Bruce Lankford and implemented in
MSC in order to assist water users to understand
and frame their practices, problems and solutions,
and improve agricultural water management.
     Short description of the MSC

Location: Southwest of Tanzania, between latitudes
7048’ and 9025’ South, and longitudes 33040’ and
34009’ East (Figure 1(a)).
Area: 3,400 km².
Population: 146,000 people (2002 ppl. census).
Unimodal Rainfall - Range: from 617 mm (plains)-
1343 mm (highlands)
Surface water: Main source for agriculture and
domestic uses
Ground water: Confined to livestock and domestic
use.
  Figures : MSC (location in Tanzania and
             water resources)
Figs 1(a & b)
                         (b)
                (a)
    Short description of RBG
RBG is a role-playing tool for promoting dialogue
and decision-making over water resources use.
It is a physical model representing the catchment in
the form of a large wooden/iron sheet board (Figure
2).
Physically, the river is represented to flow centrally
between the upper catchment and the lowlands
The river has on it several intakes into irrigation
systems or water demand sites of varying sizes.
    Description of RBG contd.
Glass marbles act as the “flow of water” down the
central channel
Participants put small sticks (like weirs) of varying
sizes across the river to capture these marbles and
scoop them into the irrigation systems or other
demand sites where they sit in small holes the size
of marbles.
In order to assess how much water one got, the
number of marbles is counted at the end.
In this way the water requirement of that particular
cropping pattern or water use activity is met.
Short Description of RBG




    Figure 2: River Basin Game Tables




    Figure 3: Participants playing RBG
           How RBG is played
  Two-day event, suitable for small catchments (area
  50 - 100 km2) with surface water flow.
  The game can be attended by 30-50 participants.
  Participants are purposively and then randomly
  selected. Are actively involved during RBG (Fig. 3)
  The discussions are guided by a facilitator. Local
  experts are allowed as observers to provide
  technical backstopping
First day
  Demonstration involving various water availability
  and water use scenarios
  Individual action (strategies) to acquire marbles
  (search for water)
     How RBG is played contd.
 Individual action (strategies) to search for money
 and livelihoods
 Community action to allocate water equitably
 Lessons learnt
Second day
Group discussions, plenary sessions and agreements
on:
  Strategies to improve AWM and increase
 productivity of water
  Local solutions to equitable water sharing
  Formal solutions to equitable water sharing
   How RBG is played contd.
At the end of the RBG Workshop
participants come up with action plans to
address the problems identified or propose
strategies to be implemented in order to
address the issues raised.

A tracer study was also undertaken in MSC
whereby the performance of communities in 4
villages that were involved in RBG wshops were
compared with that of 4 villages that were not
exposed to the RBG
                    Results
A total of 3 RBG Workshops were held in MSC
At the end of the Workshops participants learned and
realised that:
   Being at the top of the river has advantages, whilst tail-
   end systems experience water shortages;
   Their     actions  have     basin-wide   impacts     e.g.
   environmental degradation and water scarcity to
   downstream areas;
   Community actions are better than individual strategies
   in ensuring equitable water allocation;
   Many solutions exist whereby crops can be grown using
   less water; and
   A sub-catchment committee is required to oversee water
   allocation and management.
          Use and impacts of RBG
   The RBG has been used in MSC with success
   The action plans prepared during the RBG
   workshops reflected their enhanced levels of
   understanding on agricultural water management
   and their readiness to solve the problems facing
   them
Some of the impacts of the RBG as evidenced
from local level water resource users are:
   Reduction of the number of irrigation intakes
   Diversification to other activities that use less water
   e.g. fish farming, which is more profitable than rice
   farming and dry season irrigation of vegetables
   Formation of 3 sub-catchment Water Users’
   Associations
     Use and Impacts of RBG contd.
Results of the tracer study to determine the long term
effects of the RBG in AWM revealed that:
  No. of water users involved at the river diversion
  level was 22.45% in villages which were not
  exposed to RBG as compared to 10.7% in villages
  which participated in RBG workshops
  These people may be scrambling for water
  More conflicts due to individual strategies instead of
  communal action in AWM
  Villagers exposed to RBG spend less time searching
  for water thus had ample time to attend to their fields
  thereby increasing the yields due to better care of
  the crop.
  Use and Impacts of RBG contd.
Irrigation schedules in villages that were exposed to
RBG were more effective than in villages which
were not exposed to RBG
The reason for this is that Mlowo River system had
an Apex WUA formed as a result of agreements
reached during RBG workshop, which among other
activities collaborated with the local government
leaders to ensure that set schedules and bylaws
were implemented
Communities that attended the RBG workshops
were more advanced in terms of organization for
AWM than those that were not exposed to the RBG.
              Conclusion
RBG is a powerful tool for creating awareness on
various water issues and the need to address water
problems in rational manner
RBG also helps in problem visualisation and
adoption of appropriate strategies to address
problems and assists in holistic planning
However, conduction of RBG Workshops is an
expensive undertaking such that local level water
users can not alone foot the costs. The cost of
running a two day workshop ranges from Tshs
7,000,000 to Tshs 15,000,000 (USD 6000 to
13000)
            Conclusion contd.

NGOs, development partners, governments and
other stakeholders need to invest more money in
AWM, some of which could be used by basin
authorities to conduct RBG workshops
RBG can be successful used in any other sub
catchment in the world with similar water resources
problems and issues as MSC without any problems
Efforts to scale-up the use of RBG to improve AWM
in other basins in Tanzania and elsewhere should be
intensified
END OF PRESENTATION


     THANKS