Enhancing the role of Solar Irrigation for Poverty Reduction Near Mt. Kilimanjaro

The project for enhancing the role of solar irrigation for poverty reduction is aiming at enhancing the adoption of solar-powered irrigation technology by the smallholder farmers in the three target project areas, leading to improved and diversified food production, enhanced climate resilience and overall social well-being, enhanced environmental conservation and climate change resilience.  

Due to climate change water stresses in most tanzania communities increased. Research show that the effect of severe droughts in Hai District impact agriculture production and food security significantly.Traditionally for irrigation water from river diversions or natural springs were used. This secured the food security and income to the majority of farmers in Hai District. However, the situation has changed in recent year so farmers are no longer able to rely on traditional irrigation techniques.  Due to the change of rainfall patterns streams and rivers does not flow anymore predictable continuously throughout the year.This project addresses theirfore the need for a sustainable all-year-round irrigation. The project is implemented in the three villages of Ngosero, Kilima Mbogo and Mkombozi which are located in the dry lowland plains of the southern part of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Hydrogeological studies, conducted in the initial phase of the project showed that enough groundwater is accessible by drilling boreholes to set-up solar-power irrigation schemes.

To ensure the sustainability of the project farmers are trained in climate smart farming and agribusiness.By this approach farmes build the capacity to utilize the solar irrigation to change their farming from rain-fed to all-year-round and using the surplus of the harvest to finance maintenance cost and reduce poverty. Based on these interventions with an holistic human-centered and participatory approach, it is expected that smallholders in will get resilient and capable of coping with present and projected shocks from climate change.