NaBWIG supported two more M.Sc. thesis research this year. The graduating students are Ms. Grace Edina Wani from Malawi and Mr. Sintayehu Fetene Demessie from Ethiopia, who both successfully defended their thesis!

This brought the total number of completed Masters’ thesis under project NaBWIG to six. Both Grace and Sintayehu will return back to their home countries to their employers in the government and academia respectively, thereby directly contributing to the capacity building in the region. The first thesis (Title: The role of migration in the development of smallholder farmer-led irrigation: A case study along the sand river aquifers of Kajiado County, Kenya) focused on understanding the dynamic nature of farmer-led-irrigation that is supported by the sand river in Olkeriai, Kenya. It showed that the prospects of sand-river based irrigation attract migrant farmers from as far as neighbouring Tanzania, and this in-migration is bringing in new farming knowledge into the region. The second thesis (Title: Evaluation of Agricultural Water Productivity of smallholder Irrigation along Sand River. A Comparative Study in the Riverbeds of northern Ethiopia) used the WaPOR database to estimate differences in agricultural productivity before and after the construction of a sand-dam in the Mai Gobo region in Ethiopia. A comparative study was conducted in the Geregera watershed which does not have a sand-dam. The research showed that the web-based WaPOR database (this is FAO’s portal to monitor Water Productivity through Open access Remotely sensed derived data)  is limited in identifying changes at small-holder farm level scale when irrigated farm-plots are scattered in a largely rainfed farming area.

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