The Role of User Organizations in the Management of Smallholder Irrigations Schemes: The Case of the Binduri Water Users Association of the Bawku Municipality

  • J A Akudugu


Irrigation is a system that consists of a set of elements including water, land and established infrastructure such as canals, tanks and pumping machines as well as people and institutions. The effective functioning of any irrigation system depends largely on the level of interaction among these elements. This requires putting in place arrangements that facilitate and regulate the use of the water and the resolution of conflicts arising from its usage. This paper examines the way in which the Binduri Water Users Association (WUA) plan, direct and control the use of the dam for irrigation farming. The Water Users Association was formed to ensure active community involvement in the management of the community dam. The data for this exercise was obtained from a field survey carried out in the Binduri Irrigation Scheme in March, 2006. The study made use of a varied set of field data including spatial data and time-related data. Since the study required the collection of both qualitative and quantitative data, a combination of flexible and less flexible data collection techniques and/or tools including focus group discussions, semi- structured interviews, observation and structured questionnaires were used. The study revealed that the Binduri community has moved from being passive participants in the management of the community dam in the 1960s to active participants in the utilisation and management of the community dam resources since the mid 1990s, through the formation of the Water Users Association (WUA). The Binduri Water Users Association has made some gains. It has been able to promote community participation from a “zero” level to a level where the community now takes full responsibility for the maintenance of the dam infrastructure, catchment area protection, land allocation and water distribution among other things. The study also revealed a need to strengthen the financial base of the Association and build its capacity to enable it to improve upon its current performance.

Ghana Journal of Development Studies Vol. 4 (21) 2007: pp. 59-74

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0855-6768