Socio–economic and environmental effects of Bakolori irrigation and Fadama development projects in Sokoto/Kebbi
AbstractIt is in recognition of the enormous influence of irrigation on farm level productivity and enhanced living standard that government and development agencies embark on gigantic irrigation projects. This study therefore, investigated the socio - economic and environmental impacts of two irrigation projects in a semi arid environment. A random sample of two hundred and forty irrigation farmers in Bakolori surface irrigation and Fadama irrigation sites provided empirical evidences of socio - economic and environmental impacts of the two irrigation projects. Findings from the study reveal that majority of Bakolori surface irrigation farmers had lost economic trees and fertile land to irrigation sites and were not adequately compensated (71.7%). More farmers (32.5%) in Fadama irrigation sites obtained higher yields than their Bakolori surface counterparts (2.5%). The study further revealed that majority of the Bakolori surface irrigation farmers experience more negative impacts (69.2%) than their Fadama counterparts (34.2%). Specifically, the study revealed that 52.5 % and 26.7 % of the farmers in Bakolori and Fadama sites respectively noticed the presence of saline deposits annually. Also, 65% of Bakolori and 30% of Fadama farmers (69.2%) experience wilting of crops on their farmlands. While 59.2% and 45% of Fadama and Bakolori farmers experience seasonal flooding in their farmlands. In conclusion, in spite of the considerable socio-economic benefits that can be associated with irrigation, however, it is not devoid of environmental consequences. Therefore, it is recommended that irrigation planners in arid and semi - arid environments must investigate thoroughly the environmental and socio - economic costs of such projects before embarking on any irrigation project so that intended beneficiaries will not be worse off at the end of implementation.
Key Words: Irrigation; fadama; socio–economic; environmental impact and effect
Moor J. Agric. Res. Vol.4(1) 2003: 157-163