Collective Actions to Protect Kplikpa River Basin
Building on from our past successes, we are poised to do more as we have been able to gather more evidence to inform our decision and implementation of planned objectives towards “Enhancing the productivity of Kplikpa River Basin and Smallholder Farmer Productivity”.
Human induced activities such as use of agrochemicals and farming along the river banks and reservoirs, and lack of maintenance of the dams and irrigation canals, with its accompanying increasing water abstractions for irrigation have been threatening the Kplikpa Basin’s ability to constantly provision water for various demands. The challenge calls for strategic planning hence a Catchment Management Plan (CMP) has been prepared with emphasis on proposed measures for conservation and improvement on the quality of the water resources of the catchment. The CMP is the result of an assessment carried out by the Development Institute in collaboration with the Water Resources Commission (WRC).
September this year (2016), The Development Institute organized a workshop to share the results of the assessment with the project stakeholders including the media. The objective for the workshop was to create a medium to widely interact with our stakeholders and incorporate their feedback into the report. At the workshop, Mr. Ken Kinney, the Executive Director of The Development Institute explained the rationale of the assessment and also presented issues on water demand projection and water availability and consequences for surrounding communities’ livelihoods.
He re-echoed the need to intensify public awareness on prudent use of water and its conservation, including adaptations of traditional knowledge and cultural practices. He edged the representatives of the traditional authority present and the other stakeholders to enforce the buffer zone policy and environmental bye-laws. He again talked about using the results from the water demand and water availability scenario analysis to prepare a strategy on how to meet the future water requirements of the Weta Irrigation Scheme. He concluded by stressing the importance of regular maintenance of the two dams and their channels as any negligence will lead to their closure. Mrs Mawuli, the Project Coordinator through a participatory process led the stakeholders to do a brainstorming and group exercise to come up with an Action Plan.
As the assessment revealed that people living around the Klikpa and Agali water bodies are seriously mismanaging the river, all stakeholders agreed to take some actions to mitigate the risks. The outputs and key decisions taken at this workshop were as follows:
- Local government authorities take the lead to ensure that the buffer zone policy is implemented and by-laws enforced.
- The DI will continue to raise awareness and build capacity of actors on appropropriate methods to ensure sustainable management and improved livelihoods.
- Representatives of the various stakeholder groups were nominated to form the Kplikpa River Basin Management Board. Another workshop will be held with these nominees to concretely establish the board and have it fully functional.
- The traditional authorities will communicate the results with their constituents and find lasting solutions to the problems; revisiting traditional indigenous knowledge for conservation.
- The DI made known its plan to initiate campaigns to promote practical guidelines on best available agricultural practices for small holder farmers as well as its vegetable production demonstration farm which especially seeks to support women.
- The media will support and re-echo proposed measures for protecting the river basin through media outreaches.
The workshop closed with excitements and pledges from all relevant stakeholders to support in achieving the objectives of the project.