The Canal Closure Programme for Downstream Compensation Flows: Is it Working?


A dry season irrigation canal closure programme was initiated in the dry season of the cropping year 1999/2000 by the then Usangu Water Management; Committee (UWMC) in order to restore dry season flows of the Great Ruaha River to acceptable levels.

This paper presents preliminary results of the monitoring of the canal closure programme currently being implemented by large irrigation schemes in the Usangu basin, which are Kapunga, Mbarali, and Madibira. The paper discusses the rationale and objectives of the canal closure programme; the methodology used to monitor it; the performance of the programme and is effect on the livelihood of people leaving in nearby Villages The paper concludes that although it seems that the canal closure programmes has reduced the number of zero flow days as observed at Nyaluhanga gauging station. more time and an in-depth hydrological study is required to ascertain the same.


Paper Presented at Ruaha+10 Seminar, 11 & 12 December 2003, Morogoro, Tanzania. 3 pp. (paper) + 3 pp. (powerpoint)

Published 1 January 2003