Synthesising Evidence on Irrigation Scheme Performance in West Africa

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Emerging evidence and site-specific assessments suggest that irrigation infrastructure projects and reforms in West Africa have failed to achieve proposed targets. We evaluate this proposition by conducting a systematic review of 47 irrigation scheme assessments evaluating performances of 147 irrigation schemes. We find that 83% of the assessments identify the considered irrigation schemes as underperforming in terms of achieved benefits and/or maintenance over time. The observed problems are rooted in unclear project objectives, lack of post-project accountability, and failure to consider all stakeholders. Lessons from the past need to be taken on board to avoid unsuccessful investments in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127919
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Early online date14 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


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