A rapid assessment survey of a representative sample of tanks was conducted to provide an overview of the irrigation component of the Anuradhapura Dry Zone Agriculture Project (ADZAP). The study traced the development of each sample tank from the pre-project situation to head works construction and later downstream development and work. The questionnaire used was based on rapid assessment questionnaires and covered four general topics : i) Tank construction, ii) The settlement process, iii) The agricultural economy, iv) Irrigation operation and management The questionnaire was compiled through field observations and group interviews normally comprising 5-10 farmers. Farmer input was considerable and the tank selection was in the majority of cases (74%) came from rural development societies. A key policy implication arising from the study was the need for greater farmer participation at the implementation stage i.e settlement and involvement of farmers prior to or while investments are made in the system. A participatory approach to such system development may outpace and outproduce a construction-oriented approach.
Policy makers and planners as well as fieldworkers considering social as well as technical aspects of irrigation systems.
International Irrigation Management Institute