Incatema Consulting & Engineering to study the rehabilitation of irrigation systems in São Tomé and Príncipe

16 October, 2020

Incatema Consulting & Engineering has won the tender to prepare a study on the rehabilitation of the irrigation systems of the Canavial Baixo, Canavial Cima and Agua Casada communities in the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, Africa’s second smallest nation with barely 200,000 inhabitants. The project promoted by the African country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Social Development, has a budget of 98,438.78 euros and is estimated to last 6 months.

The study comprises a diagnosis of the current irrigation infrastructure in these two regions and its level of operation, determining its potential reuse, and includes a topographical survey of the water distribution networks and agricultural irrigation parcels. In addition, it also contemplates the design and calculation to carry out the rehabilitation of both irrigation systems and the construction of new infrastructures needed to guarantee their optimal functioning.

This study is very much needed given that obtaining more efficient water supply infrastructures and management systems will contribute very positively to family farming yields in disadvantaged regions such as that of São Tomé and Príncipe.

Rehabilitating the existing irrigation, a priority in developing countries

Sergio De Román, Director of Farming, Fisheries and Rural Development at Incatema Consulting & Engineering explains that “we are facing an exciting project, as we will need to learn how to adapt engineering solutions to the local socioeconomic and farming conditions, providing irrigation systems that are in line with the cropping intensity. All of this while bearing very much in mind that the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and international bodies related to development matters always advise that, given the low yields of many irrigation systems in developing countries, priority is given to the rehabilitation of existing infrastructures before starting to irrigate new areas”.

“Often these small island countries are at the mercy of their larger neighbours’ economies and experience firsthand the effects of climate change. Although surrounded by seas and oceans, on many islands water for drinking, farming and industry is a precious, and often scarce, resource. With changing weather patterns and growing urbanisation, the sustainable management of the water resource is an increasing priority”, as highlighted by the United Nations in the 2014 report Emerging Issues for Small Island Developing States.