Enhanced monitoring in the Great Ruaha Observatory


The GroFutures Team, working with the Tanzanian Ministry of Water and Irrigation, expanded monitoring infrastructure in the Upper Great Ruaha Observatory (UGRO) to include interactions between groundwater and surface water. An outstanding question regarding the sustainability of groundwater withdrawals for irrigation and drinking-water supplies is whether groundwater in the agriculturally intensive lowlands is replenished by river flow, sustains river flow, or both depending upon the season. To try to answer these questions, team members, Japhet Kashaigili, Richard Taylor and PhD student, Hezron Philipo, installed staff gauges combined with automated dataloggers measuring water pressure (height) and temperature hourly in the lowland areas of the…

GroFutures 3rd Annual Workshop in Niamey marked by rain!


GroFutures held its 3rd Annual Workshop at Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (UAM), Niger from the 19th to 23rd of February 2018. The workshop was opened by UAM’s Vice Chancellor in the presence of the Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology and of the Dean of Faculty of Agronomy and attended by a total of 20 national and international team members from Benin, Ethiopia, France, Niger, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, UK and USA.  Regional stakeholders from the Niger Basin Authority, Ministry of Hydraulics as well as the French (IRD) and German (BGR) government agencies in Niger also attended. The…

Participatory Rural Appraisal in the Great Ruaha Basin


The GroFutures team in Tanzania has just completed the data collection component of the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) exercise in the Great Ruaha Basin of Tanzania. The team comprised Andrew Tarimo, Devotha Mosha Kilave, Gebregziabher Gebrehaweria and Imogen Bellwood-Howard. Following initial training at Sokoine University of Agriculture, the team moved to the study site in Mbarali District and worked in three villages (Matebete, Ubaruku and Nyeregete) between 23rd August and 2nd September 2017. During the PRA exercise the team carried out a range of activities including seasonal calendars development, long-term trend analyses, wealth indexes, technology rankings and a well inventory (see photos below)….

Groundwater monitoring across the Niger-Nigeria border


The GroFutures team from Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey (Niger) and University of Maiduguri (Nigeria), with support from Maradi University staff and the Regional Hydraulics authorities, has conducted joint field work exercises to establish a transboundary observatory that involves detailed monitoring of shallow groundwater and river discharge on both side of the border within the River Goulbi de Maradi Basin in northern Nigeria and south-central Niger. Shallow groundwater within alluvial deposits on both sides of the border is used not only for domestic water supplies but also irrigated agriculture. Upstream around the Jibia Town in northern Nigeria, 2 shallow (<10…

Groundwater monitoring established in the Upper Great Ruaha Basin of Tanzania


The GroFutures team at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA, Tanzania), led by Japhet Kashaigili (SUA) with support from PhD students, Hezron Philipo (SUA) and David Seddon (UCL), established in July (2017) a groundwater-level monitoring network in the Upper Great Ruaha Basin Observatory in southern highlands of Tanzania.  This area is part of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) where increased use of groundwater and surface water is anticipated to support agricultural production.  Constructed monitoring wells at depths ranging from 18 to 32 m below ground were drilled using a PAT-DRILL 421 rig. The team also instrumented monitoring wells recently constructed by project…

Views of 400 households surveyed in the Upper Awash Basin, Ethiopia


The GroFutures team in Ethiopia has recently completed a survey of 400 households from predominantly agricultural communities within the Becho and Koka Plains of the Upper Awash Basin of Ethiopia; there are the same communities where the GroFutures team recently constructed and deployed new groundwater monitoring infrastructure. The team of social scientists, led by Yohannes Aberra of Addis Ababa University with support from Motuma Tolosa and Birhanu Maru, both from the Oromia Irrigation Development Authority, applied a questionnaire to poll respondent views on small-scale, household-level use of groundwater for irrigation, the status of groundwater governance, and their experiences of different…

Groundwater research and policy development: an interview with Professor Yahaya Nazoumou


16 February 2017, Morogoro, Tanzania [INTERVIEWER] Dr. Mohammad Shamsudduha or “Shams”, GroFutures Project Manager: thank you Professor Nazoumou for taking the time to discuss your involvement in GroFutures and how your work in the Iullemmeden Basin is making an impact on the government policies and practices of the water resources development and management in Niger. [INTERVIEWEE] Professor Nazoumou or “Yahaya”:  I am a Professor of Hydrogeology at the Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey. I coordinate the IB team with IRD (France) and colleagues from Nigeria to achieve the project goals. I am also an advisor on climate change at the Ministry…

Observatory construction begins in the Upper Awash Basin


In March 2017, piezometer construction began in the Koka Plain, the lowland GroFutures Observatory site in the Upper Awash Basin. A piezometer array comprising a transect of 3 shallow (~20 m depth) piezometers has been completed using traditional, manual drilling techniques. Completed piezometers have been installed with a 4-inch casing and feature screen lengths of 9 to 10 m at depths of ~10 m below ground.  Lithological samples have been collected at every observed change in lithology during drilling. Each monitoring piezometer is “double capped” in an effort to inhibit tampering or vandalism. Work is expected to start shortly on…

Pan-African groundwater-level analysis and training workshop


The UPGro programme, supported by AfriWatSan & ESPRC, conducted a pan-African capacity-strengthening and knowledge co-production workshop at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania from the 10th to 12th of February, 2017.  40 participants from 12 countries in Africa took part and analysed multi-decadal, groundwater-level data (“chronicles”) from 9 countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Sénégal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.  Participants comprised PhD students and more experienced researchers (mentors & supervisors) as well as representatives from government ministries and the private sector, and included team members from all 5 UPGro consortium projects GroFutures, BRAVE, Hidden Crisis, GroForGood, and…

GroFutures 2nd Annual Workshop in Morogoro


GroFutures held its 2nd Annual Workshop at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro, Tanzania from the 13th to the 16th of February 2017. The workshop was opened by SUA’s Deputy Vice Chancellor and was attended by a total of 30 national and international team members from Ethiopia, France, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa and the UK.  The workshop was hosted and organised by the GroFutures team from SUA led by Professor Japhet Kashaigili along with Professor Andrew Tarimo and Dr. Devotha Mosha-Kilave. The workshop reviewed progress in research and explored ways of improving the integration of cross-disciplinary research across the…