Posts tagged water spreading
Second AusAID Small scale Irrigation and water harvesting course for 2013 at the University of New England comes to an end

Friday 15 November saw the end of the second short course for African participants on small scale irrigation and water harvesting at the University of New England, Armidale.

Lecturer Isa Yunusa encourages the group to strive for great thingsThe five weeks of activities culminated in a great dinner and presentation of certificates at the beautiful Moore Park Inn. There were mixed emotions as the night progressed. Our friends were keen to get home to see their families and get back to their normal lives yet felt they would miss the companionship that has grown during their stay.

Proud participants following presentation of certificates with Peter Fitzgerald (mother), Andrew Storrie and Kathy Dobos

Their training is not complete however. They have action plans developed and refined during the course which they will begin to implement when they arrive home.

In February 2014 we will meet both groups from this year in South Africa where we will refine their projects and study successes and problems encountered by small landholders in the Limpopo Province.

In western NSW training African friends on water harvesting and water spreading

I am very lucky to have such a diverse job.

Last week my colleague Peter Fitzgerald from the University of New England and I were tour guide, bus driver, trainer and very much everything in-between with 15 African agriculturalists from 11 different countries. We visited Gunnedah, Dubbo, Narromine and Nyngan as a major part of our second 2013 “Irrigation and small scale water harvesting course” based at the University of New England and funded by AusAID.

Orchardist Warren Yeomans discussing how he uses tensiometers to determine when to irrigateTo date the participants have spent a week on each of the following:

  • refining extension techniquesand project planning
  • dam building with the Soil Conservation Service
  • irrigation systems with Lew Hyson and Isa Yunusa (UNE)
  • field tour of irrigation, water spreading and water ponding

The field tour is a highlight as our friends get to meet a range of Australian farmers with a range of management styles and ‘drivers’ as well as getting practical training on establishing water spreading banks and water ponding at Nyngan with Ray Thompson, Local Land Services.

Course participants marking out water-spreading banks north of NynganOur final week together is spent in revision and fine tuning their projects they will implement when they return home.  They also get to present their projects to us which helps develop their presentation skills.

A sad farewell to the gateway to the Outback