Laying the Foundation for Economic Growth in Tanzania

Laying the Foundation for Economic Growth in Tanzania
U.S. Agency for International Development Tanzania
CDM Smith was contracted by USAID/Tanzania to implement the Irrigation and Rural Roads Infra­struc­ture Program (IRRIP) as part of the the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future global security initiative to address root causes of poverty, hunger and malnu­tri­tion. 

Widespread poverty persists in Tanzania where the economy is largely dependent on agriculture. Without essential knowledge and sound infra­struc­ture, extreme weather events can severely damage harvests, causing increased unem­ploy­ment, hunger and malnu­tri­tion. 

From 2011 through 2018, CDM Smith provided engineering and construc­tion services and technical assistance for USAID/Tanzania to build capacity and deliver rural road and irrigation infrastructure projects. Our team helped the Government of Tanzania identify, assess, design, procure and construct projects that enhanced agricultural production and strengthened water resources management. The project also expanded market access and ensured sustainability—ultimately providing families and communities with a foundation for more efficient, productive and profitable farming operations. 

of upgraded rural roads
of rehabilitated irrigation infrastructure
individuals trained for road maintenance

Our multi-faceted approach included reha­bil­i­ta­tion of the 2,000-hectare (4,950-acre) Dakawa irrigation scheme, a paddy rice farm managed by a cooperative of small-scale farmers. By upgrading and developing infra­struc­ture, CDM Smith delivered a unified and integrated reha­bil­i­ta­tion project as a quality model for other irrigation projects. The project team:

  • Improved water delivery for higher crop yields, which strengthened local economies;
  • Decreased costs for farmers by providing water flow control; and,
  • Achieved sustainable improve­ments by mitigating envi­ron­men­tal and social impacts.

To advance USAID’s objectives for economic growth through expanded rice production, CDM Smith completed feasibility studies for four proposed irrigation schemes in Kilombero Valley, which encompasses about 69,500 people across 23 villages. CDM Smith also conducted an envi­ron­men­tal flow assessment for the Rufiji Basin to assess water require­ments of downstream communities and ecosystems, and to define the water resources that could safely be used for irrigation in the Kilombero Valley. To date, it is the most advanced and compre­hen­sive assessment of its kind in Tanzania. CDM Smith developed innovative processes and tools for long-term planning, including customiza­tion of our Simplified Water Allocation Model, which is now being applied in Tanzania to support water allocation, permitting and planning. 

CDM Smith excels at iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of problems while also offering solutions or suggested ways forward to address the issue at hand. Many of these issues carry envi­ron­men­tal, ecological or political sensi­tiv­i­ties to which CDM Smith has been successful in navigating while providing solid and candid technical guidance.

To maximize the benefits of the agri­cul­tural improve­ments, CDM Smith provided technical assistance to upgrade 390 kilometers of rural roads in Tanzania, and completed assessments and designs to build an additional 1,000 kilometers of farm-to-market roads. The project enhanced the capacity of district engineers in planning and designing roads as well as maintaining them by newly established road user asso­ci­a­tions. The project supported the Tanzanian government to upgrade rural roads and replace three dilapidated bridges in areas critical to the agriculture sector. Expanded road access improved the quality of life of area residents by increasing access to hospitals, schools and drinking water, and decreasing trans­porta­tion costs. According to an independent evaluation conducted for USAID/Tanzania, activities supporting rural road development and labor-based maintenance had a measurable impact on the lives of more than 402,000 Tanzanians. 

Keith Wiliams Keith Wiliams
As Chief of Party for nearly the entire duration of the 7.5-year program, I had the extra­or­di­nary opportunity to lead a team of talented profes­sion­als from around the world and witness how our work ultimately benefited communities as intended by USAID and Tanzania.

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