Aurecon helping Swaziland subsistence farmers become successful

The Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project

Part of the Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project

29 October 2015 - Aurecon has been appointed to assist Swaziland Water and Agriculture Development Enterprise Ltd (SWADE), in the planning and implementation of the second phase of the Lower Usuthu Smallholder Irrigation Project (LUSIP II) and the LUSIP Extension project, a large water and agriculture development project that will help local smallholders develop and convert their land into commercial irrigation farming opportunities.

The 11 500 ha LUSIP area is situated in the south-eastern part of Swaziland in the Lubombo region, where many of the citizens engage in subsistence farming. In order to convert the land to irrigated commercial cash crops and create socio-economic upliftment for rural farming communities, Aurecon has been contracted for a variety of roles within the project framework including a water management study to determine water demand and required capacity of the planned downstream infrastructure, design review of the raising and extending the main canal system from Lubovane Dam, design review of supply networks and access roads following the pipe network and the design of infield drainage system for the  irrigation infrastructure. Aurecon is also responsible for the construction supervision of the infrastructure.

“The Government of Swaziland has made significant investments towards the development of the bulk infrastructure for LUSIP and this has completely transformed the landscape. Based on the success of the first phase, the Government is now embarking on the second phase of the project. Once completed, 40 000 people will benefit, directly and indirectly, from the sustainable agriculture initiatives that will be implemented,” comments SWADE Project Manager, Bafana Matsebula.

Phase II of LUSIP aims to improve the standard of living of the people in the area and, once completed, approximately 40 000 people will benefit, directly and indirectly, from the sustainable agriculture initiatives that will be implemented.

Aurecon Professional Engineer, Dawie Koekemoer, says that this is a world-class water infrastructure project and that Aurecon is working in association with Bosch Stemele and local sub-consultant Bicon Consulting Engineers. Further, Aurecon will be responsible for managing four separate contractors simultaneously during the height of the work.

“Aurecon’s experience in the Maputo River Basin, our capability in bulk infrastructure design, and knowledge of the region, combined with our footprint and reputation in Swaziland, secured our involvement in this project,” says Koekemoer.

The Government of Swaziland is funding the design of the project and the infrastructure will be funded by a group of donors, made up of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), the Kuwait Fund, the French Development Agency (AFD), and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA).

“The donor funding is the catalyst that has set the ball in motion to enable us help Swaziland’s poor communities. We’re excited to be a part of this movement,” comments Aurecon’s project team leader Geurt Bloem.


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