Main content area

Malaria in irrigated agriculture

Boelee, Eline
Irrigation and drainage 2003 v.52 no.1 pp. 65-69
Culicidae, disease transmission, drainage, economic impact, environment, farm income, flooded conditions, insect ecology, irrigated farming, irrigation systems, malaria, rice, rural areas, rural development, water, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, India, Malaysia, Mali, Netherlands, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
The CGIAR System-wide Initiative on Malaria and Agriculture, SIMA, organized a special seminar on Malaria in Irrigated Agriculture at the ICID 18th International Congress on Irrigation and Drainage, 23 July 2002, Montreal. Five oral presentations, six posters and a lively discussion provided a wealth of information on the linkages between irrigation or drainage and malaria transmission in Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, India, Malaysia, Mali, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The economic impact of the disease on agricultural incomes can be quite substantial. Malaria was strongly associated with waterlogging, with poor maintenance of irrigation systems and with rice cultivation. Several presenters made recommendations for environmental measures to reduce malaria and a few reported on actually implemented interventions. Most important recommendations from the seminar were increased collaboration between the water and health sectors, and contextuality: the need to consider the context of mosquito ecology, disease and environment in every case. Only then can specific and innovative intervention approaches be identified and applied to help fight malaria. Moreover, if irrigation and drainage indeed bring economic development to the rural areas, the population will benefit in terms of better health and less malaria.