Irrigation Engineer at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Job Expired

Irrigation Engineer

Job ID: 87904
Location: Benue
Additional Category: Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
Type of Contract: Individual Contract
Post Level: National Consultant
Starting Date: (date when the selected candidate is expected to start) 21st October, 2019
Duration of Initial Contract: One Month
Expected Duration of Assignment: One Month

The conflict between the herders and farmers in Nigeria has been identified as the single most widely spread peace and security threat by a recent Strategic Conflict Assessment (SCA) report carried out by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Nigeria has continued to register huge casualties and tension throughout almost all states of the Federation on a recurrent basis. Most reported in the Middle Belt (particularly the states of Benue, Plateau, Kaduna and Nasarawa) between herdsmen and local farmers, the clashes over farmland and or pasture, have increasingly taken religious undertones (Muslims versus Christians), with religious leaders publicly exchanging accusations, a development which has further polarized communities and complicated efforts at mitigating the violence. Thousands of lives have been lost, property destroyed, and communities left in disarray and tens of thousands internally displaced all over many parts of the Middle Belt and other parts of Nigeria. Some estimates indicate that the communal violence between farmers and herders claimed more lives in 2016 alone than the Boko Haram insurgency, hinting at its magnitude nationwide.

One of the main sources of tensions in the farmers-herders conflict is access to water. Frequent clashes evolve from disputes, particularly at water points, where herders and farming communities come into contact and frequently compete for scarce water resources. To that effect, this project will enhance access to water for both farming and herder communities through the establishment of bore holes and irrigation systems.

The farmers-herders violence is both widespread and fluid in scope, making any geographic limitations to the implementation of the project challenging. Violence occurs in many different localities, and the dynamic movement of persons across community, local government, and state lines demand a flexible approach in selection of target areas. For example, when Benue State implemented the Open Grazing Prohibition Law on November 1, 2017. Media reports suggested that the attacks on communities in Benue in early 2018 were reportedly occurring in communities along the River Benue watershed. As such most affected LGAs embroiled in this crisis are located along the banks of the River Benue.

According to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program’s (UCDP) Georeferenced Event Dataset (GED), 28% of deaths in attacks between farmers and herders from 2014 – 2017 in Benue state occurred in Guma and Logo LGAs. The Transitioning from Humanitarian Relief to Long-Term Development: Addressing the Herdsmen-Farmers conflict in Nigeria Project will therefore target Benue state with community-level activities in LGAs along the River Benue drainage basin with huge devastation from the crisis such as Guma, Buruku, Kwande, Logo and Agatu LGAs.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Functions

  • Support the topography survey team in data collection and analysis
  • Production of detailed operation, technical and cost analysis for irrigation options
  • Develop detailed design of irrigation and drainage networks for selected irrigation method
  • Support the setup of water users association and
  • Support production of knowledge products and capacity development.

Description of Functions
Under the general supervision of the Assistant FAOR Programme and direct supervision of the Project Manager, Transitioning from Humanitarian Relief to Long-Term Development: Addressing the Herdsmen-Farmers conflict in Nigeria Project, the incumbent will support the overall irrigation and drainage management component of the project and will be expected to perform the following key functions:

Support the topography survey team in data collection and analysis:

  • The Consultant will provide highest quality technical support to the, Transitioning from Humanitarian Relief to Long-Term Development: Addressing the Herdsmen-Farmers conflict in Nigeria Project
  • She/he will work in close collaboration with the Project Manager, collaborating Agencies and other Stakeholders at state and LGA levels to gather topography information and carry out geophysical investigation on allocated lands and interpret geophysical survey data to identify aquifers and determine water yields by location
  • Develop Digital Terrain Models. Integrate information from soil and hydrology surveys to 3D models developed.

Production of detailed operational, technical and cost analysis for irrigation options:

  • In accordance with the topography, soil and hydrology surveys, proposing some irrigation option with a matrix comparing advantages and disadvantages of each of these options
  • These options will consider water management and land ownership status. Given land quality, proposed cropping patterns, water availability, the consultant should propose two or three options of irrigation systems
  • Propose the necessary rehabilitation of existing irrigation schemes if needed.

Develop detailed design of irrigation and drainage networks for selected irrigation method:

  • For whatever irrigation method selected (surface, drip or sprinkle), and drainage method, the consultant will generate a detailed analysis to back up such option
  • The following issues will be analyzed; capital costs, operational and management costs, beneficiary acceptance and their expected involvement, management problems as well as bill of quantities.

Support the setting up of water users association:

  • The consultant shall support the development of a plan to constitute water users’ association
  • A ToR will be developed for the association with assigned roles and responsibilities of executives clearly stated
  • Furthermore, in collaboration with the Project Manager, other Agencies, community and other Stakeholders compute water service fees.

Support development of knowledge products and capacity development:

  • The Consultant shall support the development of operation and maintenance guidelines for irrigation and drainage installations. She/he will also prepare a farmer training programme on irrigation and water management for beneficiaries on the project.

Expected Outcomes

  • A detailed topographical map of the project area showing location of project features (boreholes, irrigation areas, Communities among others).
  • A detailed geophysical report
  • Framework for the constitution of the water users association
  • Based on the review of the data collected, analysis results and stakeholder consultations, a technical design of two suitable irrigation systems shall be made with detailed analysis of:
    • Capital costs
    • O&M costs
    • Beneficiary acceptance and their expected involvement
    • Management problems
    • Bill of quantities
    • A matrix comparing advantages and disadvantages of the different options
  • Develop operation and maintenance manual


  • Knowledge Management and Learning
  • Has good knowledge of UNDP data management process
  • Promotes a knowledge sharing and learning culture in the office.
  • Has good knowledge of UNDP programme and operational issues.
  • Has knowledge of UNDP/UN policies and programme in crisis and post-crisis situations.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Civil/Agricultural/Irrigation Engineering or related courses. A Postgraduate Degree is an added advantage.


  • She/he should have at least 10 years of experience in the field of irrigation engineering of which at least 5 years of professional experience should be in developing countries, specifically sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Wide experience in the study, design and implementation of irrigation infrastructure development projects;
  • She/he should be conversant with the principles and working methods of project cycle management;
  • Experience working with UN or non-governmental organizations is an asset.


  • Fluent in English.

Application Deadline
14th October, 2019.

Method of Application

Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

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