This Act makes provision with respect to the management, use and maintenance of irrigation systems. It establishes the National Irrigation Commission and defines its functions and powers. The Commission is established as a body corporate and shall be an independent department of the Government under the Ministry responsible for irrigation. The Commission shall be responsible for coordination, promotional and regulatory functions in the development of the irrigation sector. It shall, among other things, advise the government in the implementation and review of the National Irrigation Policy and other policies and plans and invest in irrigation and drainage systems. For the betterment of carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Minister responsible for local government may, in consultation with the Minister establish an Irrigation Department in a District Authority on advice of the Commission. A District Irrigation Department shall assist the Commission in execution of its functions.The Minister may declare irrigation areas for the purposes of this Act. Land may be acquired for purposes of irrigation development and where a declaration affects existing land rights, the holder of affected land shall be entitled to be a shareholder or to be compensated in accordance with relevant Land Law or as may be agreed upon. The Commission may, upon the recommendation of the Director General, classify all land within an irrigation area for its suitability for specific crops and irrigation methods.The Act further makes provision with respect to irrigation works and irrigation schemes and the Irrigation Development Fund, which is established under this Act. The Commission shall ensure that all irrigation development be integrated with other natural resources development and management activities such a catchment management in order to protect the environment. The Commission, in collaboration with other competent authorities, shall undertake various measures and carry out control to protect the environment.
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