Mainstreaming of Actions to Support FWUC

CambodiaKampongThum

Image via Wikipedia

On 19-20 July, 2011; a workshop was organized in the FWUC office of the Stung Chinit Irrigation Scheme in Kampong Thmar commune, Santuk district, Kampong Thom province. The topic was “mainstreaming of Actions in Support to FWUC under NWISP Project.

The main objectives of the workshop are:

  • to share and discuss the “present situation and the “target situation” of the FWUCs under the North-West Irrigation Projects, implemented by Mowram and financed by ADB/AFD
  • to share good and bad experiences concerning FWUCs operation and managment
  • to present the findings and discuss on the proposed mechanism to support FWUC  by Mr. Jean-Marie Brun, Consultant, financed by ADB/AFD
  • to find ways to support FWUCs in a sustainable manner

Mr. Yim Boy, FWN Chairman raised his opinion during the WS

61 participants (4 women) representing Mowram, Pdowram, 14 FWUCs (from Pursat, Siem Reap, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Sihanoukville, Kandal and Kampong Thom), NGOs, Farmer and Water net (FWN), Service Providers, ADB and AFD; participated actively in the presentations and discussions during the full two day workshop. It is important to note that the irrigation schemes recently constructed by NWISP project (2006-2011) varied from 187 ha to 1,300 ha; i.e. small to medium scale.

As per my observation, main challenges (raised by their representatives) currently facing the FWUCs in the project’s area are:

  • Quality of construction works and physical infrastructures
  • Water shortage due to water availability of the main schemes
  • Flood and damaged, causedespecially in 2009 by Ketsana typhoon
  • FWUCs have been newly established, therefore little experience
  • Lack of capacity, time and money to support FWUCs activities
  • Limited knowledge of farmers and farmer’s participation concerning collective action
  • Poor services provided to farmers since it lacks some structures (canals which bring water to the rice fields etc)
  • Irrigation Service Fee (ISF) introduced, but so far poorly collected or not at all
  • Limited technical support from Pdowram of the concerened provinces due to time, human resources and budget constraints
  • Future uncertainties etc

In summary, proposed tools (by Jean-Marie Brun, Freelance Consultant) to support FWUCs are:

  1. Initial budget subsidies to start up
  2. Decreasing subsidies according to Circular number 1 (of the government)
  3. A budget/credit to pay Technical Assistance services “on demand”
  4. Possibly additional investment credit
  5. M & E and support & planning

According to the consultant, # 3 is the most important part, and it shall be able to address very different kind of needs in term of advice and capacity building to the FWUCs:

  • Technical advice on irrigation/water management: help to improve the scheme performance
  • Capacity building and support to improve Administration/Finance/Accounting systems and skills
  • Advice on the planning and implementation of operation and maintenance
  • Facilitation of negotiations with other stakeholders
  • Support to ISF collection
  • Strengthening of the capacities of internal communications (members/water users) and external communications
  • Agricultural extensions etc…

Mr. Jean-Marie Brun presented his proposal

For me, it was a great chance to listen to the state of the art of the FWUCs in other region, the concerns/challenges raised, the main constraints many stakeholders are facing, the points of view of the banks, the handicap of government officials to support FWUC and the proposed solutions etc and to interact with participants. All participants agreed that there are problems, obstacles/setbacks, challenges ahead of us, but we need to invest (hard and soft) in irrigation sector, so that rice and other agricultural production could be increased to feed the people and for export. Prime Minister Hun Sen announced in August 2010, that Cambodia will export 1 million tons of milled rice by 2015.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: