Resources Development for Supporting FWUCs in Cambodia: Workshop to Launch the Irrigation Service Center
On Friday 03, February 2012, a national workshop was organized by the Irrigation Service Center (ISC), in collaboration with GRET and CEDAC; at Cambodiana Hotel, Phnom Penh. It was funded by AFD. The workshop was opened by Dr. Yang Saing Koma, CEDAC President, and Mr. Aing Poro, GRET Representative in Cambodia. Mrs. Patricia Tolen, GRET Paris, was also joining us. I, as elected Chairmant of the ISC Management Board, and Mr. Taing Sophat, ISC Vice-Chairman, were facilitating this gathering. Mr. Antoine Deligne, Former Project Coordinator and Mr. Seng Sophak, ISC Director, made the presentations showing the results of the project, the ISC and its strategy for the coming years.
The objectives of the workshop were to present the results and outcomes of ASIrri project, to exchange and share experiences with government’s agencies and other stakeholders in irrigation sector and FWUC’s support methodology, to launch the Irrigation Service Center (ISC) and the Farmer and Water Net (FWN) and to enhance and looking for further future collaboration with all relevant stakeholders.
The ASIrri project’s operations in Cambodia were managed through a partnership between GRET, a French NGO working in Cambodia since 1988 and CEDAC. Both organizations have long experience in agriculture and irrigation management. They collaborated for establishing the FWUCs in Prey Nup, in Stung Chinit and Sdau Kaong schemes and have conducted feasibility studies and evaluations in Prey Nup, Stung Chinit, Stung Chikreng, Srey Santhor etc, between 1999 and 2009.
The ASIrri project is an opportunity for GRET and CEDAC to strengthen their successful partnership in the irrigation sector and to create a permanent team specifically dedicated to irrigation scheme management. The rationale of the project is to create a service center able to respond to FWUC needs through paid services contracts. It is a quite new initiative and we are happy to see that FWUcs and local authorities are willing to pay for it, though the price is still symbolic.
The ASIrri team opened its office in Kampong Thom province in July 2009 and decided to present itself as ISC. Since 2009 until 2011, the Center has been working mainly within 4 provinces: Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Prey Veng and Preah Sihanouk provinces. The ISC operated on demand also in Kampong Speu with PUAC and in Mondulkiri for JICA. During the three years of this pilot project, 7 FWUCs and 1 FO have received services from the ISC.
49 participants (excluding ISC staff) from different government’s agencies and organizations such as: FWUC department and planning department at Mowram, representatives from Pdowram of several provinces, commune councilors, 12 FWUCs from 8 provinces representing Farmer and Water Net (FWN), Farmer and Nature Net (FNN), local NGOs and international organizations, research institutes, consultants and donor agencies (ADB, AusAID and JICA).
Participants were able to learn about the results of the ASIrri project, about the CAVAC’s initiatives, the modality and procedures in getting possible support to FWUCs, the ISC and its services, the FWN and its activities, the FNN and its activities etc. It was also a great opportunity for them to sit together and exchange views on irrigation and FWUCs and find ways to cooperate in the future.
It is important to note that some members of FWN have been collaborating with CEDAC since many years through regular meetings and follow up supports.