The Farmer and Water Net (FWN)

Photo taken with main canal of the Stung Chinit Irrigation Scheme behind me

Photo taken with the huge main canal of the Stung Chinit Irrigation Scheme behind me

The FWN was established during the first congress on May 26-27, 2011 and is registered at the Ministry of Interior on December 6, 2011. It has 12 FWUCs, from eight provinces and 206 villages across Cambodia as its members. Total coverage area is more than 23,000 ha with more than 26,000 families. Most of the FWN members are those FWUCs, who have collaborated with GRET and CEDAC since 1998.

Its Vision is to see Cambodia, in which farmers are in the position to manage, maintain and operate own irrigation scheme in a sustainable manner.

The Mission is to mobilize Farmer Water User Communities of rehabilitated or newly constructed irrigation systems at the local, regional and national level in order to strengthen their capacity by learning and sharing experience from/with each other and to facilitate good collaboration among its members and advocate for more policy support from government and other stakeholders.

A recently built reservoir to store water coming down from Koulen Mountain in Siem Reap province

A recently built reservoir to store water coming down from Koulen Mountain in Siem Reap province

The Goal is to provide enough water for irrigation; especially in the agricultural, rural development and environmental sectors.

The Objectives are as following:

  •        Exchange of concrete experience from one FWUC to another
  •        Mobilize resource and farmer’s voice to advocate for FWUC’s interests
  •        Discuss and provide advice to help members finding solutions to the problems they are facing
  •        Encourage the authority to recognize the legal status of the FWUCs
  •        Ensure for transparent water allocation for irrigation
  •        Ensure effective operation and maintenance of the scheme
  •        Facilitate for better collaboration with government’s line agencies, local authorities, concerned institutions and development partners to get more material and financial support and better implementation of statute and internal regulation of the FWUCs.

Governance structure: the General Assembly has now 12 members and is the highest legislative and decision-making body of FWN. Each member has to pay 50,000 Riel (12.5 U$) membership fee, at the early stage. There was discussion that the membership fee will be revised based on coverage areas of each FWUC member. Out of the 12 members, 3 steering committee members were elected to lead and implement the policy and activities programs decided by the GA. The mandate is for three years on voluntary basis. FWN is collaborating with ISC, CEDAC and GRET to implement small activities in 2012 to present itself to MOWRAM and other stakeholders. It is technically and administratively supported by a secretary provided on a part-time basis by ISC.

FWN Members in a group photo in front of Angkor Wat

Some FWN Members in a group photo in front of Angkor Wat during a study tour in Siem Reap, in 2011

Members: there are two types of member with observer status and full members. Criteria for membership application:

  1. The scheme has a command area of 100 ha upwards
  2. The scheme is being constructed or partly functional
  3. The scheme/FWUC is locally registered by the commune or/district authority
  4. FWUC has data list of plot owners
  5. 67% of farmers in the command area have applied for FWUC membership and paid the one time membership fee to FWUC
  6. FWUCs representative have been elected
  7. FWUC has some operations and partly manage irrigated water for users
  8. FWUC has some activities relating to maintenance of the scheme
  9. FWUC has already collected the ISF at least once
  10. FWUC has operation at least in the last three years
  11. FWUC has collected the ISF more than 70% upwards
  12. FWUC is registered at PDOWRAM/MOWRAM
Members of FWN during the second congress on 17-19 September 2012 in Kampong Thom province

Members of FWN during the second congress on 17-19 September 2012 in Kampong Thom province

For those FWUCs, which have passed criteria 1 and 2, could apply for observer status. For those FWUCs, which have passed up to criteria 7, could apply for full membership. FWN is in the process of applying to become full member of the Asian Farmer Association (AFA).

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