World Bank has approved 200 million dollar for a water management project in Balochistan which will benefit some 43,000 farm households
WASHINGTON — The World Bank approved a $200 million credit to strengthen Balochistan government’s initiative for community-based water management for irrigation in the province.
Balochistan Integrated Water Resources Management and Development Project will support investment in two of the eighteen basins in Balochistan Nari and Porali river basins.
The World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Illango Patchamuthu said, ‘Balochistan is the least water-secure province in Pakistan and farmers here face the greatest risks from climate change. The Project is designed to boost farmer incomes through new irrigation infrastructure and improved on-farm management and rangeland management. An associated objective is building province’s capacity for long term water resources planning.”
Under the project communities will be involved in construction and rehabilitation of irrigation and drinking water supply facilities flood protection infrastructure watershed management and environmental protection works and on farm water management and agricultural productivity activities.
The project will be financed from the International Development Associaion (IDA), the World Bank’s grant and low interest arm. It will be on standard IDA terms, with a maturity of 25 years, including a grace period of 5 years.
Groundwater is over exploited in many parts of the Nari and Porali basins and watersheds are degraded but opportunities exist for development of surface water resources and for rehabilitating watersheds and rangelands both to enhance production but also to protect water resources and improve climate resilience, William Young Task Team Leader of the Project said.
The main project beneficiaries will be small-holding farmers (up to 12.3 acres) and medium holding farmers (12.35 to 49.4 acres) engaged in irrigated agriculture. Approximately 42,800 farm households will benefit from project’s interventions. The province’s hydro-meteorological monitoring and river basin information systems will also be strengthened.