IC organizes annual assembly of Water Users Associations
CHITRAL: The local communities of four different villages of
Arandu, Sheshikoh, Birir and Gobor have successfully evolved a
system of water management based on the centuries-old traditional
approach to make its availability for the purposes of drinking and
In the annual assembly of Water Users Associations organized by
Water for Livelihood Project of InterCooperation (IC) here on
Thursday, the community leaders presented their progress reports to
tell their achievements.
They said that after the inception of the project four years ago,
the local communities were reorganized on scientific basis while
retaining the essence of the traditional system and they came to
realize for the first time the significance of the conservation of
They said that the project also changed their outlook about the
collective rural development and the active participation of women
in the process which was not possible till the recent past.
The association office-holders also presented the water use
management plan (WUMP) which will guide the utilization of the
commodity (water) in the years to come for different purposes which
provided a complete road-map about its management.
They said that the associations will were in a position to ensure
the sustainability of the projects of irrigation and drinking water
supply schemes after their completion and the exit of the NGOs or
the government executing agencies.
The presentation of Arandu village association was highly
appreciated as a success story which entailed the participation of
women community for the first time and how an issue was resolved
successfully with the neighboring village of Afghanistan.
Speaking on the occasion, the deputy team leader of IC, Mrs.
Tauheed Gul said that funded by the Swiss Agency for Development
and Cooperation (SDC), the water for livelihood project had
concentrated on water management in ecologically fragile and arid
areas of the district.
She said that the project had completed a number of projects on
irrigation, drinking water supply schemes apart from lining of the
irrigation channels and construction of reservoirs to contain the
water and save its wastage.
She said that disaster risk reduction measures also formed the
mandate of the project as the area was highly prone to natural
disasters for which adaptive steps were to be taken by the local
community to save their water resources.
“WUMP is the best document as well as gadget formulated by the
associations in consonance with the local physical and cultural
environments to be implemented by the villagers themselves”, she
“The axis of all our efforts in the project is making all
interventions in the water sector subservient to the local
and customs as totally new and alien approaches failed without
conforming to the social norms”, she said.
She appreciated the local partners of the project namely YASDO and
CIDO in its implementation efficiently by resolving different types
of social conflicts emanating in different stages.
The regional engineer of IC, Engineer Sajid Hussain, regional
program manager of Aga Khan Building and Construction Service,
Muhammad Karam and that of FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, Amir
Muhammad also spoke on the occasion.
The officers of district government and the line departments of
irrigation and pubic health engineering were conspicuous by their
absence from the annual event.