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    November 25, 2016



IC organizes annual assembly of Water Users Associations

By Zahiruddin

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 irrigation.

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 water.

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 said.

“The axis of all our efforts in the project is making all interventions in the water sector subservient to the local traditions
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.



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