Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project Phase – I (WSIP – I) is designed and being implemented to improve the efficiency and effectivenessm of irrigation water distrbution in three (3) AWBs. Total Cost of the Project is US$ 175 Million with World Bank share US$ 150.2 Million and GoS share US$ 24.8 Million.
Additional Chief Secretary

Sindh province is highly dependent on its Indus Water Share which often becomes insufficient for its agricultural, municipal, industrial, environmental and other requirements. This is exacerbated by the fact that, Sindh can not fall back upon its ground-water reserves because about 80% of our ground water is brackish and unsuitable for agricultural and domestic use. In this scenario, the province has to manage its scarce water resources efficiently.

Although Government of Pakistan / Government of Sindh adopted the paradigm shift in the shape of “Irrigation Reforms” in 1997 under NDP but job remained incomplete due to many reasons. WSIP-I came in to being to boost/support this very shift – transition of water Resource Management from Irrigation Department to a 3-tier system of autonomous corporate bodies, namely, SIDA, Area Water Boards (AWBs) and Farmer Organizations. I am glad to note that this transition has taken hold and is progressing under WSIP-I.

WSIP-I’s strategy, in this regard, is “to enhance long-term sustainability of irrigation system through Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) system and developing institutions for improving Operation & Maintenance (O&M) of the system and cost sharing”.

It is inspiring to learn that out of a total of 383 FOs in the project area, 314 are managing Irrigation & Drainage in their respective areas and are collecting Abiana (water charges).

I am also happy to note that WSIP-I’s activities have gained momentum and planned outcomes are being achieved under all components, particularly Component B i.e. Rehabilitation & Improvement of Irrigation & Drainage System. Here, the ongoing contracts for “Rehabilitation of Upper & Lower Nara Canal” and “Rehabilitation of 74 Distributaries / Minors” deserve mention.

I am sure that Sindh will be able to modernize and manage its irrigation system at optimum level for sustained economic growth and food security.