The BIWRMD project team including team members from the project management unit and project implementation units of the Nari and Porali river basins participated in a project coordination meeting on October 30th. The team discussed the project implementation status, planning, processes and roles and responsibilities. The deputy project directors of the Nari and Porali river basins, Sikander Zehri and Shafi Muhammed Mengal, comprehensively discussed the implementation status, processes, challenges and way forward. The components’ focal person delivered presentations regarding the work plans and provided feedback on the implementation process. The interactive discussion, largely on irrigation, agriculture, forest, matching grants, social and environmental safeguards and gender based activities clarified the processes and the upcoming activities. The project director, Abdul Hameed Mengal responded to the queries by the PIU and PIU team members.
PROJECT REVIEW MEETING:
The Mission of International Development Association of the World Bank Group (IDA-WBG) comprising Senior Water Resource Specialist, Sheikh Javed Ahmed; Environmental Specialist, Ms. Rahat Jabeen and Social Safeguards Specialist, Ms. Najam-us-Sahar reviewed the implementation status of the project activities with the PMU team on October 24-25, with reference to the actions agreed during the last Mission of August 2017. The participants discussed the implementation arrangements, challenges, opportunities, solutions and way forward. The specialists and the team briefed the Mission regarding the status of their areas and discussed the challenges and progress. The matching grants, social safeguards and environmental specialists and monitoring and evaluation specialist delivered presentations on the status of their components’ progress and discussed processes, challenges and upcoming activities with their counterparts in IDA. The Mission and project management provided component specific feedback. The Mission emphasized the need for expediting the pace of project implementation, through short team work planning to enable a decisive breakthrough in project implementation, while ensuring quality standards.
The Mission of the International Development Association of the World Bank Group (IDA-WBG) comprising Senior Water Resource Specialist, Sheikh Javed Ahmed; Environmental Specialist, Ms. Rahat Jabeen; Social Safeguards Specialist, Ms. Najam-us-Sahar and the PMU team including Project Director, Abdul Hameed Mengal and water resource engineers, Farooq Khajjak and Aashar Hayat participated in a meeting with the recently appointed Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Balochistan, Qamar Masood and Chief Foreign Aid, Mujibur Rahman on October 25th. The Mission discussed the project implementation status and the role of IDA-WBG in the project implementation. The environmental and social safeguards specialists briefed the Secretary regarding the environmental and social safeguards of the project. The ACS expressed support for the project initiatives and emphasized on ensuring the social and environmental safeguards of the local communities and project scheme site areas.
The PIU, Sibbi team including the Deputy Project Director, Nari basin, Sikander Zehri, officials of Agriculture Department and the recently elected representatives of the project’s first Farmers’ Organization (FO) formed in the Bakhra Ghulam Bolak scheme site in the Nari River Basin participated in a meeting with the Implementation Support Mission of International Development Association of the World Bank Group (WBG-IDA) in the project management unit (PMU), Quetta on October 25. The Mission comprising Senior Water Resource Specialist, Sheikh Javed Ahmed; Environmental Specialist, Ms. Rahat Jabeen; and Social Safeguards Specialist, Ms. Najam-us-Sahar comprehensively discussed the process of FO formation with the FO representatives. The Mission and PMU component leads highlighted the pivotal roles and responsibilities of FO as a community based organization, for effective management of the project functions. They responded to the questions by the FO representatives. The recently selected FO Chairman and representatives of FO informed that the pavement of the water courses and channels as part of the project’s development initiatives will drastically reduce water losses by 100 percent in their area. This, along with the improved speed of water will multiply the irrigation capacity through expanded irrigation of thousands of acres of the arid lands. The project component representatives, including from the irrigation, agriculture, forest, matching grants, environment and gender discussed their area specific interventions. The FO representatives expressed support for the project initiatives in their area.
We feel pleased to share that the project’s first Farmers’ Organization (FO) was formed in the Nari river basin on October 21, 2017 in the Bakhra Ghulam Bolak area scheme site in the Sibi district. The Social Safeguards Specialist elaborated the process and structure of FOs during the introductory session. Representatives of the irrigation, agriculture and forest departments and PIU staff explained the component specific project activities. Subsequently, 58 members of General Body of the FO elected the nine FO Executive Body members, including Chairman, Vice Chairman, General Secretary, Finance Secretary and five members. The FO was formed under Balochistan BIDA Act 1997. The Regional Forest Officer and PIU team including Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Irrigation, SDO Public Health Engineering (PHE) and PIU colleagues participated in the whole process. Initially, two different Water Users’ Associations (WUAs) of Bakhra Ghulam Bolak 1 and 2 were formed. These WUAs were federated into FO, in consonance with the two tier process of social mobilization.