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Project to benefit 600,000 farm-households: WB okays additional $138m for SWSIP

Project to benefit 600,000 farm-households: WB okays additional $138m for SWSIP

ISLAMABAD: As part of Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project (SWSIP), the World Bank approved $138 million additional financing to improve efficiency irrigation water distribution system in three Area Water Boards (Ghotki, Nara and Left Bank) in the Sindh province.

Sindh is one of the primary beneficiaries of Indus Basin Irrigation System with three major barrages that divert some 48 million acres feet of water annually to the 14 main canal commands in the province. Sindh is one of the poorest regions of the country, and 56 percent of household income in Sindh comes from agriculture, directly or indirectly. The project covers over 1.8 million of irrigated land, benefiting over 600,000 farm-households or over 3.6 million people.

WB Country Director Rachid Benmessaoud said that the additional financing would help increase agricultural productivity, employment and incomes in more than 30 percent of the irrigated area in the province.”

The project will cover rehabilitation of key hydraulic infrastructure, main and branch canals, and distributaries and minors that were covered under the scope of the original project, but could not be undertaken because of cost escalation and impact of successive 2010 and 2011 floods. It will also address systemic issues of the irrigation and drainage sector leading to its sustainability in the long run.