Monday, 16 December 2013

Completion of ToT-2 Technical Courses

The officers of Punjab Irrigation Department, Agriculture Department and PIDA attended the Training of Trainers (Technical) Courses in Hotel Best Western organized by JICA. The irrigation and water management experts delivered lectures in the courses and apprised the participants about the achievements regarding the introduction of water saving technologies under Strengthening Irrigated Agriculture through Participatory Irrigation Management (SIAP) Project.
The resource persons especially focused on the techniques of dispute resolutions, equitable water management, participatory approaches for the construction & lining of watercourses as well as the settlement of issues regarding Abiana collection.
The trainees actively participated in the group works during the training sessions and appreciated the efforts of PIDA and JICA to enhance their professional capacity. It is expected that that the participants will be better able serve the farming community.

Dengue Eradication Campaign

On the direction of Chief Minister Punjab, PIDA celebrated Anti Dengue Days at headquarters as well as in field offices. The General Manager (TM) Afzal Anjum Toor headed the anti dengue activities while all other officers and staff participated. The staff was apprised about the effects of dengue on human health and the safety measures to remain safe. The staff also participated in the anti dengue walk lead by Managing Director PIDA.  
The staff ensured its cooperation to keep the environment clean and putting of efforts to completely eradicate the dengue virus.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Participation of Chairman PIDA in TOT-2

The Minister for Irrigation Punjab/Chairman PIDA Mian Yawar Zaman has advised the officers to facilitate the farming community by improving their professional capacity. This will help ensure the water supply in tail portions as well as its efficient use, he further added. 

He was addressing the officers of PIDA and Agriculture Department who were attending the Training of Trainers (ToT-2) Workshop organized by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The workshop was also attended by the master trainers of PIDA and JICA's Training Specialist Mr. Takashi Fujisaki. 

The Minister said that the Punjab government was providing all necessary resources for the better capacity building of local officers so that they could be able to resolve the water related problems of farmers at their door steps. He appreciated the commitment of JICA in improving the professional capacity of local officers. He eulogized the practical based methodology of training program and declared it a success when it would be practiced in the field. He further advised the participants to contribute for the betterment of rural economy besides water management. He informed that under JICA's capacity building program, around 100 field officers will be trained who will further impart training to the field staff and farmers regarding latest water saving technologies as well as the technical and management aspects of participatory irrigation management system.    

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Regular Monitoring of Irrigation Infrastructure During Flood Season

Managing Director PIDA/Secretary Irrigation Punjab Captain (R) Zahid Saeed has said that officers as well as field staff of irrigation department is on high alert during the current flood season; adding that irrigation infrastructure is being regularly monitored to avoid the havoc of floods.
It was stated by him while addressing a departmental farewell party at the committee room of Punjab Irrigation & Drainage Authority (PIDA) in honor of Chief Engineer (Drainage & Flood) Chaudhary Bashir Ahmad Zahid and General Manager (TM) Mian Maqbool Ahmad. Both the officers have stood retired on reaching the age of superannuation. Besides others, Additional Secretary (Technical) Khalid Hussain Qureshi, General Manager (Operations-PIDA) Muhammad Younus Bhatti, Secretary PIDA Afzal Anjum Toor and Director SPRU Muhammad Amar Khan were also present in the farewell ceremony.
The secretary acknowledged the services of the both the retiring officers and asked other officers to work hard to resolve the public grievances and water related problems on priority basis. He urged the irrigation officers to bring behavioral changes in their staff and perform their duties in the best interest of the public. He said that irrigation department and PIDA were established as the service delivery organizations to facilitate the farmers at their doorstep. He added that the irrigation department was efficiently performing its role during the current flood season to protect the huge irrigation infrastructure so that the human beings, livestock as well as crops could be saved from the gushing waters. He further told that irrigation department has established good coordination and rapport with the district administration and other allied departments to cope with the effects of flood in Punjab. Later, gifts were given to the retiring officers by the officers and staff of irrigation department.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Joint Monitoring Meeting on PISIP-SIAP Projects

The 11th Joint Monitoring meeting held in the committee room of Irrigation Department, chaired by Managing Director PIDA Captain (Rtd) Zahid Saeed to observe the progress on PISIP-SIAP activities regarding water saving technologies and irrigation sector reforms program.
The meeting was attended by the Chief Advisor JICA Mr. Norio Kyono, Training Specialist Mr. Takashi Fujisaki, Technical Advisor JICA Muhammad Aslam Qureshi, General Manager (TM) Mian Maqbol Ahmad, General Manager (OP) Muhammad Younas Bhatti, General Manager (Finance) Malik Muhammad Salim, Secretary PIDA Afzal Anjum Toor, Project Director PISIP Muhammad Ahmad Usmani and other concerned officers.
The Chief Advisor JICA, while briefing the project activities told that on the successful completion of water saving technologies, the component has been closed while the capacity building program for PIDA and Agriculture Department officers is underway. He told that the purpose to launch the capacity building program was to develop, improve the training material and operational references of FOs and AWBs. While describing the project objectives, he emphasized upon the successful introduction/promotion of water saving technologies in the main pilot areas of the project.
The meeting also reviewed the reasons of delay in FOs elections in LCC (W) AWB and decided to conduct the same as early as possible. The MD PIDA directed the chief executives of LCC (W) and Bahawalnagar AWBs to complete the elections of Jalwala and Pabbarwala FOs without further delay and the General Manager (TM) will directly monitor the elections process without any change in schedule.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

FOs Elections in LCC(West) AWB Faisalabad

The Managing Director PIDA, Capt. (R) Zahid Saeed has directed the Chief Executive Lower Chenab Canal (West) Area Water Board to complete the election process till July 31, 2013 for the formation of 67 Farmers Organizations. 
It was directed by him while presiding over the 12th Joint Monitoring Meeting to review the progress on Punjab Irrigation System Improvement Project (PISIP) and Strengthening Irrigated Agriculture through Participatory Irrigation Management (SIAP) Project. Besides many others, the meeting was attended by General Manager (TM) PIDA Mian Maqbool Ahmad, General Manager (OP) Muhammad Younas Bhatti, Project Director PISIP Muhammad Ahmad Usmani and the Chief Advisor Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Mr. Noryo Kyono, Training Specialist Mr. Takashi Fujisaki, Technical Adviser Muhammad Aslam Qureshi and National Coordinator Amar Bukhari. 
MD PIDA said that the elections of Khal Panchayts at water course level should be completed by the end of current month so as the further process for the formation of FOs could be started earlier. While discussing in the meeting, he urged PIDA officers to make efforts to curtails water theft with the help of FOs. He further directed to disseminate the latest water saving technologies which have been introduced by the experts of JICA.  

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Briefing to Minister Irrigation Punjab

The Punjab Government will ensure the effective participation of farming community in Irrigation system of Punjab so as the objective of equitable distribution of water and increase in agro production be achieved.
It was stated by the Minister for Irrigation Punjab Mian Yawar Zaman while visiting the headquarter of Punjab Irrigation & Drainage Authority (PIDA). He was also briefed in PIDA office regarding its functioning and achievements. Besides many other concerned officers, the General Manager (Operation) PIDA Muhammad Younas Bhatti, General Manager (Finance) Malik Muhammad Salim, Secretary PIDA Afzal Anjum Toor, Deputy GM (Op) Mian Abdul Rasheed, Deputy GM (Social Mobilization) Syed Shaiq Hussain Abidi were also present in the meeting. 
Secretary PIDA while briefing the Minister told that PIDA has given representation to farmers in five main canal systems by establishing the farmers organizations (FOs) and Area Water Boards (AWBs). He informed the Minister that there have been set up 71 FOs in the AWB of Lower Chenab Canal (East) Faisalabad, 52 FOs in the AWB of Lower Bari Doab Canal Sahiwal, 90 FOs in the AWB of Dera Jaat Canal, Dera Ghazi Khan and 69 FOs in the AWB of Bahawalnagar. Similarly, the election process for the formation of 67 FOs in the AWB of Lower Chenab Canal (West) Faisalabad is underway and all the FOs will be constituted till the end of July 2013. 
The Irrigation Minister appreciated the role of PIDA in introducing the latest water saving technologies and urged to disseminate their outcomes among the common farmers of Punjab. He also eulogized the assistance of Japan International Co operation Agency (JICA) for the implementation of "Strengthening Irrigated Agriculture through Participatory Irrigation Management Project (SIAP). 
Mian Yawar Zaman urged the PIDA officers to mobilize the farming community for paying Abiana so as the government could have funds for the repair and maintenance of irrigation infrastructure. He further said that the Chief Minister's vision of Good Governance could only come true when we shall perform our responsibilities in transparent and efficient manners. He further added that government will resolve the problems of public sector employees on priority basis. While addressing the field officers, he advised to resolve the problems of farming community at their door step.  

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Review of Irrigation Sector Reforms in Punjab

Pakistan is one of those countries which have been honored with countless blessing of nature. The country has a lot of accumulations of natural resources; while on the other hand, it has a variety of four seasons which help the population to enjoy all the tastes of natural lifestyle. The most beautiful gift of nature for this part of land is its fertile fields which are irrigated through a colossal network of irrigation. This contiguous network is helping to fulfill the water needs of agriculture and livestock in full swing even after more than hundred years after its inception.
The idea to develop irrigation system in the subcontinent was to provide water for the purpose of agriculture in cultivated lands as well as to make the barren lands fertile. For this purpose, local cultivators were provided the pieces of land on lease in different areas with the condition that they will be bound to develop the infertile lands within a set period of time.
The irrigation system in Punjab has been set up under a well thought-out plan to provide water for agronomy. This system has been highly efficient for decades but unfortunately, with the passage of time, it has become insufficient to fulfill the foodstuff needs of growing population in Pakistan. One of the primary reasons of system’s inefficiency has been considered the lack of resources. Keeping in view the ground realities, the experts decided to include the stakeholder of irrigation system in its management. The government considered the matter as its priority and the then Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in 1997 decided to make the farming community an integral part of irrigation management. It was a milestone to strengthen the concept of public private partnership in the rural areas of Pakistan. Muhammad Sahahbaz Sahrif got the Punjab Irrigation and Drainage Authority Act 1997 passed through Assembly and founded a new organization named Punjab Irrigation and Drainage Authority (PIDA). The participation of beneficiaries in water management is not the new occurrence in Pakistan this experience has proved its results in many countries of the world. The Turkish, Egyptian, Mexican and Japanese models of participatory irrigation management are some of the successful examples in this regard. It would not be out of question to state that any program cannot produce desired result without the inception of its beneficiaries. The governmental decision of participatory irrigation management was highly eulogized by the farming community of Punjab with the declaration to prove the government trust bestowed upon it.
Under the spirit of irrigation sector reforms program in Punjab, PIDA established Pilot Area Water Board at Lower Chenab Canal (East) Circle Faisalabad where 85 Farmer Organizations were established in 2005 at distributary canal level equipped with required capacity. These organizations were also provided with institutional support in technical, management and revenue collection aspects of irrigation mechanism. These organizations showed remarkable results in curtailing water theft and the dispute resolutions of farmers at their doorsteps. Similarly, the government also got rid of huge administrative expenditures on the maintenance of these water channels. It resulted because the farmer organizations were also given the mandate to collect water charges from water users and maintain their canals on self-help basis. The pilot farmer organizations completed their three years tenure successfully and later on new farmer organizations were elected for another term of three years and performed their functions as per rules and regulations.
The PIDA authorities regularly monitor the functioning of farmer organizations which helps in framing the further policy regarding participatory irrigation management model as well as to enhance their professional capacity.
After the experiences of pilot area water board, the government decided to enhance the irrigation sector reforms program and established 67 farmer organizations in Lower Chenab Canal (West) Area Water Board Faisalabad, 69 in Bahawalnagar Area Water Board and 52 in Lower Bari Doab Canal Area Water Board, Sahiwal. Similarly, government especially focused on the southern areas of Punjab and given participation to farmers in irrigation management by establishing 120 organizations in the area water board of Dera Jaat Canal Circle, Dera Ghazi Khan. These organizations are responsible for the maintenance of their canals, equitable distribution of water, collection of water charges and dispute resolutions. The farmer organizations have ushered in a new revolution in the rural areas; they have developed a sense of ownership and pride among the stakeholders with the realization that the irrigation system had been set up in the interest of farming community which is serving to meet the food needs of the whole of Pakistan.      Various policy makers have termed the Chief Minister Shahbaz Shirif’s role as pivotal in ensuring farmers’ participation in irrigation management and observed that the Punjab government has done a marvelous job by organizing the rural community through the platform of farmer organizations. It helped in reconstruction and rehabilitation of canal infrastructure. Government reforms have also made necessary capacity building of the rural population. 
It is pertinent to mention here that government is well aware to enhance and maintain the efficiency of irrigation network according to changing needs of time. In this regard, Lower Chenab Canal Rehabilitation Project has recently been completed with the cost of Rs. 17000 millions. Under this project, lining work of main and branch canals in selective areas has also been completed.  Similarly, Punjab Irrigation System Improvement Project (PISIP) is fast underway in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to improve the distributary canals in the selective areas of Faisalabad, Bahawalnagar and Dera Ghazi Khan Canal Zones. This project also has helped to train the local human resource involved in the betterment of irrigation infrastructure and the introduction of modern water saving techniques. An amount of Rs. 6000 million will be incurred under this project. On the other hand, Punjab has the oldest irrigation system known as Lower Bari Doab Canal which is being improved and rehabilitated with the financial cooperation of Rs. 17000 million from Asian Development Bank.  The government is of the view that after the completion of these mega projects, the irrigation system of Punjab will be able to produce desired results in the supply of water up to tail ends of distributaries and the agro production will also be enhanced manifold.
It is expected that irrigation sector reforms program will contribute a lot in fulfilling the food needs of the whole population of the country and the dream of food autarky will be fulfilled.                              

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Capacity Building of FOs in Bahawalnagar Area Water Board

The training program for the capacity building of 68 Farmers Organizations is underway in Bahawalnagar Area Water Board. The training sessions are being conducted for the Management Committees and staff of Farmers Organization separately. As per training program, the target of 68 FOs management committees will be achieved till the end of December, 2012. Likewise, all the staff of FOs will also be achieved till the same date.
The General Manager (TM) Ch. Bashir Ahmad Zahid has directed the training staff to especially focus on the Technical, Revenue and Management aspects of the canal operations. He also directed the concerned staff to initiate the training process of FOs Standing Committees during January 2013.