Restoring Kampong Thom's Irrigation Canals for Agriculture

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Restoring Kampong Thom's Irrigation Canals for Agriculture

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

Helping Communities Find a Balance: Canal Project is Promoting Economic Growth and Sustainable Agricultural Development
Reliefweb -
October 3, 2019

Communities in Kampong Thom province are on the frontlines in the battle against the climate crisis. Despite social and economic growth in this region of Cambodia, erratic drought and flooding have devastated agricultural communities for the better part of a decade, stunting sustainable development. In response to growing concerns regarding climate change and agricultural development, a government-backed initiative has worked with local communities in this region to rehabilitate irrigation systems. The project, Strengthening Resilient Livelihoods (SRL), aims to reduce reliance on seasonal weather patterns by ensuring sustainable and reliable access to water for agricultural households.

In a conversation with Commune Chief, Thuo Seng from the Baray district, he described how the rehabilitated system of canals supports approximately 500 hectares of farmland. Since the project’s completion, farming land in his commune has proven more productive, more economically viable, and less labour intensive.

Keo Naro from Thnol Jeat village in the Baray District is a member of the local “Water User Group.” Managed by a team of leaders (including a deputy leader and cashier) the primary mandate of the group is to provide water division assistance and skill development programmes to the community. The Water User Group also facilitates community conflict resolution, manages infrastructural maintenance, and provides education on water management protocol. There are 30 members in the Water User Group in Naro’s village, most of whom are women.

“Before there was no canal system built in this area to irrigate water properly, but now we can provide regulated irrigation block by block to the lower farmland areas,” explained Naro. ... growth-and
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