The proposed Balochistan Water Resources Development Project is located across six districts in Balochistan in the Zhob, Kacchi plain, Dasht and Hingol river basins. The project will improve land and water resources, agricultural production and farm income of 10,000 rural households by (i) bringing 10,000 ha of new land under cultivation; (ii) improving 20,000 ha of irrigated land; and (iii) protecting 1,500 ha of watersheds. The project will (a) construct new small dams and flood irrigation (spate) systems; (b) improve 300 km of canals, drains, and karezes (subsurface water channels); (c) develop a satellite-based water information system; and (d) build capacity of the local communities, the Irrigation and Power Department (IPD), and the Agriculture and Cooperative Department (ACD).
The project impact will be the increased farm income in the project area. The project outcome will be the increased agricultural production. The project outputs will be (i) improved land and water resource management; (ii) participating communities have better access to water for domestic uses; and (iii) improved capacity of the communities, IPD, and ACD in water management.
The main project components include works ($92 million), capacity building ($12 million), and project management ($11 million).
PROJECT RATIONALE AND LINKAGE TO COUNTRY/REGIONAL STRATEGY
Pakistan has to increase food production by 40-50% to meet the needs of a projected population of 221 million by 2025. ADB's interim country partnership strategy (2014-2015) emphasizes revitalizing agriculture for food security and poverty alleviation. ADB's midterm review of Strategy 2020 recognizes infrastructure and agriculture as the main focus area and proposes a 10-point program on ADB strategic directions in 2014-2020. The country assistance program evaluation, 2002 2012 assessed Pakistan's agriculture and natural resource sector less than successful, but it evaluated the program relevant in terms of its alignment with government and ADB strategies, and satisfactory for its strategic positioning. The evaluation is viewed as appropriate in ADB's commitment to support Pakistan in responding to the need to rehabilitate and expand the irrigation system.
Of the 13 million Balochistan population, over 70% live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Agriculture accounts about two-third of the provincial domestic product, 60% of the labor force, and supports several industries by providing raw materials. However, the agricultural sector suffers from water shortage, frequent drought, and poor agricultural practices, which expose the rural communities to high vulnerability especially women and children who suffer from inadequate domestic water supply. The Balochistan Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper emphasizes the need to expand cropped area, rehabilitate agricultural infrastructure, and reduce vulnerability to drought.
Balochistan's water resources comprise groundwater (4%), water share from Indus Basin (39%), and floodwater (57%). The groundwater is over-exploited and requires a comprehensive reassessment. Balochistan's Indus water share remains underutilized and needs appropriate policy for optimum benefits. Floodwater has further development potential with only 40% of the floodwater resources being utilized and 60% flowing down to the sea. The perennial irrigation (including canals and drains) is seriously deteriorated and requires rehabilitation.
The Balochistan Comprehensive Development Strategy (2013-2020) identifies gaps, sets priorities and associated plans to improve key sectors including agriculture and water resources. The BCDS recognizes (i) increasing water supply and reducing the demand gap, (ii) water logging and salinity, (iii) low irrigation efficiencies, (iv) groundwater mining, (v) neglected spate irrigation farming, and (vi) seawater intrusion in the coastal areas as the main agricultural development constraint. The strategy emphasizes (i) basin water management, (ii) promoting high water use efficiency, (iii) strengthening water management research, (iv) creating Balochistan Water Resources Management Authority (BWRMA), and (v) an investment requirement of PRs68,333 (equivalent $650 million) for the water sector for the strategy period. Sustainable water management in Balochistan's 14 main river basins is a key to increase food production and economic growth. A $300 million World Bank project is already helping the Government in water management in three river basins. Balochistan's integrated water resource management (IWRM) approach identifies 16 areas for improvement including water conservation and better use of surface water resources.
A sector loan is proposed to assist the Government to (i) establish the BWRMA, (ii) adopt an approved BCDS, (iii) operationalize an IWRM approach, and (iv) improve water related infrastructure. Balochistan has a draft BCDS and sector development plan. The Government intended to improve sector policy, institutional and regulatory framework, and sector investment. The proposed project will follow a river basin approach, where policy, institutional, and infrastructural improvements are important. Pakistan has experience in implementing several ADB financed projects in the sector. The IPD has been implementing an ongoing World Bank project. The four river basins will be studied and prioritized following criteria for high development potential, low security risk and return on investment, and feasible subprojects will be developed. The World Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development were consulted.
Increased agricultural production and farm income in the project area
Better land and water resource management in the project area.
ACCOUNTABILITY MECHANISM OF ADB
The Accountability Mechanism is an independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by an Asian Development Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Accountability Mechanism, they may investigate to assess whether the Asian Development Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can learn more about the Accountability Mechanism and how to file a complaint at: http://www.adb.org/site/accountability-mechanism/main
Responsible ADB Officer Sato, Noriko
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, CWRD
Irrigation Department, Government of Balochistan
Government of Balochistan
Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan