ISLAMABAD: The Government of Pakistan has signed an agreement with the World Bank for IDA credit of SDR 15.8 million (equivalent to US $ 25 million) for the Balochistan Small Scale Irrigation Project. The agreement was signed by Mr. Junaid Iqbal Ch, Acting Secretary Economic Affairs Division on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, Mr. Ahmed Bakhsh Lehri, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Balochistan on behalf of Government of Balochistan and Mr. Yousapha B. Crookes on behalf of the World Bank.
The Government of Pakistan will repay the credit in 35 years including 10 years of grace period. The credit is interest free, however service charges @ 0.75% per annum and commitment charges of 0.5% per annum on undisbursed balance will apply. Balochistan Small Scale Irrigation Project (BSSIP) will support efforts by the Government of Balochsitan to improve the management of scarce water resources in the Pishin Lora Basin.
Project activities are designed to recognize the importance of direct participation of water users and other stakeholders. Key indicators include: (i) increased surface water availability and reduced groundwater depletion; (ii) increased water productivity through a combination of engineering, management, and agricultural measures; and (iii) expanded local capacity and participation of farmers to implement similar schemes and formulate plans for sustainable water resources development and watershed management.
The project will focus in the Pishin Lora Basin in the northern part of Balochistan and it will have three components: (a) partial restoration of water storage capacity in the Bund Khushdil Khan (BKK); (b) development of small scale irrigation schemes in the Pishin Lora Basin; and (c) institutional strengthening and capacity building of the Irrigation and Power Department (IPD), water management institutions, and farmer and community organizations and further studies and preparation activities for the next phase. Improved watershed and rangeland management and on-farm water management, including introduction of high efficiency irrigation systems, will be integral components. -SANA