To the editor
Your reporting of Oxfam's irrigation work in Takeo in the Phnom Penh Post
(Feb 10 23,1995) is much appreciated, but it is incomplete in one major respect.
The project work described was implemented by the Royal government's Provincial
Office of Hydrology (POH) through the Kiriwong District Office, with support
from Oxfam. This support takes the form of technical advice, training and
funding for construction materials and salary supplements. Potential project are
jointly considered by POH, the district and Oxfam's advisor, taking into account
the interest and participation of the farming communities.
most of the credit must be given to the district officials and POH, including
its staff member Tong Siv My. His example shows the potential abilities of
government staff given the right encouragement.
Another example of the
sort of project which works very well is briefly mentioned as a "smaller
reservoir on the other side of the hill" in your article. The idea for
rehabilitation of this reservoir, An Dong Tor, came from a training on
participatory rural appraisal conducted with the village people. The proposal
was passed onto POH, which planned and built it with the support of district
staff, the villagers and Oxfam. The cost of the construction for new outlet
structure, a spillway and repair of the earth embankment was $11,000, to serve
an irrigated area of 300 hectares.
On a recent field trip, I learned that
by using the water stored by this reservoir, the farmers had saved their rice
crop during the recent drought. The success of this project is due to the
farming community working together with POH. The Sustainability of the project
will come from farmers managing the use of the water and to organize maintenance
of the reservoir and irrigation system.
- Jeremy Okelford, Water
Resources Coordinator, Oxfam.