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Irrigation

Irrigation

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.

Therefore,

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.

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