Irrigation Development and Management
H.E. Veng Sakhon, Co-chair of TWGAW and Secretary of State,
 Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology
On the Occasion
The First Cambodian Development Cooperation Forum
CDC, 19th to 20 June 2007

-    Excellency Chairman, Senior Minister and Minister of Economic and Finance;
Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, on behalf of H.E. Minister of Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM) and Co-Chair of Technical Working Group on Agriculture and Water, I have a great honor and pleasure to participate in a today special events with Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen and have a great opportunity to present a report on the progress of irrigation development and management in Cambodia to the first Cambodian Development Cooperation Forum.

Taking this precious opportunity, I would also like to express my sincere thank and gratitude to all external development partners in providing assistances to these important sectors, agriculture and water.

As you are aware that Management of water resources is a “cross-cutting” issue, because water is an essential input to many sectors of the Nation’s economy, society, and environment. The SEDP-II, Royal Government’s Rectangular Strategy, NSDP 2006-2010, and National Poverty Reduction Strategy 2003-2005 have pointed out the numbers of water-related activities. Many of these activities are under the responsibility of other line ministries. MOWRAM’s mandate is required to take leadership and closely collaborate with other Royal Government agencies and other agencies related. Aspects of this requirement are the recent established Technical Working Group on Agriculture and Water, and the linkage between MOWRAM and the CNMC.

To give effect to the Ministry’s Mission and the Royal Government’s Rectangular Strategy (2006-2010), MOWRAM has focused on five principal areas of works such as (i) water resources management and development;(ii) flood and drought management; (iii) water-related legislation and regulation; (iv) water resources information management; (v) administration, management, and human resources development.

Indeed, in order to promote Cambodian economic development growth through the enhancement of agricultural production, the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM), in close collaboration with TWGAW, has set up several goals for the Development of Agriculture and Water Sector. The following goals are: (i) A Medium Term Strategy for Agriculture and Water is in place, supported by river basin plans in selected key basins; (ii) Farmers of irrigable cropland are better able to manage water, over an area that is increasing by at least 20,000 ha/year; (iii) Farmers of predominantly rain-fed cropland are better able to manage water, over an area that is increasing by at least 20,000 ha/year; (iv) An integrated approach to water resources management and development is in use.

The Rectangular Strategy establishes a commitment by the Royal Government of Cambodia to extend water management in support to agricultural development, in particular in irrigation sector development. Water for agriculture is given high priority, and five policy points are stated (i) to provide farmers with the quantity and quality of water they need; (ii) to promote the rehabilitation and construction of irrigation, drainage, and flood management infrastructure; (iii) to promote the development and extension of appropriate water management technologies that are particularly suited to rain-fed agricultural areas; (iv) to strengthen and expand Farmer Water User Communities; (v) to minimize the impact on the water resources caused by the uses of chemical substances in the agricultural production.

Based on National Strategic Development Plan 2006-2010; National Poverty Reduction Strategy, Royal Government's Strategic Framework for Decentralization and Deconcentration reform and existing MAFF and MOWRAM strategies, a proposed Medium Term Strategy for Agriculture and Water (2006-2010) has been formulated by joint donors and members of TWGAW. It was approved by two Ministers, Minister of MAFF and MOWRAM on 30th March 2007.

To achieve this medium term strategy, it incorporates five main program areas: (i) The Institutional Capacity Building and Management and Support Program for Agriculture and water Resources; (ii) The Food Security Support Program; (iii) The Agricultural and Agri-business; (iv) The Water Resources, Irrigation and Land Management Program, and (v) Agricultural and Water resources and Land Management Program.

Following MOWRAM's mandate, coordination and cooperation among line ministries and External Development Partners, MOWRAM has attained the remarkable achievements as follows:

  • Law on Water Resources Management has recently been adopted by the National Assembly on 22 May 2007;

  • Numbers of Sub-decrees have been drafted and will be proceeded to inter-ministerial meetings for comments and discussion prior to submitting to the Council of Ministers for approval;

  • Circulars, Declarations (Prakas) have been prepared and enforced for the purpose of proper management, operation and maintenance of irrigation systems;

  • Medium Term Strategy on Agriculture and Water has been jointly formulated, approved and promulgated by the two ministries, the MAFF and MOWRAM;

  • With the support of various External Development Partners and Government Counterpart Fund and National budget,  253 schemes in different scales were rehabilitated and constructed from year 1999 to 2006 in which Irrigation systems can secure water for rice cultivation over the area of 716,453 ha (32% of total rice cultivation area), Flood control dikes can be protected over the area of 130,550 ha and Sea Protection Dikes (Polders) can be protected from sea intrusion to the cultivable area over 18,390 ha. More than Seventy six million US Dollars (more than USD76 million) have been used for rehabilitation;

  • More than 500,000 ha of rice affected area  were  intervened by pumps through various government agencies to fight to the drought which is yearly occurred and seriously affected to the agricultural production;   

- Excellencies, Distinguished guest, Ladies and gentlemen,

Hence, in order to achieve further steps under the framework of above mention Government policies and strategy, especially Medium Term Strategy on Agriculture and Water, MOWRAM are being concentrated on:

  • To continue working with the External Development Partners to fulfil the completion of remaining parts (downstream) of irrigation systems and theirs facilities and to implement the projects;

  • To continue the implementation of irrigation policy on Participatory Irrigation Management and Development and Irrigation Management and Transfer;

  • To allocate the national budget for Operation and Management;

  • To create more possible water sources and increase water storage capacity to fight the drought;

  • To promote the project implementation with application of the new concept on IWRM, and based on the results of River Basin Management and Water Use Study;

  • To enforce Law on Water Resources Management and to promote the formulation of sub-decrees and legal instruments to support the water resources development and management;

  • To strengthen the capacity of government officials to better management and development on the field of water resources including law enforcement;

  • To implement the Principal Statement under the framework of Medium Term Strategy on Agriculture and Water;

  • To continue to coordinate and cooperate with and appeal for External Development Partners to continue to support and participate in water resources development and management.

Once again, I would like to express my profound thank and gratitude to our friend countries and External Development Partners who have always considered and supported in providing assistances to this important sector which contributes mainly to the poverty reduction of the people in the rural area.

Finally, I would like to extend my sincere thank and gratitude to Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen for your kind attention and wish you good health and succeed in your mission.

Thank you!      


Power Poit Presentation

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