BRD launched a program to initiate a community based approach to cultural heritage preservation and safeguarding in Afghanistan. BRD has organized one day sessions for community organization members in Ningahar provinces. The aim of the session was to raise awareness and sensitize the importance’s of the culture heritage from the historic, social development and peace building prospective. They also discussed their roles and responsibilities and the roles of different stakeholders – including both national and local government institutions.
BRD successfully established 35 irrigation associations (IAs) and facilitated the official registration of all the associations with the relevant authorities based on the water law. A certificates distribution ceremony has been held in Mazar, the capital of the Balkh provinces.The key members of the newly registered association, officials from the Ministry of agriculture, ADB, provincial line departments and BRD senior management attended the ceremony.The newly established Irrigation Association will be trained and equipped knowledge and skill for for effective to effectively engaged delivering services to their community and led the participatory irrigation management at the community level.
Under BRD participatory irrigation management program, funded by the Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture under the Asian Development Bank is currently taking place in Afghanistan’s Balkh and Ningarhar province. BRD has completed the establishment of 34 Irrigation Associations (AI) and trained 90 members of the AIs and Community Development Councils (CDC) in Water Law and Water Conservation.The overall training program covers 28 associations and relevant members in the Ningarhar province and 35 associations in the Mushtaq Canal in Balkh province. The civil work component of the program deals with the repairation and designing of the irrigation structures.So far 15 irrigation structures have been identified for repairation through a joint assessment, consisting of representatives of the Agricultural ministry, BRD engineers, IAs and CDC members.
After successfully delivering the awareness raising campaign on participatory irrigation management program and the Afghanistan water law, and social mobilization of the farmers, the formation process of Irrigation Associations has been initiated in Mushtaq canal in Lawer Balkh Sub-Basin. The Irrigation Association formation will be facilitated by BRD in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and Communication Elders in each sub-canal area. BRD will support the community’s elders in the organization of a general meeting, where BRD will present to the participants the goals and objectives of the program and the potential role and responsibilities of the Irrigation Associations. In addition, a Chair will be elected, together with a Deputy Chair and cashier, through a free and fair election facilitated by BRD.
Under BRD’s social protection program 7 vulnerable youth received vocational training. Vocational training provides them with skills that secure the entry to the job market and enable them to earn sufficient income to support their families.The youth in Afghanistan experiences an inadequate services delivery. All youth who are internally displaced or newly returned are vulnerable, suffering from negative effects such as physical and mental health issues, poor education, financial uncertainty, lack of employment opportunities, social disconnection, mistrust and general insecurity.
The Balkh and Ningarhar provinces have fertile agricultural land where local farmers manage their irrigation system, established decades ago. This systems suffer due to deferred maintenance and there is a need for improvement with the aim to make irrigation less labor intensive.The Water Resources Development Investment Program (WRDIP) will support Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) to implement Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) and develop the capacity to support activities and operationalize the institutional framework established in the Water Law. Specifically, it will include organizational capacity development of MAIL for Irrigation User Association support and implementation of PIM, as well as organizational capacity development of MEW for Water User Association support and implementation of WUA activities.