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Workshop on
"Formation of Farmer Water User Communities"
10 September 2015 at Raffle Hotel Le Royale

 

Introduction


The Central Project Management Unit (CPMU) had organized a half-day workshop on "Formation of Farmer Water User Communities", on 10 September 2015 at the Raffle Hotel Le Royale starting from 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. A total of 52 participants drawn from the CPMU, Provincial Project Management Units (PPMUs), Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM), Provincial Department of Water Resources and Meteorology (PDOWRAMs) and Provincial Facilitators (PFs) participated in the workshop.
The workshop was conducted with three distinct objectives in mind:


1.    To introduce the Sub-decree no. 31 អនក្រ-បកdated 12.03.2015, on the Formation, Dissolution and Role and Responsibilities of Farmer Water User Communities (FWUC) in the Kingdom of Cambodia,


2.    To inform the MOWRAM, PDOWRAM and PPMU about the EFAP-AF’s support in the formation of FWUC at the target provinces to administer the canals/embankments rehabilitated under the EFAP and EFAP-AF, and


3.    To present tentative Work Plan and clarify the deadline of EFAP-AF’s support in the Formation of FWUC.


Workshop Program


The workshop participants were welcomed by the Project Director, H.E. Vong Sandap. In his welcome remark, he briefed all the participants about the importance of the workshop. He advised them to listen and engage closely amongst themselves so that at the end of the workshop, they all would have a clear idea on the subject. At the end of his remark, he expressed his belief that the workshop would provide participants with an opportunity to get clear information and understanding about tentative work plan and timeframe for processing FWUC formation and budget plan under the EFAP-AF’s support, and also opportunity for them to give comments and get clarifications to their concerns.


Following the welcome remark, advices and information provided by H.E. Vong Sandap, the workshop was opened for a total of four consecutive working sessions as below:    


1.    Presentation on objectives of the workshop (by Mr. Ieng Somonea, Food Security and M&E Specialist),
2.    Presentation on tentative work plan for the Formation of Farmer Water User Communities under EFAP-AF’s support, (by Mr. Ieng Somonea),
3.     Presentation on number of FWUCs to be formed in each target province, and Budget and Activity Plans for providing training to FWUC under EFAP-AF’s support (by Mr. Ieng Somonea),
4.    Discussion on tentative work plan, number of FWUCs to be formed in each Project target province, and budget and activity plans for providing training to FWUCs under EFAP-AF’s support (facilitated by Mr. Biranchi Kumar Choudhury, Project Team Leader and Mr. Mey Ly Huot, Deputy Director General, MOWRAM, and chaired by H.E. Vong Sandap, Project Director).


The majority of participants from PDOWRAMs expressed their concerns due to the fact that the formations of FWUCs are to be done during the cultivation season when most of farmers will be busy with their crop production and may not have much time to participate in the meeting and/or trainings. And therefore, they suggested to start implementation of the activity from the end of November 2015. H.E. Sandap, in his response to this suggestion, drew the attention of the participants to the Project closing date i.e. 31 December 2015, and told that the implementation of the activity cannot be postponed. He advised the participants to put their best efforts to implement this activity, reminding them that this is their last chance to get support from EFAP-AF on the FWUC formation in their provinces.


A representative from PDOWRAM, Kampong Speu (KPS), queried about forming a new FWUC in place of the existing one as it is not working due to the death of the  FWUC chairman and that some families of the FWUC’s members have moved to live in other places. In this case, H.E Vong Sandap and Mr. Mey Ly Huot suggested that it would be better to just strengthen the existing FWUC rather than forming a new one, with H.E. Vong Sandap adding that the project will consider its support for the strengthening the existing FWUC. As the list showed no proposal for formation of FWUC from Kampong Cham (KPC) and as KPC has two embankments rehabilitated under EFAP-AF, Mr. Biranchi Kumar Choudhury inquired with the PDOWRAM, KPC about it. The Representative from PDOWRAM, Kampong Cham (KPC) said that he will discuss with his supervisors on the possibility of FWUC formation for his province before sending proposal to the CPMU, and that PDOWRAM, KPC will decide on it very soon.


After a long discussion on the number of FWUCs to be formed and budget and activity plans for providing training to FWUC in each target provinces facilitated by Mr. Biranchi and Mr. Mey Ly Huot and led by H.E. Vong Sandap, it was concluded that the total number of FWUCs proposed to be formed have been increased from 8 to 12. A total of 4FWUCs was proposed to be included in the workshop by representatives from PDOWRAM, Oddar Meanchey (OMC) and PDOWRAM, Takeo (TAK) in addition to their initial proposals.
The detail numbers of FWUCs proposed to be formed to administer the irrigation canals rehabilitated under the EFAP-AF are shown in the table below.


Table: Number of FWUCs Suggested for the Target Provinces


It was agreed in the workshop that the number of FWUCs proposed to be formed could also be increased after the workshop depending on the feasibility in each Project target province.

Conclusion


The workshop was very interactive and participatory; there were many useful questions, concerns, responses, clarifications, and recommendations on formation of FWUCs in each project target province.
All the of participants understand clearly about the purpose of the workshop. PDOWRAMs got to know about the initiation of formations of FWUCs, need for submitting the proposals quickly to the CPMU (not later than 17 September 2015) and need for completing the activity by the end of October 2015. At the end of the discussion, both MOWRAM and PDOWRAMs expressed their sincere thanks to the Project for all the supports provided by the Project so far and also for this particular FWUC formation support.


Before closing the workshop, H.E. Project Director expressed his agreements to the proposed FWUC formation and training work plans as discussed. He also expressed his thanks to all the participants for their valuable time for participating in the workshop and giving many useful inputs and recommendations particularly for identifying the number of FWUCs to be formed. His thanks were also for efforts they had continually contributed to the EFAP and EFAP-AF.