FAO in Pakistan

FAO Rehabilitated One of the Largest Irrigation Systems in Sindh province


Over the past several years, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has been instrumental in a successful rehabilitation of Nara Canal, one of largest irrigation system of Sindh province.

FAO team has been working with the Sindh Planning and Development Department since 2008 to support procurement and management of contracts of the department. One of the key assignments that FAO team has been given was to transparently and accountably manage the contracting process for the Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project (WSIP). This project was launched in July 2007 with funding from the World Bank to improve the irrigation water distribution in the province. The project supports irrigation sector reforms in the province, works to modernize irrigation and drainage systems, and  assists in identifying systematic ways to deal with floods and drainage issues. Initially designed as a five-year, USD 175 million effort; the project has been recently extended by the World Bank for another five years, and an additional USD 150 million is to be added to its budget for more activities through December 2017.

To date, the project has rehabilitated the Nara irrigation system that includes 101 distributaries and minor canals, fall structures, head regulators, and various other hydraulic structures to facilitate storage and distribution of water through the area. The project has also helped develop a comprehensive 50-year Master Plan to manage the floods and drainages issues, and carry out detailed diagnostic studies for rehabilitaiton and modernization of two barrages in the province. These studies are now serving as a basis for a new project which will work to modernize Guddu Barrage.

FAO has been responsible for USD 123 million worth of procurement processes. FAO awarded contracts for five major consultancies, supervised procurement of different contracts for civil works (including Community Based Contracts), recruited staff for the project and worked with local stakeholders. To ensure transparency and accountability, FAO published all project-related documents not only on the project website, but also on the website of Transparency International Pakistan (TIP).

Various stakeholders were invited to participate in the process of procurement and awarding contracts. A comprehensive monitoring network has been put in place to ensure that information continues to be disclosed and local Farmer Organizations are involved in decision making. As a result of FAO efforts, final contract prices were lower than estimates, and farmers and stakeholders were involved in the decision making and implementation to a higher degree than in the past.

For further details, please contact:

Mahira Afzal
Communication Officer
FAO Pakistan
+92(0)346 8544197