The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has decided to provide fresh loan to Bangladesh to expand a water project in south-west area that has sharply increased agriculture production and benefited around two lakh people, including landless farmers and women, says an ADB news release.
The ADB will provide a $45 million loan and Netherlands is expected to provide a grant of $7 million, to be administered by ADB, to increase the scope of the Southwest Area Integrated Water Resources Planning and Management Project, the release added.
Earlier in 2005, the ADB provided $20 million and Netherlands provided $12.5 million for the original project.
“We’ve seen considerable benefits in the project pilot areas of Narail and Chenchuri Beel already, with rice production nearly doubling and fish production rising 30 percent,” said Natsuko Totsuka, Senior Resources Specialist in ADB’s South Asia Department. “This new financing will allow us to replicate the success of the project across nine nearby areas, covering 84,000 hectares, and with a population of nearly 470,000.”
In each of the new subproject areas, support will be given to enrol farmers into water management organisations to help them better operate and maintain the water infrastructure, and develop integrated water management plans, the ADB news release mentioned.
The expanded project will also support development of skills for members of water management organisations to help them increase the productivity of their agriculture and fishing activities, and to enhance their livelihood activities. On the infrastructure side, funds will be used to renovate or build gated water retention structures and flood embankments, and to re-excavate clogged drainage and irrigation canals.
The expanded project is expected to be completed in June 2022, the release added.