We were appointed by the Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA) to the role of project implementation consultant. Over the last five years we have worked with SIDA, the area water boards (AWBs) and farmer organisations to:
- Support them in performing their functions
- Identify priority works
- Assist with procurement of contractors
- Design and supervise construction of canal improvements
Rehabilitating Sindh’s irrigation system is a massive task. Many of the canals are on a scale comparable to the Thames in central London and they irrigate a cultivated area larger than Wales. Thousands of people depend on them for their survival. Completion of the rehabilitation of the Nara Canal – Sindh’s principal irrigation system feeder – marked a major milestone in securing the system’s future.
An intensive series of surveys and investigations was first carried out to gather data for use in design. This included topographic surveys of over 80 miles of canals, condition surveys of all existing structures, ground investigations and sediment sampling and testing.
Delivering extensive remodelling work on an operational canal without disrupting irrigation supplies was a significant challenge. Although construction was completed over two years, a huge amount of work had to be completed in a one month window each year when the canal was taken out of service for maintenance. Meticulous planning enabled the work to be done within these stringent constraints.
We also implemented an environmental and social management and monitoring system integrated with project planning, design and construction. This initiative tied in with a wider campaign to democratise the irrigation system’s management, engage water users in decision making, planning, design, project implementation, operation and maintenance, and offer employment opportunities through future maintenance and improvement.
The judges said: “This massive project engaged communities and authorities across the region to deliver a co-ordinated and well-executed project that will reinvigorate the region’s canals and irrigation systems.”