References | Asia & Pacific

Rural Village Water Resources Management Project Phase III (RVWRMP)


Natural Resource Management, Water Sector Services, Agriculture, Employment, Health, Environment and Climate Change, Fund Management, Gender Equality, Civil Society, Land Administration, Local Government and Decentralisation, Forestry, Natural Resource Management, Good Governance and Public Administration

Start date

End date

Narrative Description of Project:

The Overall Objective was ‘Improved health and reduced multidimensional poverty within the project working area’. The project was focused on rural development based on Water Resources Development, WASH, disaster risk management and agriculture-based livelihood activities.

Result areas are in brief:

Result Area #1: Institutionalised community capacity to construct and maintain community managed water supply and adopt appropriate WASH technologies and sanitation and hygiene behaviour

Result Area #2: Improved and sustainable nutrition, food security and sustainable income at community level through water resources based livelihoods development

Result Area #3: Increased resilience to disasters and climate change as well as promotion of climate change mitigation and adaptation

Result Area #4: GoN institutionalised capacity to continue integrated water resources planning and support to communities in implementing and maintaining WASH and livelihood activities

The Project supported rural WASH and livelihood schemes within the domain of local government. The overall approach of the project was to support the planning and implementation cycle of the local government at different levels, by providing technical assistance, capacity building and investment funds to the result areas. It was rural development through a water focus – with most activities, be they agriculture, renewable energy, or WASH, having a link to water.

The special focus for the Project was supporting and strengthening the operations of the WASH coordination structures in the Rural Municipalities. Water Use Master Plans were developed and used as an entry point to the Project Activities (and these take into account the available water sources and potential uses). In addition, where possible there was an emphasis on Multiple Use Systems for maximising the benefits of water.

Livelihoods Development in RVWRMP focused on improved nutrition and food security in the communities, through extensive support to home-garden development and nutrition awareness campaigns. Furthermore, locations with high potential for use of water supply for irrigation or better market and credit access, received advanced livelihood support to agriculture and enhanced competitiveness. Commercial agriculture activities through cash crop production of pulses vegetables, fruit, spices and fibre products are encouraged. Although the main objective of the home gardens was the provision of nutritious food to the family, we observed that many farmers also sell small quantities of their production on the local markets or to neighbours in order to get cash. These sales may constitute around 20-30% of their total production, depending on the season. All interventions in agriculture were climate smart and aims at sustainable productivity from an environmental, social and economic perspective.

The advanced-level livelihood activities were supported in close collaboration with Cooperative development. These activities included for instance micro-hydro end-use promotion and agricultural value chain development, contract-farming arrangements between producer groups and the Cooperatives as well as developing support services for value chain development (such as agro-vet services, extension, inputs and credits). Cooperatives serve as an important microfinance centre, providing secure banking services and small loans, they also support operation and maintenance of rural infrastructure and community resilience, and establishment of sustainable agricultural production. They were given considerable capacity building by the project staff to improve their services and their competitiveness on the market.

All the water supply schemes and the agriculture-based livelihood activities had disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation activities embedded as appropriate in the scheme design and implementation. In addition capacity building was provided to the Rural Municipalities on disaster risk reduction and planning for disaster management. The Municipalities allocated budgets for improved design and technology options for those areas suffering from low rainfall and source depletion. Cooperatives also provided financial back-up in cases of disaster.

Major efforts were put in the capacity development and creating relationships and dialogue with the rural municipalities. This included preparing MOUs, providing accounting and fiscal responsibility training, running 'Women as Decision-Makers' workshops to focus on gender-budgeting, etc.

A Human Rights Based Approach and Gender equality and social inclusion (HRBA&GESI) were guiding principles of the project implementation. Long-term sustainability of the planned investments and supported institutions were given special attention, taking into account the very real risks of climate change and natural disasters. These were supported via community level facilitation and the Step By Step Guidelines for the community organisations.

RVWRMP III was one of the few projects and implementers that built up experience with the new Rural Municipalities.

The European Commission provided a further 20 mEur in delegated funding via the MFA Finland under the Development Cooperation Instrument, along with corresponding increased funding from the GoN and rural municipalities and users.

The total project budget was approximately 70,1 MEUR – including implementation funds from MFA, EU, GoN and local governments, and beneficiaries. However, by the end of FY07, the total expenditures exceeded the revised budget and amounted to EUR 72 MEUR, due to the increased contributions by local governments and beneficiaries – a clear sign of ownership.