Promoting PIM development, ensuring high and sustainable performance of irrigation systems
Dr. Cao Duc Phat
Minister of MARD
In the past many decades, the Vietnam Government and people have greatly invested in multipurpose water resources systems for conservation of environment, water resources, socio-economic development and sustainable rural development.
However, as reported by the department of water resources, the performance of the irrigation systems are low, as compared to the investment; many systems have been badly deteriorated. There are several reasons for this, the most important one is a lack of appropriate policy and management institution, especially lack of farmer participation in the management of irrigation systems.
By the early 1990s, participatory management programs in many countries had demonstrated that water users could successfully play a major role in operating and maintaining irrigation systems.
In Vietnam, since the early development of the country the Vietnamese people had traditionally contributed to the construction of water resources infrastructure to mitigate natural disasters for production and social development. In recent years, with the strong support of the government, donors and NGOs several PIM models have been piloted in all three regions of the country. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has issued many documents on PIM, creating a legal corridor and opportunities for PIM development. PIM is considered as a prerequisite in irrigation structure investment: “Investment on structures should be carried out together with establishment of a management organization including PIM. Implementation of investment projects including those funded by loans from external funding agencies should only be fund-disbursed after appropriate management organizations, ensuring satisfactory farmer participation (institutional arrangement), is set up”.
However the establishment and operation of water user associations (WUAs) or water user groups (WUGs) with PIM approach have faced many constrains and difficulties due to a lack of capacity and experience on how to pursue PIM approach in Vietnam circumstance. Therefore MARD issued a decision on the establishment of PIM center, under VIWRR on 22 of December 2004 in order to promote PIM research, consultancy for PIM development in Vietnam.
For the center to fulfill its duty, VIWRR has mobilized many PIM experienced experts and staffs to work for the center. At present the center has more than 80% of its staff have post graduate degree.
At present PIM center is the first center doing research and consultancy on PIM so will face many difficulties in its activities. Therefore, the center need support form related organizations to successfully carry out its duties.
With its excellent staff, experienced experts, I do believe that the Center for Participatory Irrigation Management, under the direct leadership of VIWRR, will well cooperate with related organizations, international institutions, NGOs, to successfully carry out its duties of promoting PIM development in Vietnam, contributing high and sustainable performance of irrigation systems.