Afghanistan Natural Resource Management

Improving Access to Irrigation and Strengthening Water Resources Management in Afghanistan

Despite progress after long civil unrest, the rural population in Afghanistan faces high levels of food insecurity, even in years of good harvest. Improving this situation requires a dynamic agricultural sector, and irrigation development has been accorded high priority in the Government’s development agenda. The Irrigation Restoration and Development Project (IRDP) was accordingly designed and implemented in response to these issues, as a follow-up phase of the Emergency Irrigation Rehabilitation Project (EIRP). While the EIRP focused on the quick rehabilitation of dilapidated irrigation infrastructure, the IRDP was designed to cover broader aspects of water sector management, keeping irrigation as the central focus. The project aimed to increase agriculture productivity and production by assisting local communities/farmers to rehabilitate irrigation schemes, enabling the preparation of improved designs of rehabilitation and development works, and continuing capacity building for preparing and implementing irrigation/water resource development projects.