Nepal: Community Irrigation Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 38417-022

ADB is supporting community-driven small-scale irrigation projects in 12 districts in Nepal. The project will promote participatory irrigation planning and management, involving the poor, women, and other disadvantaged groups. It will provide livelihood support to farmers through microfinance and other services, and build the government’s capacity for small-scale irrigation development.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Singh, Deepak Bahadur
    South Asia Department
    Request for information
  • Country
  • Modality
    • Grant
  • Sector
    • Agriculture, natural resources and rural development
Project Name Community Irrigation Project
Project Number 38417-022
Country Nepal
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 0219-NEP: Community Irrigation Project
concessional ordinary capital resources lending / Asian Development Fund US$ 24.40 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Agricultural production - Irrigation

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description The project will develop or improve small-scale irrigation systems in 12 districts in Nepal through a community-driven process targeted at the poor, women, and other disadvantaged groups. Small irrigation systems are defined as systems with less than 25 hectares of irrigation area in the hills and mountains and less than 200 hectares in the Terai plains. The participating districts were selected because of their high poverty, food insecurity and irrigation potential. They are Kanchanpur, Kailali, Dang, Kapilvastu in the Terai plains; Doti, Salyan, Rukum, Rolpa, Pyuthan in the hills; and Bajhang, Jumla, Mugu in the mountains. As the first large-scale intervention in small irrigation development in Nepal, the project will demonstrate participatory irrigation planning and management and build the capacity of all levels of the government for small-scale irrigation development. Farmers will form or strengthen existing water users associations (WUAs) to apply for project support. The project will provide support to rehabilitate and build new surface water irrigation schemes and to develop groundwater irrigation through shallow tube wells. It will also facilitate access to microfinance support and provide extension services. For farmers without access to electricity who are installing shallow tube wells, the project will connect them to the electricity network. WUAs will in turn learn to manage water more efficiently and equitably, maintain their systems, and apply improved agricultural practices.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Food security in Nepal is alarmingly low, with 49% of children under 5 years old stunted, 25% severely stunted, 13% wasted, and 3% severely wasted. The majority of small and marginal farmers cannot achieve their productivity potential since they have unreliable or no access to irrigation water and improved agricultural technology. Small farmers without irrigation include the disadvantaged Dalit, Janajati and Muslim populations who live and cultivate rain-fed land in peripheral water-scarce areas on steep slopes away from fertile and water-rich valleys in the hills and on the fringes of irrigation systems in the plains. Irrigation is key to increasing the production of staple crops to meet the growing gap between agricultural production and the needs of the expanding population and to diversifying and intensifying agriculture to increase on-farm incomes, reduce rural poverty, and increase food security. Irrigation therefore has a critical role to play in Nepal s poverty reduction and food security strategies. For individuals and households, access to irrigation reduces the severity of rural poverty by increasing (i) food production, (ii) on-farm employment, and (iii) incomes.

The project addresses the three pillars of ADB's country partnership strategy, 2010-2012: (i) broad-based and inclusive economic growth, (ii) inclusive social development, and (iii) governance and capacity building. It builds on lessons learned from past assistance in the agriculture and natural resources sector and complements the interventions of other development partners. The project supports the multisector approach advocated in ADB's Operational Plan for Sustainable Food Security, as it aims to improve water productivity, access to microfinance, and the application of improved agricultural practices. The project's interventions will be underpinned by associated capacity building at district and community levels.

Impact Agricultural income of rural poor and socially excluded groups is increased.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Poor, women, and other disadvantaged farmers in target communities intensify and diversify their agricultural practices toward higher value crops.
Progress Toward Outcome The Project was financially closed on 15 July 2018. Short term impact of the Project in terms of the Project outcome has started to become visible. Crop yields has been increased by 20 to 25% . Annual income of small and marginal farmers (per HH) has increased in the range of 75% to 96%.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

WUAs efficiently manage improved irrigation infrastructure.

Participating farmers apply improved agriculture practices and have access to microfinance.

Government capacity to plan and coordinate small-scale irrigation projects is enhanced.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The Project has successfully achieved envisioned activities and outputs. By the financial closure date, the Project added 16,741.57 ha. land under irrigation through construction and renovation/ rehabilitation of 456 irrigation sub projects (ISPs).

1.) WUAs efficiently manage improved irrigation infrastructure:

In order to enhance institutional capacity of the WUAs to manage improved irrigation infrastructures various types of training and exposures were organized. Major of them are highlighted below:

i) Water Users Associations (WUAs) of all the supported 456 ISPs are registered. The WUAs have 37% (>33%) female members.Proportional representation of DAG in membership has been complied.

ii) Pre-construction training were provided to 456 (WUAs) and training on water management plan (WMP) to 441 WUAs .The trained WUAs have already started implementation of the WMP. Of the completed ISPs, 356 (78%) WUAs have already started to collect irrigation support fund. O&M regulation of these IWUAs were endorsed through the farmer's general assembly.

2.) Participating farmers apply improved agriculture practices and have access to microfinance:

i) This activity was implemented in the ISPs of 12 districts. Farmer field school (FFS) were established in 386 ISPs and works related to Agriculture development plan (ADPs) was implemented in 145 ISPs.

ii) 13,196 farmers (11,472 female and 1,724 male) have took membership in 63 local MFIs of CIP area.

iii) Training of trainers (district level) for cereal crop seed selection, vegetable management, weed and pest control was provided to 412 ISPs.

iv) Supported for capacity building of 265 micro finance institutions (MFIs).

3.)Government capacity to plan and coordinate small-scale irrigation projects is enhanced:

This output was achieved by on-the -job training, national and international study visits for LDOs/DTOs; and regular technical training to CIP engineers as mentioned below:

i) Subprojects selection were done as per the subproject selection criteria by the village leaders. DTO coordinated the works with DADO and other district government officials through out the project implementation.

ii) Training plan was prepared for enhancing capacity of CIP engineers and sub-engineers and were trained accordingly on project design and implementation.

iii)Two training were conducted benefitting 45 district agriculture officers from 12 CIP districts.

Geographical Location Bajhang, Dang Deukhuri District, Doti, Jumla, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Kapilbastu, Mugu, Pyuthan, Rolpa, Rukum, Salyan
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples B
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects Environmental Assessment and Review Framework (EARF) guides was prepared for the environmental due diligence for the subprojects. Environmental due diligence is incorporated into the Feasibility Assessment Reports. In accordance with the EARF, there was a provision to prepare Initial Environmental Examinations for irrigation subprojects with 150 ha or more of command area. However, subproject more than 150 ha were not been demanded by the farmers.
Involuntary Resettlement There was no provision to use involuntary resettlement in the Project, as the Project's subproject selection criteria required irrigation improvement desired by the community; and WUA members voluntarily donate any small parcels of land needed for irrigation enhancement. A Resettlement Framework was prepared to ensure the compliance to the subproject selection criteria, and to clearly identify the triggers, if any, for more comprehensive safeguards (i.e. resettlement plan). Resettlement due diligence was required to be incorporated into each subproject Feasibility Assessment Report, which needed to document verification that any land required was given voluntarily, and that nobody is impoverished by the land donation. If more than 5% of anyone's total land holding was donated, the WUAs should negotiate for livelihood restoration measures with the affected party.
Indigenous Peoples Indigenous peoples (IPs) were not expected to be affected seriously or at all by the Project, whether it was through loss of livelihoods, displacements, or impacts on their social and cultural identity. Impacts on IPs were expected to be positive, as IPs living in subproject areas would be getting benefit from their access to irrigation, increased agricultural yields, improved food security and capacity building. The Project's Indigenous Peoples Planning Framework guided preparation of the subprojects to ensure equitable distribution of benefits and to promote development of IPs and ethnic minorities along with other disadvantaged groups. Feasibility Assessment Reports needed to document due diligence on IPs to ensure that there would be no adverse effects on IPs and that interventions were designed with greatest possible reduction of poverty among IPs.
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design Identification of ISPs were done through wide consultation and information dissemination to the farmers at grass root level. Communities were continually consulted at all stage of the ISPs.
During Project Implementation The Project had a Consultation and Participation Plan. This plan was prepared to ensure local ownership of each CIP subproject, ensure inclusion of all types of stakeholder groups in participation processes and benefit distribution, and to ensure dissemination of results and lessons learned to the wider community, including interested government, NGOs and civil society organizations. The socio-economic survey of each subproject flagged the households which require support to enhance their meaningful participation in the activities of the project. These groups received targeted coaching/orientation. The Project Coordination Unit analyzed each sub-project based on its socio-economic profile and suggested targets and methods for participation assistance. They also provided training support to the field teams on these aspects. In order to ensure cross learning among the Project and other relevant stakeholders, the Project Coordination Unit invited government organizations, NGOs and community-based organizations to periodic workshops to discuss project results; periodic specialized studies on specific topics such as gender, impact on poverty; and other case studies. During the inception mission, stakeholder consultation and participation plan prepared at PPTA stage was reviewed and revised and following was integrated: targeted participation actions for social preparation, community and WUA meetings, and training events from each of the safeguard documents into the plan.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services A joint venture between a nongovernment organizations and two engineering firms was fielded on 21 June 2012. The consulting joint venture is tasked to assist the project coordinating unit (PCU) in monitoring progress and providing and overseeing preparatory and implementation technical assistance. In addition, two consultants (procurement specialist [national] and project management specialist [international]) were engaged as individuals, and were fielded on 02 Jan 2011, and 10 September 2012, respectively. An individual procurement and contract management specialist (national) was engaged by the PCU for necessary support for project implementation since 28 March 2017. The service of a few consultants including team leader, agronomist, and a district coordinator was continued till April 2018.
Procurement Civil works were procured and will be procured through a combination of community procurement (WUAs), shopping, and national competitive bidding. All procurement were/ will be carried out in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2010, amended from time to time).
Responsible ADB Officer Singh, Deepak Bahadur
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Nepal Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Department of Local Infrastructure
Shreemahal, Pulchowk, Lalitpur, Nepal
Concept Clearance 17 May 2010
Fact Finding 17 May 2010 to 28 May 2010
MRM 30 Apr 2007
Approval 27 Sep 2010
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 18 Sep 2018

Grant 0219-NEP

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
27 Sep 2010 08 Feb 2011 05 May 2011 31 Aug 2017 15 Jul 2018 13 Mar 2019
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 31.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 24.40 07 Sep 2021 22.98 0.00 94%
Counterpart 6.60 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 07 Sep 2021 22.98 0.00 94%
Status of Covenants
Category Sector Safeguards Social Financial Economic Others
Rating - Satisfactory - Satisfactory - Satisfactory

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.

Title Document Type Document Date
Community Irrigation Project: Completion Report Project/Program Completion Reports Jun 2020
Community Irrigation Project Procurement Plans Mar 2014
Community Irrigation Project Project/Program Administration Manual Mar 2013
Grant Agreement (Special Operations) for the Community Irrigation Project between Nepal and Asian Development Bank dated 08 February 2011 Grant Agreement Feb 2011
Project Agreement for the Community Irrigation Project between Asian Development Bank and Rural Microfinance Development Center dated 08 February 2011 Project/Program Agreements Feb 2011
Community Irrigation Project Project/Program Administration Manual Sep 2010
Community Irrigation Project Reports and Recommendations of the President Sep 2010
Community Irrigation Project Summary Poverty Reduction and Social Strategies Sep 2010
Community Irrigation Project: Gender Action Plan Gender Action Plans Sep 2010
Community Irrigation Project Consultants' Reports Jun 2010
Community Irrigation Project Initial Poverty and Social Analysis Jan 2009

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Title Document Type Document Date
Community Irrigation Project: Social Monitoring Report (January-June 2018) Social Monitoring Reports Aug 2018
Community Irrigation Project: Environmental Compliance Monitoring Report (2017) Environmental Monitoring Reports Jan 2018
Community Irrigation Project: Social Monitoring Report (July-December 2017) Social Monitoring Reports Dec 2017
Community Irrigation Project: Social Monitoring Report (January-June 2017) Environmental and Social Monitoring Reports Jun 2017
Community Irrigation Project: Environmental Compliance Monitoring Report Environmental Monitoring Reports Jan 2017
Community Irrigation Project: Environmental Compliance Monitoring Report (July 2015-June 2016) Environmental Monitoring Reports Jul 2016
Community Irrigation Project: Resettlement Framework Resettlement Frameworks Jul 2010
Community Irrigation Project Environmental Assessment and Review Framework Jul 2010
Community Irrigation Project Initial Environmental Examination Jul 2010
Community Irrigation Project Indigenous Peoples Planning Frameworks/Indigenous Peoples Development Frameworks Jul 2010

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

Title Document Type Document Date
Nepal: Community Irrigation Project Validations of Project Completion Reports Oct 2020

Related Publications

None currently available.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.


No tenders for this project were found.

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found

Procurement Plan

Title Document Type Document Date
Community Irrigation Project Procurement Plans Mar 2014