Bangladesh: Irrigation Management Improvement Project
ADB is helping Bangladesh tap the full potential of large-scale irrigation schemes. The project will modernize the Muhuri-Kahua Irrigation Project in Chittagong and finance the feasibility study and detailed design for the upgrade of Ganges-Kobadak and Teesta irrigation projects in Khulna and Rangpur. It will help establish performance-based irrigation management and agriculture support services.
South Asia Department
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- Agriculture, natural resources and rural development
|Project Name||Irrigation Management Improvement Project|
|Country / Economy||Bangladesh
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Loan
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Private sector development
|Sector / Subsector||
Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Agricultural drainage - Agricultural production - Irrigation - Rural flood protection
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Effective gender mainstreaming|
|Description||The project is designed to realize the full production potential of large-scale irrigation schemes in Bangladesh. It will address the recurrent lack of sustainable management, operation, and maintenance (MOM) and increase water productivity by transferring MOM schemes to private operators and introducing innovative infrastructure modernization. The project will focus on modernizing the Muhuri Irrigation Project (MIP) in Chittagong division. It will also finance a feasibility study and detailed design for modernizing the GangesKobadak Irrigation Project in Khulna division and the Teesta Irrigation Project in Rangpur division.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
The primary sources of water in Bangladesh are local rainfall (about 250 cubic kilometers (km3) annually) and transboundary inflows (about 1,000 km3 annually), derived mainly from the Brahmaputra, Ganges, and Meghna rivers. Bangladesh occupies only 8% of the total drainage area of these rivers but is located at their downstream end. The result is an abundant excess of surface water during the summer monsoon months and water shortfalls during the winter dry months. The impossibility of developing dam facilities prevents flow regulation throughout the year. Despite being scarce, water is not well managed. Minimal attention is given to water use efficiency and equitable allocation. Many farmers rely on groundwater to supplement the limited and irregular surface water supplies. However, in many areas, the use of groundwater is significantly constrained by arsenic contamination and aquifer limitations. Consequently, the minimum flows required to meet total dry season demands are less than what is available from surface and groundwater. Competition for water is increasing between sectors including agriculture, domestic and industrial water use, navigation, fisheries, and conservation of natural eco-habitats. Possible changes in temperature and rainfall patterns due to global warming may also modify crop-water requirements and water availability, and adversely widen the current gap between supply and demand.
Performance of irrigated agriculture and large irrigation schemes. In 2010, 31.5% of the population was living below the poverty line. Although agriculture's share of gross domestic product has declined, it is the primary economic sector in rural areas and provides 63% of rural employment. Bangladesh has a net cultivable area of around 8 million hectares (ha). In FY2012, about 5.3 million ha were irrigated; total rice production was 33.5 million tons with 56% being produced during the dry season. Irrigated agriculture productivity remains chronically low; since FY2004 paddy yields have averaged 3.6 tons/ha. The low land productivity is attributable to unreliable irrigation supply; inadequate agriculture extension services; and poor access to farm inputs, markets, and agricultural credit services. Around 550,000 ha or 11% of the total irrigated area is under large irrigation schemes. However, only 46% of this area is currently irrigated during the dry season.
The lack of efficient and sustainable MOM continues to impact the productivity of large irrigation schemes. In 2012, MOM cost recovery from project beneficiaries of the Muhuri, Ganges-Kobadak, and Teesta irrigation schemes averaged 24%: Muhuri 63%, Teesta 18%, and GangesKobadak 0.26%. As a consequence, the schemes' infrastructure is degraded and needs rehabilitation and modernization. Other factors include inadequate government financing, lack of beneficiary empowerment and engagement in MOM, and limited capacity of public agencies resulting in weak service delivery. Specific issues in MIP are (i) inadequate budget for system MOM; (ii) lack of distinction between annual, periodic, or emergency maintenance of a system; and (iii) poor cost recovery from water management groups.
Since 2000 substantial efforts have been made to improve irrigation MOM through the introduction of participatory irrigation management, which has been generally successful on small and medium-sized schemes in Bangladesh but yielded limited results for large schemes. The variable performance of participatory irrigation management in improving irrigation MOM is internationally documented and private sector participation through public private partnership (PPP) is seen as an alternative approach. It has demonstrated promising results in a few developing countries such as Brazil, Ethiopia, and Morocco but is still to be developed in Asia. In 2009, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided technical assistance (TA) to the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) to examine alternative approaches of service delivery agreements and management arrangements including PPP for sustainable irrigation MOM in large irrigation schemes. The TA proposed a conceptual framework for engaging a third party operator to address the shortcomings of the MIP's MOM. It established the basis for the social and economic feasibility of the approach and confirmed farmers' willingness to pay.
The National Water Policy, adopted in 1999, sets out a comprehensive framework for the water sector in general and for large surface water irrigation schemes, including a strategic vision comprising private irrigation MOM through leasing, concession, or management contracts. The government has established policy, legal, institutional, and planning frameworks for the water sector, which provide a suitable environment for developing necessary sector reforms. The Water Act, promulgated in May 2013, revised and consolidated existing laws that govern the ownership, utilization, and financial management of water.
The Sixth Five-Year Plan, 2011 to 2015 recognizes the need to increase agricultural productivity, foster crop diversification, and boost public spending on rural infrastructure. The plan also presents a strategic direction for medium- and large-scale surface water irrigation. At its highest level, the strategy focuses on modernization and improved management of existing irrigation systems and expansion of irrigation areas. To reduce public costs in sustainably operating these schemes and to improve delivery service, the strategy encourages the use of PPP wherever appropriate. As part of an overall investment program for the water sector, the government has approved an investment plan to rehabilitate and modernize all large surface water irrigation schemes at an estimated total cost of $745 million. The project will support the modernization of the MIP's infrastructure and MOM, including transferring MOM to the private sector. The project will finance preparation of a modernization strategy, including feasibility studies and detailed designs, for the Ganges-Kobadak and Teesta irrigation projects.
MIP construction was completed in 1986. The design enabled dry season irrigation as well as supplemental wet season irrigation by constructing the Feni Closure Dam and Regulator to create a reservoir downstream of the confluence of the Feni, Muhuri, and Kalidash-Pahalia rivers. The backwater from the barrage enters the natural khals (channels) and canal network by gravity. From there it was to be lifted by about 800 low-lift diesel pumps to irrigate the fields. The project was to increase the dry season rice area from about 6,000 ha to 20,000 ha. Initially, farmers experienced major improvements in production and were able to cultivate much larger areas with rice; however, siltation of the reservoir and khals due to lack of maintenance and reduced runoff in the river has reduced the benefits over the years. The area irrigated in the dry season decreased to 11,300 ha. The increased cost of diesel fuel combined with low pump efficiency and decrease in the rice price contributed to discouraging farmers from cultivating. Opportunities to substantially increase water use efficiency and reduce pumping cost through innovative design modernization and improved MOM were identified during the project preparatory TA and will be supported by the project.
The project is consistent with ADB's Strategy 2020 and country partnership strategy for Bangladesh, 2011 to 2015 by reinforcing core areas of operations (such as infrastructure and water resources management) and investing in irrigation infrastructure modernization.
High growth of agriculture in Bangladesh sustained (Government of Bangladesh's Eighth Five-Year Plan)
|Description of Outcome||
Productivity and sustainability of the Muhuri Irrigation Project increased
|Progress Toward Outcome||Dry season irrigation area has been increased to 4,000 ha. Irrigation charges collected from the 1,000 ha that was irrigated in the last irrigation season for O&M funding. In demonstration plots about 5 tons/ha yield has been achieved in irrigated winter paddy (boro).|
|Description of Project Outputs||
Irrigation management and agriculture support services improved
Irrigation system infrastructure rehabilitated and modernized.
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
1(a). Engaging of performance-based lease contractor is in process. Based on assessment of performance of the existing construction phase-irrigation management operator (C-IMO), public private partnership (PPP) long term lease contractor has not `been recommended by the Independent Panel of Experts (IPOE), engaged by ADB. IPOE reviewed the existing system and recommended to establish a M-IMO Board under the Ministry of Water Resources instead of long-term irrigation management system for Muhuri Irrigation Project, which will be established by Q2, 2023.
1(b). To achieve efficient Irrigation management, 90 irrigation schemes were successfully operated and electricity charges were recovered (Tk 11.78 lakhs for 700 ha) in the last irrigation season. In addition, partial irrigation was also provided in another 60 schemes for about 300 ha in the last irrigation season without prepaid meter.
1(c). For training on more productive irrigated agriculture methods, 39 trainings were organized where 2,182 farmers including 395 females (18%) were trained.
2(a). For achieving modernized irrigation system, 4,000 ha area has been modernized with piped tertiary distribution system. One barrage was rehabilitated. 163 lift pumps including prepaid meters have been installed. Besides, construction of 760 of 769 pump houses, 760 of 769 header tanks, installation of 354 of 769 pumps, laying of 735 km of 771 km of buried pipelines have been completed. Till November 2022, a total of 212 schemes are ready for connected with electricity.
2(b). A total of 17.75 km of coastal embankment have been rehabilitated and 373.00 km of canals have been re-excavated.
2(c). In last irrigation season, 90 schemes were fully operated and 90 pump-operators were engaged (one women). For rehabilitated and modernized MIP with construction workers, out of total 44,900 labor days, total women labor days were 1,435 (3%).
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Environmental Aspects||The project is categorized B for environment and an initial environmental examination was prepared in accordance with SPS. The negative impacts are typical to any construction activities involving earth works which are being mitigated through adoption of measures described in the environmental management plan. Consultations were undertaken with affected stakeholders and a suitable grievance redress mechanism has been established to resolve any project related grievances. The latest semi-annual environmental monitoring reports (SEMR) were prepared and disclosed on time. There are some improvements in the implementation performance of safeguard such as (i) more than 13,000 saplings were planted against a target of 7,500 saplings under the project as a compensatory tree plantation; (ii) the IEE report for the electrical substation was prepared, which has already been approved by ADB and disclosed, and (iii) locational clearance certificate for the electrical substation has been obtained.|
|Involuntary Resettlement||The Involuntary Resettlement category for this project has been updated to B. The project initially did not anticipate any resettlement impacts since the irrigation pumps had been installed in a voluntary arrangement with the pump owners. The project also kept provision for willing purchase of land to avoid involuntary resettlement. Currently, land acquisition is unavoidable for one subproject to install a substation to generate electricity for the pumps. For this component, 40 decimals of barren land was acquired. Accordingly, a resettlement plan was prepared and disclosed in December 2020. Land acquisition for this substation is complete and the site has already been handed over to contractor for the construction works.|
|Indigenous Peoples||The project is categorized as C. There are no indigenous peoples as defined for operational purposes by the SPS in MIP.|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||ADB maintains close dialogue with the government and other stakeholders to ensure commitment remains and the project communication campaign keeps farmers and local politicians engaged.|
|During Project Implementation||Participation is an important aspect of the project. Public awareness programs for gender, social, and infrastructure subproject related measures are implemented. The Stakeholders Communication Strategy implementation engage and inform relevant IMIP stakeholders and sectors with timely, accurate, and comprehensive information shared among stakeholders. Such information sharing helps to build consensus and ensure continuous stakeholder support throughout the Project. The stakeholder Engagement and Communication Strategy (SE&C) is to significantly increase stakeholder and community awareness of the Project strategy, activities and outputs in order to improve stakeholder engagement and to develop greater community support. The EA is meeting with water management groups on concerns regarding their participation in civil woks in khal excavations. Workshops are conducted in upazilas to increase awareness on the project. Trainings on productive irrigated agriculture for farmers are being carried out.|
Consultant selection and engagement were carried out in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time). In view of the lack of experience of the Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) with performance-based management contracts and the need to ensure expeditious mobilization, the government requested ADB to recruit the project management and design consultant (PMDC) and the C-IMO. BWDB was responsible for negotiating and signing the contract with the PMDC and C-IMO, issuing the notice to proceed, and supervising their services. The PMDC and IMO recruitment were adopted with a 90:10 quality-cost ratio since a high level of expertise is essential to design performance-based irrigation management approaches for the Ganges-Kobadak and Teesta irrigation projects and to establish a strong and sustainable management organization for the MIP. BWDB, with support from the PMDC, is monitoring the C-IMO's performance against the milestones.
For the MIP, BWDB recruited the private consulting consortium as the C-IMO through competitive selection for 5-year irrigation management contract agreement. The C-IMO is responsible for (i) the delivery of efficient service and revenue collection to recover the cost for MOM, (ii) construction supervision of MIP civil works, (iii) participatory design of level 3 system modernization, and (iv) development of pilot agricultural demonstrations and income generating activities. It is envisaged that after 5 years, the management phase-irrigation management operator (M-IMO) will be recruited through a 15-year lease contract to maintain the MOM levels established during the 5-year first stage. The contract will be awarded through a competitive tender based on (i) a fixed fee for the lease with bidders presenting a financial offer for the water charge, or (ii) a predetermined water charge with bidders presenting a financial offer for the lease. After 15 years, the contract will be retendered.
|Procurement||All procurement of goods and works were undertaken in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines. Procurement packages for civil works were done by nine packages.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Chowdhury, Marjana|
|Responsible ADB Department||South Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Bangladesh Resident Mission|
Bangladesh Water Development Board
|Concept Clearance||12 Sep 2012|
|Fact Finding||21 Jul 2013 to 05 Aug 2013|
|MRM||22 Nov 2013|
|Approval||30 Jun 2014|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||15 Dec 2022|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|30 Jun 2014||14 Aug 2014||16 Sep 2014||31 Dec 2020||31 Dec 2023||-|
|Financing Plan||Loan Utilization|
|Total (Amount in US$ million)||Date||ADB||Others||Net Percentage|
|Project Cost||53.60||Cumulative Contract Awards|
|ADB||46.00||25 Jan 2023||37.74||0.00||91%|
|Cofinancing||0.00||25 Jan 2023||39.86||0.00||96%|
|Status of Covenants|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|30 Sep 2021||23 Dec 2021||20 Jan 2022||31 Dec 2023||-||-|
|Financing Plan||Loan Utilization|
|Total (Amount in US$ million)||Date||ADB||Others||Net Percentage|
|Project Cost||17.90||Cumulative Contract Awards|
|ADB||13.50||25 Jan 2023||8.71||0.00||65%|
|Cofinancing||0.00||25 Jan 2023||1.34||0.00||10%|
|Status of Covenants|
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|Tender Title||Type||Status||Posting Date||Deadline|
|Loan No. 3135-BAN: Irrigation Management Improvement Project (IMIP) [CW-06 ICB]||Invitation for Bids||Closed||27 Sep 2018||26 Nov 2018|
|Loan No. 3135-BAN: Irrigation Management Improvement Project (IMIP) [CW-05 ICB]||Invitation for Bids||Closed||08 May 2018||23 Jul 2018|
|Loan No. 3135-BAN: Irrigation Management Improvement Project (IMIP) [CW-04] REBIDDING||Invitation for Bids||Closed||11 Apr 2018||23 May 2018|
|Loan No. 3135-BAN: Irrigation Management Improvement Project (IMIP) [CW-04]||Invitation for Bids||Closed||13 Dec 2017||11 Jan 2018|
|Loan No. 3135-BAN: Irrigation Management Improvement Project (IMIP) [CW9]||Invitation for Bids||Closed||19 Sep 2017||18 Oct 2017|
|Contract Title||Approval Number||Contract Date||Contractor | Address||Executing Agency||Total Contract Amount (US$)||Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)|
|Construction of Farmers Distribution Systems, Stage-2: Area 5400 Ha of Buried Pipe System with pumps and Tele Prepaid Meters for Muhuri Irrigation Project||Loan 4120||16 Jun 2022||SA-KBL (JV) | 194/1, Hoque Plaza (1st Floor), SSK Road, Feni, Bangladesh||Bangladesh Water Development Board||6,193,666.49||1,333,692.55|
|Construction of Farmers Distribution Systems, Stage-3: Area 5,025 Ha of Buried Pipe System with pumps and Tele Prepaid Meters for Muhuri Irrigation Project||Loan 4120||16 Jun 2022||Ludwig Pfeiffer Hoch-Und Tiefbau GMBH & Co. KG | LilienThalstrasse, 33, 34123, Kassel, GERMANY||Bangladesh Water Development Board||7,095,358.99||1,628,742.35|
|Construction of Farmers Distribution Systems, Stage-4: Area 5700 Hectare of Buried Pipe System with pumps and Tele Prepaid Meters for Muhuri Irrigation Project||Loan 4120||16 Jun 2022||Ludwig Pfeiffer Hoch-Und Tiefbau GMBH & Co. KG | LilienThalstrasse, 33, 34123, KASSEL, GERMANY||Bangladesh Water Development Board||8,081,536.75||1,653,127.82|
|Turnkey contract: (a) construction of 1x10/14 MVA, 33/11 KVA indoor type sub-station and (b) upgrading of electrical distribution (HT, LT over head line) system for Muhuri Irrigation Project||Loan 4120||16 Jun 2022||Energypac Engineering Limited | Energy Center, 25, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh||Bangladesh Water Development Board||7,178,138.31||3,598,275.14|
|CW-07: FARMER DISTRIBUTION PUMPS AND PREPAID METER SYSTEM-STAGE 4: 5 700 HA||Loan 3135||08 Sep 2021||M/S LUDWIG PFEIFFER HOCH-UND TIEFBAU GMBH&CO. | LILIENTHALSTRASSE 33 34123 KASSEL GERMANY||Bangladesh Water Development Board||4,836,239.51||4,367,999.88|
|CW - 5: FARMERS' DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM, STAGE 2: 5,4 00 HAC OF BURIED PIPE SYSTEMS, WITH PUMP AND TELE PREPAID METERS||Loan 3135||30 Dec 2019||SA-KBL (JV) | 194/1, HOQUE PLAZA (1ST FLOOR), SSK ROAD FENI BANGLADESH||Bangladesh Water Development Board||6,767,332.58||6,089,163.88|
|CW-4: TURNKEY CONTRACT FOR INDOOR TYPE SUBSTATION AND UPGRADING OF ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM FOR MUHURI IRRIGATION PROJECT||Loan 3135||03 Dec 2018||ENERGYPAC ENGINEERING LIMITED | ENERGY CENTER 25, TEJGAON I/A, DHAKA-1208 BANGLADESH||Bangladesh Water Development Board||5,299,231.20||5,296,801.57|
|CW-8A: Construction of New Water Control Structure S, Sluices; Rehabilitation of Structures, Sluices||Loan 3135||27 Jun 2017||Dawn Corporation - Nahean Engineers & Builder | Takia Road, Syed Bari, Rampur, Feni, Bangladesh||Bangladesh Water Development Board||1,385,553.00||1,233,449.00|
|Supply of Geo-Textile Bags at Kaitala in Pabna, Chauhali in Sirajganj, and Harirampur in Manikganj Dist. (G-04/2016-2017)||Loan 3135||26 Jan 2017||Dhaka Metal | Trunk Road, Feni Bangladesh||Bangladesh Water Development Board||162,959.09||144,768.67|
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Irrigation Management Improvement Project: Procurement Plan||Procurement Plans||Jul 2021|