Visiting the field to understand development pathways for the Kamala Basin Plan

From 18 – 23rd November I was lucky enough to join a field visit to the Kamala Basin in Province 2, Nepal. This basin is the site of a joint exercise funded by CSIRO SDIP to develop an example of a Basin Plan for Nepal, to identify the practical steps and actions necessary to develop and implement a plan, and with the potential to be applied to other basins in Nepal. The purpose of the field visit was to conduct a series of ‘Roaming workshops’ to seek inputs and endorsement of the Basin Development Pathways, which were previously developed with significant stakeholder input. The group visited four municipalities in the basin and included members from CSIRO, ICeWARM, The Water and Energy Commission Secretariat (WECS) Nepal, JVS and Policy Entrepreneurs Incorporated (PEI). Throughout the week we travelled from lowland Janakpur to the Chure Hills in Katari, and then along the banks of the Kamala river to Sindhuli. It was interesting to hear the multiple challenges faced in water management in the region; on the whole the participants endorsed the previously defined development pathways and highlighted some existing management strategies already being pursued.

One of the three development pathways identified is focused on commercial and scientific agriculture for local economic prosperity and livelihood security. The work done previously in Dhanusha district as well as nearby Sunsari by the SRFSI project could offer some inputs into evidence-based strategies. Our local SRFSI colleague from NARC, Mr Prakash Paneru, ably represented the project at the meeting in Janakpur, generating interest from several of the municipalities present.

As well as learning more about the local context, it was an excellent opportunity throughout the week to learn more about the work being done by CSIRO and ICeWARM as partners in SDIP, to share the ACIAR SDIP approach, and to explore potential areas for collaboration.

For more information, please contact Tamara Jackson (tajackson@csu.edu.au)

Participants in the field trip from CSIRO, ICeWARM, WECS, PEI, JVS and ACIAR.

Participants in the field trip from CSIRO, ICeWARM, WECS, PEI, JVS and ACIAR.

NewsTamara Jackson