A one week international training workshop on the Rapid Appraisal Procedure (RAP) for irrigation
modernization, led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with
Government of Sindh, was brought to a formal close by the Secretary of Irrigation for Sindh Province.
The training, based in Karachi, focused on the first step (RAP) of a larger step-wise methodology developed by
FAO to audit irrigation system performance and to plan for irrigation modernization: Mapping System & Services
for Canal Operation Techniques (MASSCOTE). It aimed to train Irrigation Sector Managers and Engineers in the
Rapid Appraisal Procedure, provide insights into the performance of large irrigation systems, and identify
recommendations for improvements in water delivery service.
The Secretary of Irrigation, Jamal Mustafa Syed, was pleased that the training brought officers from both
Agriculture and Irrigation Departments and Ministries together. Speaking on the occasion he said “It is good to
see officers from both the Irrigation Department and Agriculture Department working together. The Irrigation
Department cannot possibly solve all problems unless they work in close collaboration with the Department of
Agriculture.” He also congratulated all the participants from both Pakistan and Afghanistan, for successfully
completing the training. He also appreciated FAO, the World Bank, and the irrigation staff of the Khipro canal
system for coordinating this training and the field visits.”
The week marked an opportunity for irrigation and agriculture staff to work collaboratively to address issues of
water service delivery and canal system performance, and was instigated to support the Sindh Water Sector
Improvement Project (WSIP), a World Bank funded project.
The Khipro Canal of Nara Canal Area Water Board (NCAWB) was selected for the workshop due to its recent
rehabilitation under the WSIP. Trainings began with classroom session in the Marriott, Karachi, and progressed
to a field visit to Khipro Canal. The two days of field visits were facilitated by Executive Engineer, Nara Canal
Area Water Board, Mr. Ashfaque Nooh Memon and his team. Upon returning to Karachi, all participants finalized
their analysis and subsequent recommendations, and presented these findings to Secretary.
Recommendations addressed physical as well as institutional improvements, some of which included:
Water accounting and consumption-based monitoring for the canal system;
Realistic assessment of cropping areas using remote sensing;
Incorporating incentives for good behaviour of irrigation employees and operators;
Quick repairs of mechanical and civil structures (e.g. gates, offtakes gauges, modules);
Installation of water measurement devices as well as gates on direct outlets;
Establishment of escape channels in canal tail areas for emergency conditions to address spillage, and
interceptor drains along the main canal to control seepage
Use of computer systems for financial and water management;
Improved planning and forecasting of budget requirements;
Key resource person and lead training, Dr. Robina Wahaj (Land and Water Resources Officer, FAO),
explained that, “The training and completion of the Rapid Appraisal Process has shown us many things;
not only areas for improvements, but also the good comparative state of the Khipro canal system when
compared with other canal systems assessed using the RAP methodology in Pakistan. The results of the
RAP highlight how, thanks to the rehabilitations made possible through the Sindh Water Sector
Improvement Project, the service of the Khipro canal has really improved.”
Toru Konishi, World Bank task team leader of the Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project, agreed the
training could not be timelier, “Water sector management is in a crisis, with regard to water security;
therefore, it is essential to determine opportunities for water savings and how water can be distributed”
Upon its successful conclusion, Dr. Fateh Marri, coordinator Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project expressed
the intention to continue these types of workshops, “I think we can continue these types of discussions; they
bring benefits to use. We received good feedback.” Our brothers from Afghanistan may take home some of these
ideas and recommendations from the workshop with them.”
This workshop comes at a crucial time, almost at the end of WSIP project and preparing for another project to
be funded by the WB, and in synergy with the green Climate Fund proposal preparations led by FAO for
Transforming the Indus Basin with Climate Resilience Agriculture and Climate Smart Water Management. Minà
Dowlatchahi, the FAO Representative in Pakistan added that ‘It is no longer an option to work on water in
isolation of agriculture production and food systems. The transformation of water management and agriculture
is needed to halt the deterioration of natural resources and the contribution they make to the livelihoods of
farmers and Pakistan economy at large’.
The Afghan participants appreciated the training and said they looked forward to utilizing knowledge gained
about water management modernization. In all, 24 participants gathered from Afghanistan and Pakistan
between 20-27 November to share experiences and hone their skills in the rapid appraisal process by rapidly
appraising the Khipro Canal system.
The Sindh Water Sector Improvement Project, was based on Sindh Water Vision Paper, 2003 by United Nation’s,
Food & Agriculture Organization. During preparation of that strategy paper, the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations, conducted Rapid Appraisal Procedure Studies on Nara Canal Area Water
Board, Ghotki Feeder Canal Area Water Board, and Left Bank Canal Area Water Board, which contributed to the
formulation of WSIP.
The Rapid Appraisal Process (RAP) is a scientifically designed procedure, which allows qualified personnel to
systematically and quickly determine key indicators to assess performance of irrigation projects/systems. The
RAP can generally be completed within 2 weeks or less of field and office work – assuming that some readily
available data on the project have been organized by project authorities in advance of the RAP.
In early 2017, during GoSindh consultation with FAO and the WB, it was decided to assess irrigation system
performance of 4 large-scale irrigation systems. Agreement was to choose 2 systems, which have been
rehabilitated/upgraded under WSIP, and the other 2 which were not taken under WSIP. It was further agreed
that the first application of RAP will be carried out as part of the training workshop. This will allow to train a
group of engineers, who can further assist in conducting RAP on other canal commands under the supervision of
To this end, FAO and PCMU-WSIP, organized an international training workshop on irrigation modernization:
Rapid Appraisal Procedure from 20 to 27 November 2017 in Karachi.
The purpose of this training workshop was:
o train Irrigation Sector Managers and Irrigation Sector Engineers in Rapid Appraisal Procedure;
o to provide insights into the performance of Large Irrigation Systems; and
o to propose recommendations for improvements in Water Delivery Service.
In total 24 engineers participated in the workshop. The participants included:
o 10 engineers from Irrigation Department, Sindh Irrigation & Drainage Authority, Area Water Boards &
On Farm Water Management participated.
o 10 engineers/officials from the Afghanistan’s ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock. They are
working on similar kind of Irrigation and agriculture project of World Bank in Afghanistan
o 4 FAO staff –1 from FAO-Afghanistan office; 1 from FAO-HQ, Rome; 2 from FAO Karachi, PMC/A-WSIP
Dr. Robina Wahaj, Land & Water Resources Officer, FAO conducted the training as the resource person. Dr.
Zhijun Chen, Irrigation and Land Management Specialist, FAO also made presentation on the day 1 of the
The FAO representation office in Afghanistan & in Pakistan facilitated the participants for their travel and stay in
The Khipro Canal of NCAWB was selected for this study, because it was newly rehabilitated under WSIP Project.
The First Two days of training was class room sessions at Marriot Hotel, Karachi followed by 2-days field visit of
Khipro Canal. The field visits was facilitated by Executive Engineer, Nara Canal Area Water Board, Mr. Ashfaque
Nooh Memon and his team. The mission then returned to Karachi, and worked for another two days to carry
out and finalize the analysis of the information and data collected in the field and from the office.
It is important that we have the capacities in the province to be able to assess the performance of our irrigation
systems and to take corrective action to improve it. Performance assessment and monitoring needs to be
This workshop come at a crucial time, when we are almost at the end of WSIP project and are preparing for
another project to be funded by the WB. We can use the results of this RAP exercise in the preparation of the
“new” project and can project the impact of WSIP.