Kalidaskhali-Arpara sub-project is part of seven sub-projects selected for rehabilitation and improvedwater management subject to a feasibility study under the Southwest Area Integrated WaterResources Planning and Management Project financed by the ADB, the Government of theNetherlands and the Government of Bangladesh.
The gross area of Kalidaskhali-Arpara sub-project measures 13,197 ha, the net cultivated area 10,616ha. The area is cultivated mainly with rice, jute, pulses, oil crops, wheat and vegetables bysmallholders. The average farm size is 0.80 ha. The cropping intensity at present is 217%. Due to(partly) non-functioning of existing interventions due to absence of O&M for a long time, the areasuffers from annual flooding affecting some 4,873 ha of the total area.
Rehabilitation of the sub-project would involve rehabilitation of 6 existing regulators, and 12 pipeoutlets. Besides, one additional regulator and two pipe outlets to be constructed. Further, excavationof 42.45 km of khals and strengthening of some 57.62 km of degraded embankment is needed. WMGoffices and arsenic free safe drinking tube wells will be constructed for each of the 15 WMGs whichwill be established in the sub-project area. The total infrastructure investment costs of civil works areestimated at Tk. 2,718.46 lac. The annual O&M costs of the rehabilitated system are estimated atabout Tk. 126 lac, to be shared by BWDB and farmers, on an 80/20% basis.
To ensure proper water management and increase food production a capacity building and trainingprogram will have to be implemented. It is envisaged that 28 WMGs, associated in four WMAs, willtake over water management from BWDB and beneficiaries need to be trained in O&M. The trainingof staff and WMGs on formation, organizational development and participation in construction andO&M comes at Tk. 108 lac.
Apart from capacity building in O&M farmers will have to receive training and support in improving andsustaining agriculture, fisheries and livelihood. Training will include class room training,demonstrations, Farmers/Fisheries Field Schools and excursions as well as refresher courses forfarmers (male and female) in each of the 28 WMGs. The total capacity building and investment costsfor agricultural development are estimated at Tk. 144.54 lac; for fisheries Tk. 218.45 lac. and forgender and livelihood the cost estimate is Tk. 64.87 lac.
The rehabilitation of the sub-project will have a major impact on agriculture and fisheries and to alesser extent on environment. Due to the elimination of annual floods & drainage congestion a morediversified cropping pattern and higher cropping intensity (240%) is expected. At present the totalproduction is estimated at 72,270 tons; in the future the production is estimated at 100,629 t/year.Cereals production will increase with about 24,710 t/year. However, the extent and income of capturefisheries will substantially be reduced (- Tk.122 lac). On the other hand, the expected increase inculture fisheries (Tk. 131 lac) will not only compensate these losses but will also facilitate increase inoverall net production.
An Initial Environmental Study was carried out. There were no major negative environmentalconstraints observed, although the interventions will have a substantial impact on nature, agricultureand fisheries due to the absence of annual flooding. With respect to nature it is considered that thesub-project will be brought back to its 1990 - 1993 status.
Costs and benefits of the proposed interventions were assessed and analysed. The B/C ratios for thefinancial and economic analyses are 2.45 and 3.91 respectively. The economic and financial internalrates of return (EIRR and FIRR) were found to be 34.64% and 25.33%, respectively. The sensitivityanalysis showed that with an assumed 25% increase in investment cost, a 25% decrease in benefits,and a lag in implementation of 1 year that the EIRR in all cases is higher compared to the opportunitycost of capital 12%.The calculated IRR is a conservative estimation taking into account only theagricultural and fisheries benefits. High IRR is due to low renovation cost compared to the areainvolved and high benefits due to intense agriculture & fisheries activities with introduction of highvalue & high yielding crops in case of agriculture and in fisheries introduction of modern fisheriestechnology leading to higher yields and production.
The project is technically feasible, economically viable, financially profitable, socially acceptable andenvironmental-friendly. Considering the importance of people’s livelihood and improved watermanagement leading to more profitable and sustainable crop & fish production, this project is beingrecommended for implementation.