Local communities improve livelihoods by repairing water channels

Cash for work schemes helped the local communities in repairing irrigation canals and water courses that were adversely affected by the floods. Photo: UNDP Pakistan

The coastal area of district Badin in Sindh province was covered with mud during the floods in 2010. This affected land productivity as well as livelihoods of the surrounding communities whose main source of income was the production of agricultural crops. A large number of people rely on this water channel to fulfill their daily needs.

The water channel, 'Noor', is 37,000 feet long. It starts from Qazia subdivision in Badin towards village Yousuf Bhatti situated at the deep coastal area where it appears as a small water course. Around 5,229 acre of agriculture land was cultivated with the water channel. During the heavy rain and floods in 2011, the water channel was filled with mud and bushes.


  • 47,600 families including 300,000 men and women in 300 villages directly benefitted from the projects.
  • 17 early recovery projects were set up in 5 union councils of district Badin, Sindh province.
  • The small grants projects focused on livelihood restoration, alternate energy and restoration of public services.

To improve the livelihoods of the communities, UNDP started a cash for work scheme in Badin. Under this scheme, local farmers were given temporary employment to clean the water channels. These people were given a daily wage which gave them the opportunity to improve their livelihoods.

The project of Research and Development for Human Resources (RDHR) was supported by UNDP, Global Environment Facility, & JAPAN Official Development Assistance. The project involved the local communities and identified the people who were adversely affected by the devastating floods in 2010. These people were given the task of desilting the water channel. More than 200 beneficiaries were involved in rehabilitation of the channel.

Under this scheme, each person was paid a daily wage. The community members successfully desilted the water channel. Thus, the water could be used again for irrigating the agriculture farms.

The projects helped the communities with livelihood restoration, alternate energy and restoration of public services. The projects under livelihoods component included provision of vocational tool kits for skilled persons, donkey carts, grain storage containers, agriculture tool kits and inputs, and livestock restocking, cash for work, training youth as professional drivers and mobile repairers and de-silting of irrigation canals and water courses to enable farmers and landowners to cultivate agriculture lands.

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