World Bank finds flaws in Pakistan irrigation project

The World Bank endorsed a proposal to resolve environmental and flooding problems linked to an irrigation project in the Pakistani province of Sindh. The decision came after an investigation committee found that the project along the Indus River did not follow some of the bank’s policies, which aggravated the flooding and damaged the environment in the said region. “While these older bank-supported projects did succeed in creating opportunities for poor people in Sindh by expanding agriculture dramatically, the inspection panel has shown that the World Bank and everyone involved in the projects could have done a better job of mitigating the risks and impact of natural disasters on the poor within and outside the project areas,” World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz said. According to World Bank country director John Wall, the project design focused too much on benefiting farmers by cutting salinity and water logging to widen irrigated areas. “The very poorest people outside the irrigation and drainage system were neglected,” Wall remarked. (Source: World Bank OKs plan for troubled Pakistan project/Reuters)

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