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Irrigation upgrade boost for rural Khammuan farmers

Farmers in two villages of Hinboun district, Khammuan province have received a new upgraded irrigation system, which was funded and built by Theun-Hinboun Power Company (THPC).
Nateuy and Nongdong villages now have 300 metres each of upgraded irrigation facilities, servicing a combined area of 60 hectares of agricultural land.
In each village system, there are 10 gates to control the flow of water according to seasonal needs. The water is provided from the Hinboun Riveby by electric pumps.
The new brick canal system replaced a previous hand-dug trench, and the new pumps replaced an old diesel model. THPC has funded all the upgrades, and also installed transmission lines and transformers for the irrigation scheme.
Villagers from both Nateuy and Nongdong took an active part in the planning of the systems and helped with the construction too.
Both villages have comparatively low incomes and rely heavily on dry-season rice for their livelihoods.
The Hinboun River inundates their fields regularly in the wet season - with the flooding becoming intense since THPC began operations in 1998.
To compensate for this, the hydropower company has funded the fuel needed for the irrigation system for many years. It has also provided the villagers with domestic electricity connections, plus assistance in growing cash crops such as rubber trees.
Deputy General Manager of THPC, Mr Soulideth Baomanikhoth, officially handed over ownership of the irrigation systems to the villagers and district authorities last week.
At the handover ceremony, he also said that the company would guarantee maintenance and any repairs required for the next three years.
“THPC will also cover the cost of the electricity needed for the irrigation pump over that time,” he said.
According to Mr Soulideth, the irrigation systems cost over US$338,000. THPC is also building a new water supply system in the villages, with many households already benefitting from the bore wells.

By Bounfaeng Phaymanivong
(Latest Update December 13, 2019)

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