Over the weekend, EWB and HT traveled down to Phnom Penh for meetings with consultants and government officials who may be able to help with the next steps of our project. Tops on the list were conversations about the formation and legal registration of the Farmer Water User Community (FWUC), baseline assessment, and community mapping.
Our first meeting was with Mr. Mlob Bon, from Cambodia's national Department of Irrigated Agriculture. He led us through the FWUC registration process and offered his help in navigating the provincial bureaucracy when we officially register our water project.
Next, we met with Tony Bott, an Australian consultant who has a good deal of experience with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and was able to clarify many of our next steps toward FWUC registration, canal mapping and construction, and project assessment.
After this, we met with Erik Van Den Brink, who works for Catholic Relief Services in Cambodia and has several successful development projects in Cambodia under his belt. Erik articulated many of the proper techniques for FWUC registration, and also described some of the pitfalls to avoid with mapping and assessment. He pointed us toward some helpful resources for both the water user group establishment and the baseline / impact assessment.
Last, we met with Paul Gager from Aruna Technologies, a small GIS consultancy that has worked on many different projects: both government and non-government, agricultural and economic, and many others. Paul was helpful in describing our options for mapping and GIS, andgave us options for building maps for FWUC registration and assessments.
All in all, a very successful trip!