PIMD, ADB, IRRI, CARDI, MOWRAM, PDOWRAM, PRA, RGC, USAID, BBD, CCC...FWUG, PLUP, CLUP...What the FWUC?!
Welcome to the land of NGOs. There are over 450 in Cambodia and nearly 90 in Siem Reap alone. Siem reap is a brand unto itself, a town that is beginning to outgrow its spot on the map to become the very epitome of voluntourism. Many people come to see the famous Angkor temples but stay to become semi permanent fixtures among the expat community. Acronyms become part of everyday conversations and you wont be surprised to learn that you pick up these acronyms quickly.
Working with government entities can be somewhat daunting when one is not familiar with the formal procedure. After meeting with Tony Bott of the NorthWest Irrigation Sector Project (NWISP) and Eric Von der Brink of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), we discover that farmer water user communities or FWUCs are integral to a successful system. Developing and implementing proper FWUCs require starting from the bottom up, meaning that water user groups or FWUGs must first be developed. FWUGs are farmers that share a similar tertiary canal system, soil, and cropping system. But before any of this can happen we need a proper land use map. This is where we could use the help of Aruna Technology based in Phnom Penh. Somewhat a monopoly in Cambodia, Aruna Technology is a consultancy that specializes in web based GIS and GPS mapping. This map depicts the layout of the reservoir and the primary and secondary canal system that the FWUGs can work off of to design their water blocks following participatory land use planning methods or PLUP... Hope you got all that.