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PIWAMP takes forth in IFAD fiduciary rating

Sep 25, 2012, 10:09 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project (PIWAMP), a demand-driven project co-funded by the Government of The Gambia (GOTG), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the African Development Bank (ADB), has been ranked fourth in IFAD’s fiduciary rating 2011.

The design of PIWAMP was built on the successful experience of the concluded Lowland Agricultural Development Project (LADEP), its achievements, effects, impacts, as well as the strengths and shortcomings.

At a Financial Management training workshop held in Rome, Italy, from 25 to 30 August 2012, the Fiduciary Ratings of the top ten IFAD supported projects in West and Central Africa was announced.

According to this rating, which compares the total financial investment of a project against it achievements, the Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project is rated fourth best performing project among 45 IFAD supported projects in West and Central as of June ending 2012.

In an interview with journalists at his office, Momodou Gassama, project coordinator, PIWAMP, said IFAD fiduciary rating is an annual rating of its projects, adding that fiduciary rating looks into the performances, achievements and financial managements of the project.

According to him, “this is the first time PIWAMP scores among the top ten best performing projects in WCA Fiduciary rating.”

This performance will significantly improve the overall country portfolio rating by IFAD and therefore make more IFAD resources available to The Gambia.

Mr Gassama thanked the Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Agriculture and the other two IFAD supported projects in the country-Rural Finance Project (RFP) and Livestock and Horticulture Development Project (LHDP), noting that the enabling environment provided by the government also made it possible for the three IFAD projects in the country to work closely and as a result of their collaboration, PIWAMP was able to achieve this result.

He also thanked his staff for what he described as “excellent” team work by PIWAMP staff.

The recent rating, Gassama further explained, is a “positive move”, noting that PIWAMP is performing well in executing its mandate, which is to address soil erosion and improve soil fertility status in the uplands, prevent village flooding, enhance water retention and prevent salt water intrusion in the lowlands, facilitate access to the swamp rice fields and improve inter-village road connections through innovative soil and water management technologies with the aim of significantly increasing food security for the rural poor.

PIWAMP interventions are widely spread and appreciated throughout the country as it protects many communities from village flooding, secures their food production through enhanced water retention, improved soil fertility status and facilitates quick access to the swamp rice field and major markets.

Mr Gassama was again quick to say that this high rating is a challenge on them as a project as it will make them continue working harder to maintain this performance.

Another good performance made by PIWAMP, Mr Gassama said was when the African Development Bank (AfDB) in August 2011 nominated PIWAMP as one of its candidates to the US Treasury Department MDB Award for innovation of simple land management techniques aimed at increasing food security. If successful, this could open up the country to more investments from the USA.

PIWAMP project coordinator explained that IFAD started its active operations in The Gambia in 1982 and has since financed nine projects and programmes totalling US$53.6 million (GMB 1.6bn, 41 %) benefiting more than 120,000 households in rural areas.

Mr Gassama said PIWAMP’s objectives are to increase land productivity and increase crop production on a sustainable basis. The project’s main expected outputs are to enhance the capacity of the stakeholder institutions and beneficiaries, to train and empower communities in natural resources management, and increase production and productivity in the project area on a sustainable basis. PIWAMP, he stated, has improved the livelihood of Gambian communities across the entire country.

He pointed out that IFAD is committed to rural poverty reduction through equitable and inclusive development.

In addition, IFAD priority target group is the poor rural smallholders dependant on traditional crops and lowland rice cultivation as their main source of livelihood.

According to Gassama, IFAD is working with poor rural people, governments, donors, non-governmental organizations and other partners, stating that IFAD is one of the largest sources of development financing for agriculture and rural development in many developing countries.

IFAD has invested US$13.1 billion in 899 projects and programmes that have reached some 400 million poor rural people in the world since it started operations in 1978.

This, he added, has improved the livelihood of many rural communities in developing countries.