French Development Agency shows interest for Munda Dam funding

ISLAMABAD: A 3-member delegation of the French Development Agency – Agence Francaise de Developpment AFD – headed by the Country Director Nicolas Fomage visited Munda Dam Multipurpose Project site, located 5 kilometers upstream of Munda Headworks in Mohmand Agency of the Federally Administered Area FATA.

WAPDA General Manager Projects North Rashid Ali Khan Bangash, General Manager Planning & Design Irshad Ahmad, Mohmand Agency Political Agent Adil Siddique, and WAPDA officers concerned were also present during the visit.

Besides having briefing on the project, the delegation also exchanged views with the local tribesmen who also hosted refreshments for the guests at site. Speaking on the occasion, the AFD Country Director said that Munda Dam Project would go a long way for socio-economic uplift of the country, particularly Mohmand Agency and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He said that AFD was exploring ways and means to join the project and become a partner of the people of Pakistan in their way to progress and prosperity.

It is pertinent to mention that the AFD has shown their keen interest in providing financial assistance for design as well as construction phase of Munda Dam Project, and the case is being forwarded to AFD Board of Directors for formal approval. WAPDA is implementing Munda Dam as a priority project in the wake of floods 2010 that played havoc in the country. In a significant development towards implementation of the project, a Rs.611.5 million consultancy agreement for preparation of detailed engineering design and tender documents of the project was signed with a joint venture of reputed firms last week. After completion of detailed engineering design in two years, Munda Dam Project will enter its construction phase.

The delegation was briefed that Munda Dam was a multipurpose project that would help control floods, ensure availability of water for irrigated agriculture and provide low-cost hydel electricity. The project, on completion, will store 1.29 million acre feet of water and generate 740 megawatt MW hydropower, thus contributing 2400 million units of low-cost electricity to the national grid annually. Most importantly, the project is vital to protect Charsadda and Nowshera from floods. The dam will store 300 million cubic meter floods of River Swat restricting accumulation of its peak flows with that of River Kabul. Annual benefits of the project have been calculated at Rs. 20.2 billion, the delegation was further briefed.

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