Restoration of Irrigation: A New Lease of Life for Kabasalan Farmers

After enduring nearly three years of irrigation woes, the farmers of Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, are finally reaping the benefits of abundant irrigation water, courtesy of the newly repaired Kabasalasn Communal irrigation System (CIS) siphon.

The plight of Kabasalan farmers began in October 2021 when severe flooding damaged a crucial part of the irrigation canal, disrupting water delivery to their farmlands. Despite repairs, another calamity struck in October 2022, as a flash flood destroyed the system's siphon, exacerbating the farmers' struggles. Although repair proposals were made in previous years, they remained unfulfilled.

Responding to the farmers' pleas, the new management of NIA-9, led by Regional Manager June Nathaniel S. Plaza, prioritized the immediate repair of the damaged siphon. Utilizing steel pipes as temporary replacements, NIA provided the necessary resources and manpower to swiftly restore the irrigation system. Remarkably, the repair was completed in just one month, with irrigation water flowing back into Kabasalan CIS on April 3, 2024.
With the system fully operational once again, over 200 farmer families accross 294 hectares of farmland can now enjoy the benefits of reliable irrigation, predominantly sustaining their rice farming livelihoods. The sight of water returning to their fields has rejuvenated the farmers, instilling hope and vitality in their lives. Indeed, water is the essence of life.

Recognizing Kabasalan's significance as a rice granary, NIA Region 9 has proposed a comprehensive rehabilitation of the Kabasalan CIS. With a proposed budget of 200 million pesos, the project encompasses various infrastructure upgrades, including repairs to diversion works, construction of protection works and hanging bridge, and the establishment of essential project facilities. This endeavor promises not only to boost rice production in the province but also to uplift the entire region's agricultural landscape, thereby enhancing the well-being of farming communities.