Community Based Conservation of Coastal Ecosystem through Re-excavation of Canal as a Reservoir and Using Rain Water in Agricultural Activities

Re-excavation of Shapkhali canal

Re-excavation of Shapkhali canal, Koikhali, Shyamnagar, Satkhira, Bangladesh © IUCN and Caritas Bangladesh, 2014


  • Re-excavate 1800 feet (548.64 meter) long canal for reserving rain water.
  • 40-50 hectares of land to be brought under agricultural activities in dry season


The Shapkhali canal was degraded and made shallow by the cyclone Aila in 2009. Since then, cultivation in dry season became limited to 9.36 hectares. Farmers formed a community organization to manage the limited water and select lands per season for cultivation. Most of these lands are cultivated by landless poor who lease land from the land owners. After re-excavation, the canal will be able to support 67 hectares more land for cultivation in the dry season.

Target beneficiaries

Farmers around the canal (about 50) are direct beneficiaries. Besides that, increased agricultural activities will create income opportunity for the adjacent ethnic Munda community.


  • Increased reservoir capacity of Shapkhali Canal.
  • Community based management in place for Shapkhali canal for ensuring equitable share of water for direct and indirect beneficiaries especially in the dry season.

Accomplishments and challenges


  • A canal has been re-excavated (550 meter long, 21.64 meter wide and  2.1 meter deep from soil level with 2.1 meter high dykes above ground)
  • Local community organization for canal water management has been given lead, with engagement of the local government to ensure permission and certification of work. The community organization will ensure equitable sharing of water for land owners and non land owner farmers
  • As an indirect result, the dyke of the canal will work as an approach road was built
  • remaining 792.48 meter of the canal will be re-excavated through leverage funding from CDMP (BDT 4.8 Million/USD 60,760 leverage fund)
  • About 27 hectares of land is expected to be cultivated using water from the re-excavated canal in the next dry season.
  • After re-excavating the whole canal, total 67 hectares of land is expected to be brought under irrigation in the dry season (before the project initiation, only 9.37 hectares was under irrigation from the canal in dry season.)


Sustainability of the project benefits to the poorer farmers will depend on the community agreement to lease out the lands seasonally to the landless farmers to cultivate in the dry season using the canal water. It is a challenge to ensure continuity of this agreement.

However, Caritas Bangladesh has good relationship with the community and in the presence of the strong community organization, it is expected that the project will benefit the poor long enough.

Project Facts



Union Koikhali under the sub-district of Shyamnagar of Satkhira District is situated 130 km from Khulna city. It is adjacent to mangrove forest Sundarban and 60 km away from Bay of Bengal. The area is vulnerable to natural hazards like cyclone, tidal surg



24th Feb 2014 to 23rd Feb 2015

MFF Grant Amount

BDT 2,000,000

Implementing Partner

Caritas Bangladesh

Share This