Riley assisted with an irrigation development programme in Myanmar's Rakhine State, Southeast Asia, on behalf of New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The key issues facing crop farmers there include challenging climate effects on local agriculture and the economy.
A project goal was to build up to five gravity irrigation schemes and eight smaller pump schemes. Site surveys of the proposed dam sites were undertaken. We assessed the feasibility by back-solving the required demand and comparing it with the cost of the five storage opportunities.
The long-term success of these irrigation schemes relies on local farming communities operating and maintaining the infrastructure over its lifespan, without depending on external input.
So our scope shifted from directly designing dams and distribution. Instead, it involved helping a local engineer to deliver the appropriate solutions, developing local expertise to ensure the project’s future.
To this end, Riley hosted a Myanmar engineer in Christchurch and we assisted them with the design.