Notes from monitoring (27.03.2013)
Notes from monitoring (27.03.2013):
I remember the report of the World Bank on irrigation in Central Asia from 2003 very well as it gave a distinct and very precise picture of the situation. It began with such wordings as: “Irrigation and drainage (I&D) infrastructure is beginning to fall apart. Canals are silted up or damaged, gates broken or non‐existent, and pumps held together by improvised repairs and parts cannibalized from other machinery. Across vast areas, water supply has become erratic, and land salinized and waterlogged.”
Yes, indeed, the irrigation and drainage benefited from massive investment during the Soviet era, but then, afterwards, the problems started emerging as the maintenance was costly, and neither the farmers, nor the Government and nor the international organizations could have impacted the situation to the needed level. No, no, I do not mean that nothing was done; on contrary, it was done and is still being, but not enough as it is a time‐consuming and still expensive exercise (from the report: “Conventional wisdom outside Central Asia is that much of the agriculture is inherently unprofitable at full market conditions. If that is the case, upgrading infrastructure would clearly be an unattractive proposition”. Yet, not to do that (implying not to improve the system) is equal to support further collapse. Yes, very slow and gradually things are being done but this speed may slow the development much, leaving the country no chance than to be in long‐lasting transition period.
It is commonly known that more than 60% of lands in Tajikistan are pumped. Such, for instance districts as Asht and Zafarobod are mainly supplied pumped irrigation water. Well, to help the situation, we (UNDP) are also contributing into enhancement of irrigation and drainage systems in these districts. But I will come to Zafarabad later on.
Now, I want to tell about what we do within the RGP’s implementation in Asht district of Sughd, where statistically, 31,241ha of lands (93%) are pump irrigated:
- During the implementation of the 1st cycle of the Trust Fund, we supported the cleaning of 21km of the drainage canal, initiated by Jamoat “Kamishkurgan”. The meliorative situation of 456ha of land will be improved and 7,499 people will benefit directly;
- And now, while the implementation of the 2nd cycle, we are supporting the rehabilitation of
Pump Station Asht‐1 at Jamoat Dusti. The owner and operator of this station is the State Water Department 2. This station was built in 1959 and initially was equipped with 4 pumps. Later on, in 1980, due to agricultural lands expansion, there were added 3 more. So, if calculations are correct, after rehabilitation, it will be able to supply 13,328cubic meters, irrigating 863ha of land and 8 farm holdings will benefit directly;
- Another good project funded within this cycle (2nd) is improving the economic wellbeing of
population at Jamoat “Oshoba” (Villages: Marhamat, Gulshan and Buloq) through provision of irrigation water to their homestead land (around 135ha in overall). It is estimated that 12,440 people of Jamoat (6,140 women out of which) will benefit. We supported the rehabilitation of 3 existing boreholes and digging additional 1. In this case, all these 4 pumps will be outputting approximately 100 liters of water per second
Maqsud Aripov, Manager of Khujand area office