Water management organizations in Isfara river basin received 7 excavators from UNDP in Tajikistan

Jul 27, 2015

Isfara, 27 July 2015 – At the premises of Isfara Department of Land Reclamation and Irrigation, took place official hand-over ceremony of 7 excavator-loaders provided by the UNDP in Tajikistan for the state and public water management organizations in Isfara river basin. Excavators were distributed one for each Departments of Land Reclamation and Irrigation in Isfara and Kanibadam, Federation of WUAs, Water Users Associations “Chorku”, “Matpari”, “Mehnatobod-Vorukh” and “Ghuzlon”.

Various assessments indicate that chronic lack of investments in water and agriculture resulted in continued degradation of irrigation systems, and to date inter-farm and on-farm water losses reach around 40% in most parts of Tajikistan. Increasing number of farmer reports on water deficits at downstream communities are one of important issues that local water authorities have to deal with on a daily basis. In particular, UNDP assessment “Potential for peace and Threats of Conflict” identified ‘water’ among others (land, pastures, etc) as one of factors for the inter-ethnic relations in the border areas in Isfara river basin between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Excavators and other machineries alike are vitally important means to reduce water deficits through improved irrigation systems maintenance, but since the reorganization of state farms and ‘kolkhozes’ those are seldom the items many small farms or water management authorities have in hand. Inevitably poor service delivery is often among the reasons for accumulating debts from water fees among farming communities. Machineries designed to improve maintenance of irrigation and drainage systems, provide immediate opportunities to address the established situation in Tajikistan’s water and agriculture sector.

The given excavator-loaders are provided in the framework of the project “Support to IWRM-based water sector reform implementation in Tajikistan”, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation jointly with UNDP in Tajikistan. Those excavators are designed for maintaining inter-farm irrigation canals, maintained by mentioned WUAs and local water management institutions. Among the participants were the representatives of Isfara and Kanibadam Departments of Land Reclamation and Irrigation, six target Water Users Associations, responsible oblast and district authorities and the Energy and Environment Programme of the UNDP.

UNDP activities in the water sector are carried out in support of on-going reforms in subsectors of water sector to improve well-being of farming communities in rural Tajikistan. In implementing various water related initiatives, UNDP promotes integrated approach involving all stakeholders at various levels. In particular, UNDP is supporting implementation of water sector reform based on principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

During the period from 2009 to date, UNDP implemented several projects in promoting IWRM approach in target Isfara river basin. This includes, establishment of inter-farm water management institutions, i.e. six Water User Associations (WUA) and their Federation serving the area of 3,952 hectares. There are now 15,273 members WUAs, of which 4,691 are women. Federation has not 19 WUAs under its umbrella covering more than 24,000 hectares of irrigated lands and serving 88,906 water users. Those organizations were strengthened through provision of trainings on organizational and economic management, water measurement tools and water distribution equipment. Several demonstration projects were implemented to improve water distribution mechanisms for WUAs.

Moreover, between the period of 2012 and 2014, UNDP implemented several infrastructure projects of transboundary importance aimed at improved monitoring of inter-state water flows in Isfara river and promoting effective water distribution between transboundary communities (Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan). With this purpose, UNDP rehabilitated three inter-state hydrological stations – “Tangivorukh” of upstream, “Matpari” of midstream, and “Rabot” of downstream in Isfara river basin. Those stations were also equipped with water measurement equipment accompanied with related trainings. Certain sections of Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan inter-state canal “Druzhba” were rehabilitated, which improved water supply for more than 20,000 cross-border communities.

In implementing those initiatives, UNDP pays special attention towards improved transparency in water distribution, improved water use practices, increased confidence building among cross-border communities, increased economic sustainability of water management organizations, and in general in water sector development in Isfara river basin.

As noted by Mr. Rustam Shomirsaidov, Head of Isfara Department of Land Reclamation and Irrigation – “Now with the help of excavators we will be able to improve state of the irrigation systems and therefore reduce water deficits primarily at on-farm level”.

Contact informationUNDP in Tajikistan, Energy and Environment Programme.

Mr. Shukhrat Igamberdyev, Water Cluster Coordinator,
E-mail: shukhrat.igamberdyev@undp.org; Tel.: +992 93 9999 037, (37) 236 00 57;

Mr. Anatoliy Kholmatov, National Consultant on IWRM in Tajikistan,
E-mail: anatoliy.kholmatov@undp.org; Tel.: +992 93 9999 071, (37) 236 52 31.

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