Dushanbe, 12 March 2021 – The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan and UNDP host a joint National Workshop on the Coordination of the Water Sector Reform today to raise awareness among national stakeholders and development partners about the importance of governance as an accelerator of Sustainable Development Goal 6 on clean water and sanitation but also the complexity of water sector reform and the need to find innovative solutions to further strengthen its coordination.

First Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources Mr. Jamshed Shoimzoda and UNDP Resident Representative in Tajikistan Dr. Pratibha Mehta have opened the event, which has brought together different stakeholders for multi-sectoral collaboration, including the Agency for Land Reclamation and Irrigation, State Committee for Land Management and Geodesy, and other state agencies and development partners working in water sector.

“Access to water and sanitation explains 78% of the Human Development Index of all countries worldwide. Yet, with climate emergency becoming more acute, Tajikistan, like many other countries, is not on track and the water sector reform is an important step towards good governance. Few countries have placed water higher up the government agenda than Tajikistan and I am pleased to announce UNDP’s determination to step-up its support in this sector, including through proposing innovative solutions for institutional support at the national and international level,” Dr. Pratibha Mehta says.

The three main sessions of the workshop focus on overall coordination of the reform, on international experience and support to this kind of processes in Tajikistan and around the world and on the importance of program coordination across levels and sectors.

The current wave of water sector reform was launched in the 2000s with the support of UNDP to expand the sector from irrigation as the main water user in terms of quantity to Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), encompassing multiple aspects of the sector. The key objective of the reform is to improve policies, laws, and management structures for the country’s needs to transition to socially-oriented market economy. This requires less direct control by the state but more robust mechanisms to coordinate a wider set of actors involved in the water sector.

Within the past decade, UNDP, along with other development partners, has invested substantially to help the government of Tajikistan improve the water sector reform coordination. This has supported the adoption of improved policy and landmark legislation, including the new Water Code, new Law on Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation and new Law on Water Users Associations.

Currently, the focus of the reform is separation of policy, operation, and ownership functions, and integration across horizontal subsectors, particularly irrigation, industry, drinking water supply and sanitation, disaster risk reduction and ecosystems, as well as vertical levels, including regional, national and local. The main guiding document is the Water Sector Reform Programme 2016-2025 of the Republic of Tajikistan.

For more information please contact: Rukhshona Nazhmidinova, Communications Analyst, UNDP in Tajikistan (Tel.: +992 (44) 6005600, E-mail: rukhshona.nazhmidinova@undp.org).

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