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August 23, 2017

In Tajikistan, one of the largest water supply facilities in Central Asia provides safe water 24/7

photoThis 1,800 cubic meter elevated water tank suffered no water-service outage despite a 20 hour blackout

Tajikistan in Central Asia has 40 percent of the area of Japan and is home to 8.7 million people. The country shares a border with China, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan.
With Japanese cooperation, one of the largest water supply facilities in Central Asia was built in Pyanj District in Tajikistan border area, making it possible to use safe water 24 hours a day in an area four times greater than was supplied before. The water usage fee system was altered at the same time to spread a water-saving mindset among residents.

Recently, “the Project for Rehabilitation of Drinking Water Supply Systems in Pyanj District, Khatlon Region, the Republic of Tajikistan", under which this water supply facility was constructed, received the 2016 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award as "an epoch-making project that contributes greatly to the development of civil engineering technology and society."

The burden of drawing water from wells was eliminated for all the homes in Pyanj town and nearby villages

photoIt's possible to get water from a faucet at every house, eliminating the need to fetch water from a well

Until recently, old water supply systems built 70 to 40 years ago were in use in Pyanj town and six nearby villages, Pyanj District, Khatlon Region, southeast Tajikistan, in the area of the border with Afghanistan. However, only 27 percent of residents in the area had access to water services. Other residents used less-than-sanitary well water.

In this area, JICA has supported the creation of comprehensive water supply facilities from the source to homes. This includes wells pumping up water from the underground, two 1,800 cubic meter elevated water tanks that are among the largest in Central Asia, and pipes and equipment to convey water from the tank to each home. Now it is possible to get safe water 24 hours a day by turning the faucet at 4,800 homes, four times the number served previously.

Life has begun to change for many women who formerly had to go far away to fetch the water they needed for daily life and then carry that heavy water home.

Conversion to a pay-by-use system has germinated awareness of the need to save water

photoThe government of Tajikistan is putting so much resources into this project that the prime minister attended the completion ceremony

This project not only improved facilities, it also changed the payment system.

In Tajikistan, only the capital of Dushanbe and the second-largest city, Khujand, had pay-for-use systems. Most other areas have a flat-rate system. Under this project, however, a water meter was installed at each home, and there was a shift from a flat-rate system to one under which the charge depends on how much water you use.

To support the new system, JICA assisted with the creation of a system to transition to the new fee system while the new water supply facilities were being built. JICA also provided support for establishing a method of collecting fees, educating the staff of Pyanj Vodkanal, which is in charge of administering the system, and explaining the system changes to residents.

In this area, where pay-for-use fee collection began in November, the average amount of water used per household has dropped dramatically. This sparked recognition of the importance of water resources and planted the seeds of a water-saving mindset among residents.

The government of Tajikistan deemed this project to improve water supply facilities and manage the water supply in a new way "a model project," and aims to replicate it throughout the country. JICA launched the technical cooperation project “The Project for Strengthening the Water Service Management of Pyanj and Khamadoni Vodokanals” in April 2017. It aims to improve the capacity of the waterworks company to operate the enterprise independently.



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