Water user associations provide access to drinking water in public places such as medical centres and schools.
Photo: © SDC

20.11.2018

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Half of Tajikistan’s 8.5 million inhabitants have no access to clean drinking water. This situation poses a serious risk to public health. The Swiss Development Cooperation project 'Safe drinking water and sanitation management in Tajikistan' focuses on access to drinking water and sanitation in the east of the country.

Access to drinking water and sanitation facilities is one of the main basic conditions for socio-economic development. While the percentage of people with access to clean water globally is growing, the opposite has been happening in Central Asia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Although Tajikistan is endowed with abundant water resources, people living in its rural and mountainous populations are facing serious difficulties in terms of public health. Eighty per cent of these inhabitants have no access to clean drinking water.

The civil war, which ended in 1997, had a major impact on eastern Tajikistan's population and its infrastructure, in particular the Eastern Khatlon region and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), where the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) is focusing its activities on improving access to drinking water and sanitation.

An obstacle to development

Waterborne diseases such as typhoid and diarrhoea are spreading in eastern Tajikistan. Also, women and children invest a significant amount of time in fetching water, to the detriment of income-generating or educational activities.

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