On Thursday June 23, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $30 million International Develo pment Association (IDA)’s grant for the Tajikistan Strengthening Water and Irrigation Management Project, ASIA-Plus reported. According to the World Bank Country Office for Tajikistan, the goal is to support water resources and irrigation planning and management for enhanced climate resilience and improved rural livelihoods and food security in Tajikistan. The project is reportedly co-financed by a €16.19 million grant from the European Union.
“Water is critical for Tajikistan’s economy and contributes to the development of key sectors, including agriculture, which employs almost half of the country’s workforce,” said Ozan Sevimli, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “With this new project, the World Bank builds on many years of support to the country’s water sector to ensure that abundant water resources are managed effectively to enhance Tajikistan’s economic growth, and contribute to poverty reduction and food security today and in the future.”
Tajikistan’s aging and underfinanced irrigation infrastructure reportedly results in low-quality irrigation services, which contribute to low productivity, low incomes, food insecurity, and environmental stress. Irrigated agriculture is also both water- and energy-intensive, due to dilapidated infrastructure and high dependence on pumping.
Tajikistan has embarked on important reforms, including by adopting a National Water Sector Reform Program (2016–25), new laws on Water User Associations and on Drinking Water Supply and Wastewater, and the adoption of a revised National Water Code.
The World Bank has been supporting this reform agenda, while also investing in institutional strengthening and rehabilitation of critical water and irrigation management infrastructure.
The new project will continue these efforts and invest in restructuring and capacity building of national and local water institutions for more effective water monitoring, planning and management. – Kabar