The project “Tajikistan Water Supply and Sanitation” (TajWSS) seeks to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation in rural areas by improving the sustainability of the water and sanitation sector. Given the sustainability problems within the sector, focusing on the delivery of physical infrastructure alone will not improve access to water and sanitation in the long-term. Instead the project uses a ‘service delivery’ approach that addresses the institutional and policy environment as well as working with consumers and implementing agencies. UNDP is taking part in implementation of TajWSS project led by Oxfam Great Britain (Oxfam GB) and funded by Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC).
Phase 1 of the project demonstrated that it is possible to contribute to institutional and policy reform in Tajikistan and that traction on the sustainability agenda is possible. In Phase 2, the TajWSS project will scale-up its intervention at the district level while continuing to advocate for change and develop recommendations for further reforms at the policy level. At the policy level, the project will continue to advocate for clarification of the regulatory role at the national level; promote the implementation of a unified, full-cost recovery tariff methodology; advocate for the adoption of the lessons learned generated by the inventory conducted during Phase 1; promote the adoption of recommendations on ownership and management rights; and support the implementation of health and water quality indicators. It will reach out to consumers and rural communities, building their capacity to operate and manage small-scale water systems, empowering them to demand their right to water from operators and regulators while emphasizing their responsibilities to pay water tariffs. The policy level work will be closely linked to the work at the district level the strong involvement of water users in the policy process and with both strands of work informing each other.
Phase 2 will embed new processes and ways of working for the drinking water supply and sanitation subsector. The impact of these new processes on the water supply and sanitation (WS&S) subsector will be reviewed and documented, including impact on women, the sustainability of Water Users Associations (WUAs) and comparative advantages and disadvantages of different models of water provision. Sanitation will feature more prominently on the agenda, especially at the district level where all investment in physical infrastructure will be in water and sanitation systems. Rural communities and consumers will have a stronger voice in the decisions that affect them and service providers will be more accountable to their needs.
Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan voiced concern over the lack of sufficient attention to sanitation and requested development partners, notably the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to support and facilitate the development of a feasible Sanitation Policy. To achieve this, UNDP intends to support the Ministry of Health and Social Protection which undertakes its activities as a consultative and coordinating body to promote sanitation policy and formulate policy reform recommendations aimed to assist in development and implementation of state policies and programs in sanitation.