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Tajikistan embarks on an assessment to close the tap on water corruption

Country: 
Tajikistan
Posted date: 
Sat, 05/01/2010
Tajikistan is the 5thmost water-rich country in the world, but only 59% of its population has access to safe drinking water (47% in the rural areas). In spite of its rich water resources, the country has the worst access to safe drinking water in Central Asia. Clearly, the problem is not one of availability – it is one of governance.
 
Tajikistan is the 5thmost water-rich country in the world, but only 59% of its population has access to safe drinking water. In spite of its rich water resources, the country has the worst access to safe drinking water in Central Asia. Clearly, the problem is not one of availability – it is one of governance.
Tajikistan is the 5thmost water-rich country in the world, but only 59% of its population has access to safe drinking water (47% in the rural areas). In spite of its rich water resources, the country has the worst access to safe drinking water in Central Asia. Clearly, the problem is not one of availability – it is one of governance.
 
As part of ongoing efforts to enhance integrity in the water sector, the Ministry of Water Resources and Land Reclamation,  together with the national anti-corruption agency, the Strategic Research Centre and research-oriented NGOs, have decided to conduct a systematic assessment of corruption risks along the service delivery chain. Members of the ‘Advisory Group’ and the ‘Research Group’ for this assessment gathered for a two-day workshop in Dushanbe (11-12 May), facilitated by the Oslo Governance Centre and UNDP’s Water Governance Facility, to examine how similar assessments conducted in other countries could be adapted to the Tajik context (see the water integrity studies supported by the Water Integrity Network).
 
Since water consumption in Tajikistan is dominated by irrigated farming (84%), it was decided that this particular sub-sector should be a key focus of the Tajik assessment, in addition to domestic drinking water. This will make Tajikistan a pioneer in this field as virtually no other country having embarked on a water integrity assessment has tackled corruption in irrigation yet. The Tajik initiative could also prove to be groundbreaking for its innovative ways to triangulate different sources of information between water consumers, service providers, water users’ associations, local government staff, and private contractors. A series of focus group discussions with these various stakeholders will first be held to identify the most critical ‘corruption risks’ as experienced by these actors, in both rural and urban areas. Based on these insights, specific surveys will be crafted for each stakeholder group to investigate in more detail the circumstances leading to corrupt practices, and their impact on peoples’ lives.
 
See workshop material here.
 
Pyanj River in Badakhshan, Tajikistan:
Photo: Marie Laberge