New water safety plan in Tajikistan to reduce water-transmitted diseases in rural areas

WHO

During a seminar on 9 March 2012, experts from the WHO Country Office in Tajikistan and the Ministry of Health introduced a water safety plan to protect small-scale water supply systems and improve the quality of drinking water and sanitation.

The meeting was organized in partnership with the WHO/Europe Water and Sanitation Programme, the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on Drinking Water Hygiene, Germany, and the Tajikistan State Sanitary Epidemiological Surveillance Service (SSESS). Among those attending were Ambassador Doris Hertrampf of Germany, and representatives of international organizations and government entities.

During the meeting, the WHO representative Dr Pavel Ursu highlighted the importance of ensuring access to safe drinking water in the most hard-to-reach areas. Rural areas, in particular, need to be a priority. "It is crucially important that this part of the population have access to safe drinking water, which leads to the reduction of diseases and to health system strengthening in general."

Dr Jaffarov Navruz, Deputy Head of SSESS added that “implementing the water safety plan in small-scale water supply systems is an effective way to ensure water safety, health system strengthening and reduced risks of infectious water-transmitted diseases”.

The water safety project is being implemented with financial support from the German Environment Ministry (BMU) as part of the broader WHO/BMU project “Protecting health from climate change – a seven-country initiative”.

Specialist training

In addition to this seminar, experts from UBA and WHO/Europe conducted a series of training sessions on 10–14 March 2012 for specialists from the regions and oblasts who work in the water supply system and communal services. The specialists gained the detailed knowledge needed to apply key principles of water safety plans, and to develop and implement them in small-scale water supply areas. The training also gave participants the opportunity to gain skills in this field and exchange visions, ideas, and experiences.