National workshop on the Protocol on Water and Health in Turkmenistan


Every year on the first Sunday of April, Turkmenistan celebrates the national holiday "A Drop of Water – A Grain of Gold" in recognition of the value of water. 

Several major events have been conducted, including a national workshop on the Protocol on Water and Health and its linkage with the global monitoring programme for water supply and sanitation. The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan with support from the, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and WHO/Europe. It took place on 1 April 2015 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

The workshop was attended by representatives from various ministries and agencies such as Меjlis, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, the Ministry of Nature Protection, the Ministry of Service Utility, the Ministry of Water Resources, the State Committee on Statistics, the State Corporation Turkmengeologiya, Turkmen State Medical University, specialists from the State Sanitary Epidemiological Service from national and velayat levels, and international partners in water and sanitation, as well as experts from WHO/Europe and UNECE. 

The workshop covered several topics:

  • key provisions and the status of the implementation of the Protocol in the pan-European region and of the process towards accession to the Protocol in Turkmenistan;
  • linkage of the Protocol with the WHO/United Nations Children's Fund Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) for Water Supply and Sanitation;
  • an introduction to JMP and methodological aspects related to data sources, and national definitions of drinking-water sources/technologies and sanitation facilities;
  • validation and reconciliation of JMP country estimates for global reporting; and
  • proposed targets on water, sanitation and hygiene, and indicators for the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.

Workshop participants discussed interagency cooperation and suggested establishing a multistakeholder committee (or a working group) to coordinate the Protocol-related activities in the country, involving Turkmenistan's main ministries and agencies. The participants acknowledged the usefulness of the workshop as they gained better understanding of the methodological details of JMP and the future global monitoring landscape. The workshop provided a good opportunity to discuss a country process for validation of JMP country data for future reporting of the progress on drinking-water and sanitation.