Small and safe: scaling-up water safety planning and effective water quality monitoring in rural Tajikistan

Background and objectives

The provision of safe drinking-water is a challenge for small water suppliers across the pan-European Region with higher frequencies of waterborne disease outbreaks than in larger water supply systems. In Tajikistan, more than 73% of the population lives in rural areas with small systems being the main source of drinking-water. WHO/Europe supported a pilot on water safety planning for rural water supplies for two of the country’s districts in 2011–2012. Water Safety Plans (WSPs) are regarded the most effective approach to ensuring safe drinking-water.

As part of its Biennial Collaborative Agreement with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Tajikistan, WHO/Europe supports the Tajik government in improving access to safely managed drinking-water. Jointly, WHO/Europe and the Tajik government will be implementing the “Small and safe: scaling-up water safety planning and effective water quality monitoring in rural Tajikistan” project until July 2018.

Activities

In the framework of the project the following activities are carried out:

  • Scaling-up of water safety planning in rural Tajikistan through building capacity of national WSP facilitators and through implementing WSPs in five districts;
  • Development of a national WSP roadmap and a national WSP guideline supporting long-term policy uptake in Tajikistan and serving as a model for neighboring countries;
  • Development of effective and sustainable strategies to drinking-water quality monitoring including investments in laboratories of Sanitary Epidemiological Service offices in five districts to enable routine analyses of core health-relevant water quality parameters;
  • Promotion of the human right to water and awareness raising on the interplay of safe water, sanitation, hygiene behaviour and disease prevention.

Partner support

The project is coordinated by the WHO/Europe Country Office in Tajikistan and the Water and Climate programme at the WHO European Centre for Environment and Health. The project is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland under Finland's Water Sector Support to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (FinWaterWEI II) programme managed by the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE. On behalf of the Government of Tajikistan, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the State Sanitary Epidemiological Surveillance Service are main implementing partners.