DUSHANBE, November 5, Asia-Plus  -- A loan agreement to support the Khatlon Province Flood Risk Management Project was signed between the Tajik government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Dushanbe on November 3.    

A total cost of the project is $27.7 million.  ADB provides a $22 million loan and the balance will be covered by the Tajik government.   

 Tajikistan is prone to frequent natural disasters because of its terrain and climate. Floods are particularly severe disaster risks because of the mountainous nature of the country.  

 Khatlon Province Flood Risk Management Project will address recurring flood risks in four districts in the province – Vose, Farkhor, Kulob and Hamadoni -- through a comprehensive and coordinated approach.  A major part of the project is the rehabilitation of 8.3 kilometers of flood protection embankment along Panj River, which borders Tajikistan and neighboring Afghanistan.  Assuming that a medium level of maintenance is achieved, the proposed embankment can protect against floods at the probability of once in 100 years.

The project will also develop and disseminate a flood risk map, strengthen flood warning systems, draw up a flood preparedness and evacuation plan, and strengthen flood forecasting capacity by rehabilitating the country’s hydrometeorological network.  The project will also help the government define and implement policy reforms needed to improve flood preparedness and remove some of its persistent operation and maintenance funding constraints for flood levees and riverbank protection works.

The project is designed for five years (2008-2013).  The ADB loan carries a 32-year term, including a grace period of eight years, and an interest rate of 1% per annum during the grace period and 1.5% per annum after.