DUSHANBE, February 15, 2012, Asia-Plus – A two-day conference entitled “Assessing the Integrity in Water Sector of the Republic of Tajikistan” is concluding in Dushanbe today.

Organized by the UNDP Country Office in Tajikistan in partnership with the Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Resources of Tajikistan (LRWR), Agency for State Financial Control and Combating Corruption and civil society organizations, the conference has brought together representatives from international agencies, government institutions, civil society, individual experts, as well as representatives of local and private mass media.

Water is a finite and vulnerable resource. Consequently, a water crisis puts lives and livelihoods at risk because water has no substitute. Corruption in the water sector places the lives and livelihoods of billions of people worldwide at significant risk. Approximately 20 per cent of the world’s population (1.2 billion people) does not have access to clean water and more than 40 per cent (2.6 billion people) is without adequate sanitation, with devastating consequences for development and poverty reduction. In developing countries, approximately 80 per cent of health problems can be linked to inadequate water supply and sanitation, which claim the lives of 1.8 million children every year (Global Corruption Report 2008, Corruption in the Water Sector, Transparency International).

Water integrity means that individuals and groups in the water sector behave in accordance with moral principles and standards. The principles, standards and the behaviors consistent with them create a preventive barrier to corruption.

The purpose of this conference is to present the results and findings of the Water Sector Integrity Risk Assessment in Tajikistan and offer a platform to debate and exchange views and lessons learnt on how to develop the road map for implementation of recommendations related to reducing corruption risks in water sector.  The conference is reviewing and addressing human rights based approach towards the water governance which will impact the level of corruption risks and practices.

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone.  On the ground in 177 countries and territories, UNDP offers global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.