Oxfam has conducted its final Swiss-funded Tajikistan Water Supply and Sanitation (TajWSS) Network of Stakeholders’ Meeting at Hyatt Regency in Dushanbe on May 18, 2022.  

The TajWSS network was launched in November 2009 by Oxfam International within a project initiated and funded by the government of Switzerland.  Alongside the government, local and international stakeholders have played a vital role in coordinating early-stage water sector reform, supporting and facilitating government and donor initiatives, and engaging local stakeholders in decision-making processes.

The project provided sustainable and affordable clean water and sanitation services to approximately 136,000 people, through establishing 15 new water operators and strengthening two existing (Vodokanal and Tojikobidehot) in Roudaki, Muminobod and Kulob districts.  This includes more than 8,000 inpatients and 42,000 outpatients per year served by the construction of a new decentralized wastewater treatment system (DEWATS) for two hospitals in Roudaki district.  Furthermore, the project encouraged more than 1,000 people to upgrade their household latrines with their own financial resources.  The project was a great opportunity to demonstrate to government and key decision-makers how decentralized water and sanitation services can become permanent and lasting, and improve people’s wellbeing.F

Salome Steib, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan, noted: “Ensuring access to safe drinking water is not only about construction and rehabilitation of water supply systems.  It is foremost about sustainable management of systems for improved and long lasting service delivery.  This requires adequate building capacities of responsible authorities and communities to manage drinking water and sanitation systems, and to create an ultimately enabling policy environment for positive changes to happen on the national level.”

Orkhan Ali, Country Program Manager, Oxfam International in Tajikistan: “The project has established 15 water supply systems across three districts, providing clean water and sanitation services to people, schools, healthcare facilities and community buildings.  Moreover, for the first time in the history of Tajikistan, we have built a decentralized wastewater treatment system (DEWATS) for two hospitals in Roudaki district that transform sewage into cleaner water for irrigation purposes.  Since the project established an inclusive and transparent environment from the outset, local governments and communities have shown immense proactivity in constructing and managing water and sanitation systems.  This has created a sense of community ownership over the systems’ sustainability moving forwards.”

The government is leading on the coordination of stakeholders to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation) through implementing relevant projects, learning and policy reforms.

The TajWSS project is a Swiss government initiative, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Oxfam International, in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), from 2009 to 2022.  The initiative has been closely coordinated in consultation with the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of Tajikistan as the lead government agency for water sector reform, and implemented in Roudaki, Muminobod and Kulob districts.

This year the Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan marks 30th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Tajikistan.  Over the past 30 years, around 500 million USD have been allocated in the form of grants to the government of Tajikistan and the Tajik population.  Within its cooperation program for Central Asia (2022-2025), Switzerland will continue to support Tajikistan with 584 million USD, focusing on supporting water, infrastructure and climate change activities, as well as economic, social and democratic development.