Tapping Tajikistan’s water resources

The EBRD is continuing to support the upgrade of the city of Khujand’s water supply system.

For decades, after gaining independence, the majority of the 165,000 citizens of Khujand, the second biggest city in Tajikistan, divided by the Syr Daria River, had access to potable water only for few hours a day, causing risks to their health and hygiene.

With the network damaged by leaking pipes and a weak pumping system, the water could not reach high floors of multi-storey buildings and corroded pipes would give water a poor taste. But the obsolete supply system was too expensive to repair and maintain.

Khujand Water Supply Improvement Project

Since 2004 the EBRD has been helping to improve the city water supply system and the quality of the water, investing a total amount of up to €3 million providing two sovereign-guaranteed loans (Phases I and II) to the Khujand Water Supply Improvement Project. The first phase of the project allowed the replacement of about 40 kilometres of old pipes and pumps and the installation of more than 12.5 thousand water meters. This guaranteed an efficient water service for more than 30 per cent of Khujand’s population and significantly reduced technical and financial losses.

Building on these successful results, in 2008 the Bank launched the second phase of the project to continue rehabilitating the rest of the network and cover the entire city with water meters by 2012. Further water supply improvements include the capacity increase of the existing pumping stations and procurement of machinery and equipment. The project also comprises institutional development through a Stakeholder Participation Programme, with community training on the benefits of rational use of water resources.

Donors support

Both phases of the project have been supported by the significant contribution of the government of Switzerland that provided a total of around €7.5 million as an investment grant, complemented by a €1.37 million technical cooperation grant financed by Switzerland, Norway and the ETC multi-donor fund.