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The Tajikistan Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme

Bunafsha collecting water from her tap stand (Credit: Ruby Wright / Oxfam)

At a glance

Going beyond infrastructure and service delivery to use a holistic and sustainable approach to safe drinking water and improved health in Tajikistan.

Overview

The Tajikistan Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme aims to ensure that the population of Tajikistan will have improved, sustainable and equitable access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and will adopt better hygiene behaviour.

It is the result of a review following five years of water and sanitation delivery, conducted in response to sustainability concerns. It became clear that INGOs, state and private sector providers were all struggling within this institutional framework. In response, the Tajikistan Water Supply and Sanitation Network (TajWSS Network) was created, which brings together 17 government ministries and agencies, UN agencies, INGOs, academia, the media, Tajik civil society organizations, the private sector and Parliament. Focusing on service delivery and infrastructure alone will not improve access to water and sanitation in the long term. Instead, the programme uses a 'self-financing governance' approach that addresses the institutional and policy environment as well as working with consumers and implementing agencies.

Our approach

The programme's overall goal is that the population of Tajikistan will have improved, sustainable and equitable access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and will adopt better hygiene behaviour. The programme aims to achieve the following changes in Tajikistan by 2021:

  1. Improved governance of drinking water (and water for other uses such as irrigation) and sanitation at national and local levels.
  2. Increased demand for and supply of sanitation to households, and improved hygiene behaviour.
  3. Water supply based on economic principles.
  4. Water supply and sanitation financed with innovative solutions.

Oxfam's approach in this programme is to work as a partner to the government, working directly with government agencies and committees to develop and sustain the structures and policies needed to effectively manage water resources and make them available to the population. Therefore, the programme works with politicians to reform policies and introduce innovative funding mechanisms, as well as in communities to ensure that good policies are being implemented and bring direct benefits to women and men.

Working with partners

Our main partners are government agencies, committees, international organizations, local NGOs and community-based organizations. A key way that the programme works with partners is through the TajWSS Network, which aims to improve the communications between government actors and other stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector and contribute to building a better environment for decision making. Oxfam also helped to set up the Inter-Ministerial Coordination Council, established by presidential decree, with membership from 14 ministries and government agencies. This meets four times a year to discuss policy and make decisions with the chairmanship of the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources.

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