SUSTAINABLE WATER USE MANAGEMENT IN TAJIKISTAN/COMPONENT 2/"Enhancing Governmental Organizationsí Water Management Capacities"

Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, United Nations Development Program, Sustainable Water Use and Management in Tajikistan, March 2005,

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Component 2. Enhancing Governmental Organizationsí Water Management Capacities

Previously, all lines of communication for the ministries involved in water management ran directly to Moscow. Specialized agencies submitted reports and funding requests to the center, and there was little coordination among ministries at the regional or republic level. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, this command structure has effectively been decapitated, depriving it even of the centralist direction that Moscow once provided. Ministries in the republic today are faced with the challenge of coordinating their own policy on the basis of little prior experience. Given Tajikistanís limited experience in coordinating complex water policy, the inherently multi-sectoral nature of water and the intimate and fragile relationship between water and the broader environment, it is not surprising that current institutional and legislative frameworks are struggling to meet the challenge.

The personnel base on which the water system depends has been weakened by independence, the civil war and economic transition. Many of the cadres who filled senior managerial and technical posts were Russian. Even before the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 skilled personnel had gradually been leaving Tajikistan. The lack of funds for recruiting and retaining highly qualified staff has had a severe negative impact on key agencies, both in weakening their professional culture and in hampering their performance in the field.

Opportunities for training and team-building are almost non-existent, leading to slow adoption of new technical and managerial approaches. Communication with regional offices is haphazard, with some ministries reporting that staff in the field is sometimes unaware of key policy changes. As a result of these personnel constraints, outmoded practices have persisted in spite of the clear need for efficiency-improving reforms.

A critical personnel issue concerns the highly specialized technical backgrounds of many professional in the water sector. Narrow scientific specialization comes at a price: there is a real shortage of leaders in the sector with a sound, holistic understanding of the overall water system. With irrigation programmes neglecting drainage, supply systems neglecting sanitation, and end-pipe solutions for industrial waste being favored over integrated treatment measure, the absence of integrated water policy and management has contributed to Tajikistanís failure to halt some of the unsustainable and damaging practices of the previous era. A new generation of the policymakers capable of maintaining the high scientific standards of the current generation while also able to see the linkages between disparate water-related sectors and the externalities associated with water use will be essential if Tajikistan wants to achieve sustainable water usage for the long term.

Objective: Strengthen the capacity for strategic planning and sustainable development and management of

surface and groundwater resources. The upgrading of the management capability of the government in integrated land and water management and conservation will be the main purpose of this programme component. This capacity development will have two directions: (i) Support will be given to strategy and program development in water resources management; (ii) Maximum use will be made of the training institutions dealing with water issues like the Ministry of Melioration, Giprovodhozíes, local water institutions etc. Skills development will include a number of field demonstrations; seminars; workshops etc; as well as actual implementation of proven land and water conservation techniques.


i.         Improve coordination among the Ministries as well as the Agencies involved in the national water sector through regular meetings, seminars etc.;

ii.        Promote the shift from single projects toward multi -sectoral programs combining Health, water and sanitation, nutrition and rural development to encourage Integrated Water Resources Management;

iii.        Promote a long and medium term programming in water resources management through a long term Development framework of the water resources of Tajikistan (Resource Evaluation, Strategic approach, Institutional framework at national, provincial and local levels, Action plan and financial evaluation);

iv.        Establish realistic management plans for operation and maintenance of the main and secondary infrastructure based on on-going government and donor supported studies and strategies about rehabilitation and/or system change of the main and secondary irrigation infrastructure.

v.        Initiate long term strategic and prospective studies to identify future constrains such as: The long term balance of water supply and demand; climate changes and glaciers retreating; country wide evaluation and cost estimate of rehabilitation of clean water supply and irrigation systems;

vi.       Analyze the capacity of the water institutions and identify the capacity gaps and training needs;

vii.       Develop the curriculum for the training of the personnel;

viii.     Training-of-trainers course for Tajik Governmentís specialists to create a core group that can assist with further training, outreach and analysis;

ix.       Training of the personnel by the trainers.

x.        Identify the possible places of the site visits and organize site visits for the identified personnel;

xi.       Publish materials for the further training of the personnel.

 Resource Requirements. The total cost of this component for the 2005-2007 pe