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Providing access to safe drinking water in the Fergana Valley in Kyrgyzstan

From 3rd to 7th June 2013 the Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz visited Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to provide political consultation and an overview of Polish Aid projects implemented in the area during her meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan Erlan Abdyldayev.

On 7th June Minister Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz visited sites, where the East European Democratic Centre implements a project called “Providing access to safe drinking water in rural areas of the Fergana Valley through technical and institutional support of local communities of drinking water users”. The project is supported financially by Polish Aid with 700 000 PLN.

The Fergana Valley is one of the most densely populated regions in the Central Asia. The residents of the area are faced with numerous problems decreasing their living standards e.g. an impeded access to safe drinking and irrigation water. Furthermore, farmland scarcity and lack of areas destined for residential purposes substantially slows down the economic and social development of the region.

During her visit Minister Pełczyńska-Nałęcz familiarised herself with the ways of water supply management in Kyrgyzstan. In many villages the power over the management of water supply system was handed over directly to the users of the network, who are now acting through local communities the so called “social communities of local drinking water users”. Local communities are members a network organisation CAAW ('Central Asian Alliance for Water'), a direct partner of SWCD in the project’s implementation. Improvement in the effectiveness of those local communities will result not only in a better supply and quality of water but also will trigger a process of building stronger civil society in a given region of Kyrgyzstan.

This year’s project continues and extends the work of SWCD carried out between 2010-2012, when the most neuralgic parts of the water supply systems in 12 villages in the region were renovated. In the long run the presence of Polish Aid is to result in an increase in sustainable development of the Fergana region as well as an improvement in the effectiveness of management of water resources and in the ecological state of waters.

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