US Ambassador to Tajikistan John Mark Pommersheim took part in an event dedicated to the opening of the renovated conference hall of the Agency for Land Reclamation and Irrigation, as well as the solemn handover of a wheeled excavator to the Isfana Small River Basin Council in the Jabbor-Rasulov District of Sughd Oblast, both funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the amount of $ 125,000, noted in distributed press release.
The US government, through the USAID-funded Smart Waters project, promotes transboundary river cooperation between Central Asian countries, including Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, by forging partnerships between stakeholders in water management, especially in the Isfana River Basin.
The Smart Waters project, implemented by the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia, is promoting the establishment of Small Basin Councils (SBCs) on both sides of the Tajik-Kyrgyz border. Together, these MBSs are developing joint transboundary action plans for the sustainable development of their watershed. MBS are expanding cooperation between national and local governments, local communities, water users, farmers, non-governmental organizations and other interest groups. To further support cross-border cooperation, USAID, through the Smart Waters project, provided a wheeled excavator to clean up the Isfana River MBS canal after Council members identified cleaning the irrigation canal as a priority for the river.
In his speech, Ambassador Pommersheim noted: “The management of shared water and energy resources is perhaps the most strategic issue for Central Asian countries. Energy and water can become a source of conflict or, with effective cooperation, a source of economic growth and stability. “
The Smart Waters project fosters partnerships between water management stakeholders to promote cooperation in transboundary river management and support irrigation sector reform in five Central Asian countries and Afghanistan. USAID supports progress in the water sector in Tajikistan, not only at the national level through irrigation sector reform, but also at the local level by supporting the creation of Water User Associations to maintain irrigation water.
USAID is a leading international development agency and catalyst for achieving development results. USAID’s work promotes US national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and advances the path to recipient self-reliance and resilience.