The first Zarafshon River Basin Dialogue in Tajikistan is a great success

The first River Basin Dialogue under The Zarafshon Integrated Basin Project recently took place at the Dilkusho Tea House in Panjaken Town in Tajikistan. It was organised by the Zarafshon Basin Work Group and Landell Mills, who is providing technical assistance to the project. Through River Basin Dialogues, the Work Group is able to collect feedback and organise discussions among various stakeholders to incorporate into a new River Basin Plan. The plan is being developed by the Zarafshon Basin Work Group and the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources (MoEWR) to guide the development and management of water resources in the Zarafshon Basin. 130 stakeholders attended the inaugural dialogue including the First Deputy of MoEWR, the Head of Operations and the Rural Development Task Manager from the EU Delegation to Tajikistan, and representatives from the Academy of Science of Tajikistan.

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As well as helping to develop the River Basin Plan, the first River Basin Dialogue also promoted the work of the European Union’s Rural Development Programme, which focusses on integrated water resources management in river basins. During the event, several presentations were given on water sector reforms and plans for the development of the Zarafshon Basin. Other Integrated Water Resource Management programmes working in river basins in Tajikistan also presented and highlighted their progress. Lastly, a working session gave participants the chance to discuss major water related issues in the basin to discuss feedback from questionnaires distributed before the meeting. The dialogue was featured on regional TV as well as in the national media.

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The Zarafshon Basin Work Group is a group of professionals who are currently being trained under the Zarafshon Integrated Sub Basin Project to become a River Basin Agency. The project is funded by the European Union and is contributing the sustainable management and protection of water and land resources in the country.

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