Training of the Zarafshon RBA staff started well in advance of the actual construction of the new RBA building in Ayni (completed in July 2019 under the World Bank sister project), through the selection of a preliminary Zarafshon Basin Working Group (ZBWG).
The establishment of the ZBWG fitted with the overall Water Sector Reforms Programme (2015-2025) of the Republic of Tajikistan, where the working groups established for each of Tajikistan’s five river basins, would in 2020 become the river basin agencies for their respective basins.
Having passed a rigorous selection process in May 2017, the 13 selected candidates from the Zarafshon valley were officially recognized as trainees under the ZBWG and subsequently received more than two years of intensive classroom-based and on-the-job training and mentoring in all aspects of IWRM. This included education on the water cycle, river basin dynamics, hydrological processes, the design of irrigation systems and water distribution, social water management, upper catchment management, hydrological infrastructure operations and maintenance, river flow measurements and water quality monitoring.
The ZBWG trainees thereby developed the capacity, knowledge and skills to make a positive contribution both to the implementation of IWRM in the Zarafshon Basin, and the water sector in Tajikistan more widely. The trainees were also grouped according to their specialisations, and received more focused training to prepare them for specific roles under what would become the RBA.
The examination and interview process of the ZBWG members to determine the seven candidates who would form the personnel of the new RBA was organised by the MoEWR on 6 May 2020, and the positions were officially announced on 11 June 2020.