Introducing water-efficient irrigation in drought-affected areas helps communities cope with climate impacts

November 29, 2022

Today UNDP gathered partners to share the results of its efforts to increase resilience and reduce damage from climate change in key agricultural communities in Batken through climate-smart irrigation and mudflow protection measures.

Due to its low adaptive capacity, Batken province is considered the most vulnerable to climate change impacts. UNDP selected areas to introduce climate-smart irrigation and mudflow protection measures in 60 local communities.

Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic, said: “UNDP supports Kyrgyzstan in increasing resilience and reducing the damage from climate change in key agricultural communities of the Batken region. Introduced smart irrigation in Batken local communities proved to be efficient and can be scaled up in drought-affected areas throughout the country.

UNDP has supported the Agency of Hydrometeorology to improve the quality of meteorological forecasting in Batken. As of today, additional four meteorological stations were successfully installed. This will bring meteorological observations density to 60% (against 14,7% before) and enable more accurate and reliable local forecasts for the local population in Batken oblast.

International science institutions have been engaged to strengthen the Hydromet Agency’s science and research capacity in the area of agrometeorological forecasting. Additional research was conducted to understand how climate change impacts agriculture and food security. Special research was held to remove obstacles faced by women farmers to benefit from innovative measures of adaptation to climate change.

Timur Madyarov, Deputy Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic in the Batken region, noted: “Access to water is a problem. Poor water management and outdated irrigation infrastructure result in high water losses. Low yields and direct crop losses contribute to high levels of poverty and social tensions. At the same time, the current trend towards climate change is relevant for the Batken region, which remains the most vulnerable in terms of its climatic characteristics. All this requires the closest attention, especially in terms of water distribution and water supply in view of increasing drought.”

Consul of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Osh Konstantin Bakhtin said: “This event will provide the basis for further exchange of practical experience and implementation of promising programs aimed at strengthening climate resilience not only in Batken oblast, but throughout the country.

Furthermore, UNDP is committed to delivering climate-smart agriculture that achieves the triple win of increased agroproductivity, enhanced resilience, and water use effectivity. 

Local communities benefited from technologies for more efficient water use and measures on rehabilitation and protection of on-farm irrigation systems.

First, in 60 communities of Batken, Kadamjay, and Leilek regions water-saving drip irrigation systems were installed as this technology effectively manages water consumption. In 2020-2022, drip irrigation systems were installed on 165.83 hectares. The potential water savings in the rehabilitated area will be 667,621 cubic meters. The total cost of the activities was $261,236, of which 40% was farmers' contribution.

Second, in seven communities most vulnerable to climate change, objects of on-farm irrigation systems (irrigation systems and mudflow protection structures) were restored and protected.

With the joint efforts of engaged partners, Batken climate resilience has been strengthened through integrating solutions and expanding the application of climate change adaptation practices that were successfully implemented by UNDP in areas such as agriculture, integrated water resources management, and disaster risk reduction.

In the long term, the technical assistance provided to communities will allow Batken residents to apply modern and affordable technologies in agriculture, increase yields and reduce agricultural losses, and strengthen and protect infrastructure facilities from disasters, which will ultimately increase their resilience and adaptive capacity to the effects of climate change.

UNDP project “Strengthening climate resilience of the Batken Province of the Kyrgyz Republic through the introduction of climate-smart irrigation and mudflow protection measures” was implemented with the financial support of the Russian Federation via Trust Fund “The Russian Federation – the United Nations Development Programme for Development” TFRF-UNDP.

More details about the results of the project can be found via this link: