Improved WASH as key factor to respond to COVID-19 in rural areas of Tajikistan

July 7, 2020

Laboba, 26 June, 2020 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) opened a new water supply system to provide piped drinking water to all household in Laboba village in Khatlon to improve water supply and sanitation conditions for the people.

Tajikistan enjoys abundant freshwater resources in its rivers, lakes and glaciers, yet, access to improved drinking water sources and sewerage system remains significantly low compared to other Central Asian countries. Water and sanitation are among the most unequally distributed services in the country, particularly in rural areas. The issue has become even more acute with the global COVID-19 pandemic, as maintaining high level of personal hygiene is among the key factors in preventing the spread of the disease.

Located in north of Kulyab city, Laboba has previously had only five water supply points for its 315 households, which left more than 90 percent of the population with no access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation. The capacity of the only existing borehole inherited from Soviet times was enough to serve the needs of the population, but it had deteriorated and often malfunctioned. Villagers regularly risked their health drinking contaminated water, which has also led to high level of water-borne diseases.

The new water supply system provides each household with safe, piped water within the project “Engaging communities to access and effectively manage drinking water supply systems in rural areas of Tajikistan.” Separate pipelines for each household also reduces people’s footprint in spread of COVID-19 by eliminating the need for gatherings around the outdated drinking water supply system to fetch for water.

The system consists of sanitary protected zone, one 80-meter-deep borehole, one reservoir with capacity of 25m3, delivery pipeline, and 28 water meter boxes with 315 water meters.

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Tajikistan Christophoros Politis and Mayor of Kulyab city Abdukodir Valizoda attended the opening ceremony.

For more information about the project, contact Mustakim Akhmedov, Water Cluster Coordinator of Energy and Environment Programme of UNDP Tajikistan via: (+992) 94 999 93 92; email:

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