The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will roll out a new five year-program for Central Asia titled “Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment” with a total cost of US $24.5 million. The main purpose of the program is strengthening regional cooperation on shared water resources and addressing current and emerging environmental challenges in the five countries of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
The project will promote stability, economic prosperity, and healthy ecosystems in Central Asia by addressing critical water, energy, and agriculture sector linkages, as well as vulnerabilities to climate change.
The program will coordinate its efforts closely with other international donor projects and seek opportunities to maximize development impacts. It will also work with a range of local and regional partners to build local capacity, facilitate cooperation, implement demonstration activities, and support market-based solutions from the private sector.
USAID has already accumulated vast experience on cooperation in Central Asia’s water sector. Recently, USAID held a closing ceremony for the regional Smart Waters program aimed at collective resolving water management issues. The five-years program established 13 Small Basin Councils at 8 small transboundary watersheds in Central Asian countries and Afghanistan. Over 2,800 water experts have acquired water diplomacy skills and advance knowledge on water-saving technologies during events hosted by Smart Waters.
Recently, Smart Waters project handed over fourteen units of automated water flow measuring equipment to the State Committee on Water Management of Turkmenistan. This equipment will be installed at fourteen sites along the Murghab river in the Mary province. /// nCa, 5 October 2020