The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) supported the creation of the Center for Safe Drinking Water Solutions that was officially opened on March 27, 2010, according to the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
The Center was created cooperatively with the Tajikistan Technical University, and operates within the framework of the “Tajikistan Safe Drinking Water Project” (TSDWP). The Center will provide students from the Department of Water Engineering with practical internships on the development of safe drinking water alternatives.
The opening event, hosted by TSDWP, was attended by Mr. Jeffrey Lehrer, USAID Tajikistan Country Director; Ms. Malika Mahkamboyeva, USAID Health Project Management Specialist; Mr. Orif Amirov, Dean of the Construction & Architecture Faculty; other members of the teaching faculty and approximately twenty-five students from the Construction & Architecture Faculty of the Tajikistan Technical University (TTU). An “open house” followed at the recently opened offices of the “Tajikistan Safe Drinking Water Project”.
The official ceremony began with statements from representatives of the TTU expressing their appreciation for the USAID support and assistance. The university representatives stressed the importance of drinking water supply issues in rural Tajikistan. They also expressed their anticipation of taking part in the new approaches to providing safe drinking water in Tajikistan that the USAID project will develop and apply. TTU representatives emphasized that these innovative approaches will be based on the TSDWP engineers’ experience, the introduction of new technologies and techniques to Tajikistan and the practical field efforts of water engineering students of the Technical University.
According to participants, the Center will find safe drinking water solutions for rural communities while simultaneously helping to prepare the next generation of water engineers for Tajikistan. Student interns will assist in actual, practical community projects using state-of-the art techniques, methods and equipment provided by TSDWP. These activities will prepare the student interns for their eventual professional assignments and will increase access to safe drinking water and improve health and hygiene in the rural communities of Tajikistan served by the Project.
The ceremony included an official signing of a Statement of Cooperation, a traditional ribbon cutting/opening and a brief demonstration of some of the advanced technologies available at the center. The center will accommodate up to eight (8) students at one time, and will offer training and practical experience using a wide range of modern engineering tools and techniques such as advanced water engineering and modeling software, ferro-magnetic & inductive pipe location and ultrasonic leak detection equipment, ultrasonic flow meters, and water quality testing equipment. Next, the center will make the final selection of the first group of water engineering interns and commencement of the internship program.
USAID Country Director Jeffery Lehrer stated, “we are very pleased to be cooperating with the Tajikistan Technical University in preparing the next generation of water engineers to use state-of-the-art technology to help provide safe drinking water to rural communities across Tajikistan”.
The Tajikistan Safe Drinking Water Project, is one of the many development projects supported in Tajikistan by the United States Agency for International Development. Since 1992, the American people through the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe have provided about $900 million in programs that support Tajikistan’s democratic institutions, health care, education, and economic growth.