Vakhsh Raion, Tajikistan, 30 August 2012 – Today, U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Sarah Penhune, participated in the opening ceremony for a safe drinking water system in Pakhtaobod, Tojikobod Jamoat,Vakhsh Raion.  The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funded and implemented the project through its Tajikistan Safe Drinking Water Project (TSDWP).  Local government officials, USAID representatives, community citizens, and the TSDWP project team took part in the ceremony which included a performance by local school children on the importance of clean water and good hygiene.  

Ms. Penhune told the audience, “Over the past three years, the U.S. Government, through USAID, has invested more than $1.7 million in 57 drinking water systems that provide clean drinking water to 190,000 people across Tajikistan.”

The renovated water supply system in Pakhtaobod is one of 29 projects completed by the USAID TSDWP in cooperation with rural Tajik communities.  The TSDWP has increased access to safe water through the renovation and construction of water supply infrastructure.   Training on household hygiene and improved and sustainable access to potable water helps decrease the incidence of water-borne diseases.

The TSDWP has been implemented in 53 villages in nine target Districts:  Hissor, Tursunzoda, Shahrinav, Faizobod, Bokhtar, Sarband, Vakhsh, Khuroson, and Rudaki.  By the project’s conclusion in September 2012, over 100,000 people in these communities will have access to safe drinking water, and half a million people will have received USAID-sponsored health and hygiene training through educational video-clips, training and materials.

The USAID TSDWP is one of the many development projects supported in Tajikistan by USAID.  Since 1992, the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe has provided more than $984 million in programs that support Tajikistan’s democratic institutions, health care, education, and economic growth.