The visit was organized by the UN Joint Programme “Building the resilience of communities affected by the Aral Sea disaster through a Multi-Partner Human Security Fund for the Aral Sea”, funded by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security.
On October 13th, series of official meeting were held in Jokargi Kenes and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan that helped to shape a general understanding about the current situation in the region, outcomes and prospects of cooperation as well as to identify priorities for interaction to provide support to the communities living in the Aral Sea region.
The delegation also visited some pilot sites in Nukus and Muynak that were covered by the UN Joint Programme and UNDP with financial support from the Adaptation Fund of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This includes Consultation and Information Center under the Nukus branch of Tashkent State Agrarian University that provides information support to the farmers and dekhkans, whose farms are located in the drought prone of Karakalpakstan; the automated meteorological station that provides accurate data widely applied in agricultural production, air transportation and land transportation sectors. The visit agenda also covered income generation sites; they include center for crafts development, which was launched with support from Karakalpak branch of Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan and the sawing workshop opened in cooperation with Karakalpak Republican Society of Disabled people.
In Muynak, Helena Fraser and Olivier Chave visited the sawing workshop and the souvenirs production workshop; a computer service center and the “Aral” rural healthcare facility equipped with solar panels that allow to provide the local population with a full package of health services.
The delegation also visited the Lower-Amudarya Basin Authority of irrigation systems, where the UN Joint Programme under the financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation implements the project to raise the efficiency of the water resources use. Helena Fraser and Olivier Chave wished the basin authority all the success in its further work and handed over a set of office equipment and appliances that were purchased within the partner Project.
***The Cooperation Agreement between the SDC, represented by the Embassy of Switzerland in Uzbekistan and the UNDP in Uzbekistan, was signed on February 10, 2017 for implementation of water project within the framework of the UN Joint Programme.
Issues of livelihood and governance have always be an integral part of all activities of the Swiss Embassy, in particular within the field of water supply and management. In this regard, the Swiss experience and expertise is being recognised through this request for involvement. The proposed component, identified as most relevant and in line with SDC’s priorities in the region, has as main goal to ensure efficient management of water resources in the targeted districts, through three main interventions:
Capacity building of the population for improved living standards and increased income generation
Enhancement of institutional capacities and infrastructure at the Irrigation System level
Enhancement of access to clean drinking water for the targeted communities.