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CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE, COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES feature story for Tajikistan

© UNICEF Tajikistan/2009/Sodiqov

Ten-year-old Nusratullo sits in front of a tent in the UNICEF-assisted Shohroh settlement. He is 1 of 2,500 people in the settlement who were displaced by two major floods that destroyed four villages in Khuroson District.

PARTNERING TO BRING SAFE WATER AND SANITATION TO DISASTER-AFFECTED CHILDREN IN TAJIKISTAN

KHUROSON DISTRICT, Tajikistan, September 2009 - “We are moving to a new house,” says Nusratullo, 10, with a smile as he helps his parents carry their scarce possessions from a tent to a newly built house. Nusratullo is one of more than 2,500 people living in Shohroh settlement in Tajikistan’s Khuroson District.  In May 2009 two major floods destroyed four villages, displacing about 440 families, including Nusratullo and his family, forcing them to relocate.

Immediately following the disaster, UNICEF partnered with the Government of Tajikistan, other United Nations agencies and NGOs like Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Mission East and Save the Children to identify water, sanitation and hygiene needs as part of the recovery response.  As a result, UNICEF together with NGO partners worked on getting a safe drinking water supply and hygiene facilities to those families like that of Nusratullo’s who are living in displacement in temporary tent camps.

UNICEF also provided water storage tanks, chlorine powder, water purification tablets, jerry cans and soap and collaborated with Zilola, a local NGO, to conduct a hygiene education campaign.  The campaign included the distribution of chlorine tablets and hygiene practice messages.

As displaced families move into new and permanent settlements, like Nusratullo’s Shohroh settlement, UNICEF will continue to construct washing facilities and latrines as part of the resettlement process and early recovery response. Together with the government’s waterworks agency, UNICEF will also support the construction of a new water supply system in the Shohroh settlement for the provision of safe drinking water.

“I want our new home to have water,” says Nusratullo. “When we have water, my sister will no longer need to fetch it from the neighbouring village every day and will have time to help me do the homework for school.”

In collaboration with the Government of Tajikistan, UNICEF Tajikistan coordinates the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster, comprised of other United Nations agencies and NGO partners, for emergency response efforts.