UNICEF delivers aid to Tajik children affected by severe winter
By Sultanbek Khudaibergenov
Tajikistan, Dushanbe, 3 March – The lengthy harsh winter in Tajikistan and cuts in energy and water supplies has led to hypothermia among newly born babies and children in institutions.
Khatlon Region, in the southwest of Tajikistan, like other regions in the country, suffered low, sub-zero, temperatures during the past months. As part of the urgent humanitarian response, UNICEF arranged for five lorries to deliver blankets, hygiene kits, generators, jerry cans, soap and kerosene stoves to the severe cold-affected boarding schools in Khatlon Region.
Survive cold winter
The boarding school as well as other institutions in the town of Shaartus were without power for days, said Skahlo Abdusalomova. On one of these days the water in the boarding school’s heating system froze and ruptured the pipes. Now the whole heating system of the boarding school needs to be repaired, moaned Abdusalomova. Almost all the boarding schools in the country had to install wood stoves as sources of heating.
Another problem that boarding schools are facing is the need to ration food and a lack of children’s clothing, said the head of the boarding school in the town of Vakhsh. Though a boarding school provides food for children three times a day, the food is of low quality and not healthy, often consisting of only rice porridge, macaroni or potatoes. Children rarely eat meat, let alone eggs, butter and other substantial and healthy foods. Most of them do not have a change of clothes. This impacts upon the sanitation and personal hygiene of the children. The heads of all the boarding schools expressed the hope that the authorities will improve the situation with supplies of clothes and healthy food for the children.