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Evaluation report

2007 Tajikistan: Water and Sanitation Evaluation Report

Author: Peter Wurzel and Mamadgamin Maramov

Executive summary


Of a total project number of 230 schools in the UNICEF/Ministry of Education WES program, the evaluation Mission visited 65 schools; a sample size more than sufficient to provide data that is statistically significant.   The Mission interacted with approximately 1000 children on a question and answer basis.

The supreme irony is that while Tajikistan is endowed with an ubiquitous water supply, both surface and underground, it is the water supply aspect that proved the weakest element in the UNICEF WES school program. 

The water supply for the 65 schools visited originates from 4 hydro-geological settings-deep ground water extracted with large electrical pumps augmented with surface water and pumped into a reticulation system; very shallow ground water (up to 8m) suitable for simple suction pumps; deeper groundwater, but still relatively shallow, beyond the capability of the suction pump but within easy range of the community ‘deep’ hand pump (8-25m),  In the Sogd region a few schools are supplied from springs.

Rural water supplies in Rudaki, Bokhtar, Kolkhozobod and Vakhsh are still supplied via the old style Soviet era reticulated systems.  These supplies are obtained from deep boreholes (<100m), pumped by multi turbine electrical pumps together with an augmentation of surface water.  The system is old and has leaks.  The electricity supply is intermittent which means during non-pumping periods bacterial growth can take place at the leak points.  This, together with surface water augmentation, means that water treatment is imperative.  The Republican Sanitation Epidemiological Service (SES) is responsible for filtration and chlorination-which they admit is not routine.  The supply is therefore neither secure (quantity) nor safe (quality). 


This is evaluation falls into the Goals-Based evaluation-although it more an evaluation of an ongoing multi parameter major program.

The evaluation needs both subjective descriptions and determination (e.g. how much have children absorbed of HH education?) and objective descriptions (e.g. type of pump, cleanliness of a latrine etc).  Then there are the difficult time consuming imponderables, are the latrines being used?  If there is soap in the latrine (an excellent start to any sanitation investigation) is it being used, i.e. the utilization focused evaluation.

The key consideration for the writer was a compromise between a detailed investigation of each school and a more cursory investigation to allow a larger collection of data-numbers mean good statistics and therefore more valid conclusions.  So this evaluation erred on less detail but a greater number of schools visited.

Apart from numbers, as this is an evolving project, emphasis was placed on the water supply system and how to make it more cost effective.  

The effectiveness of the HH education endeavor was more difficult to determine but realistically lengthy discussions with students in each school provided tangible conclusions.

The template questionnaire/checklist used at each school is shown in annex 18. It can be seen that, as noted above, it is a compromise between excessive detail and the need to visit a significant sample of schools so as to have a reasonable amount of data to validate the conclusions.   Improved data on the time consuming aspects should be collected in the near future, by spending several days at each school and counting the individual students using the latrine and noting if the soap volume has decreased.  This is a study worthy of an environmental science university undergraduate.


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