Programme for Finland’s Water Sector Support to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - FinWaterWEI II

Программа FinWaterWEI II (2014-2017 г.г.)


and Tajikistan

BUDGET:  € 8,000,000

Ministry for
Foreign Affairs
of Finland


Finnish Environment
Institute SYKE

Programme context

The Water Management Programme in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (FinWaterWEI II) started in 2014 and will run until 2017. FinWaterWEI II promotes the priority areas of Finland's Development Policy Programme (2012) including a democratic and accountable society that promotes human rights; an inclusive green economy that promotes employment; sustainable management of natural resources and environmental protection; and human development.

In the context of the water sector, the human rights-based approach to development can be defined not only as people's right to clean water and sanitation but also as the capacity of the state institutions to provide the necessary services to its citizens. FinWaterWEI II also addresses the three cross-cutting objectives of Finland's development policy: gender equality, reduction of inequality and climate sustainability.

The implementation of FinWaterWEI II builds on the experience acquired during the first phase of the FinWaterWEI programme in 2009–2013. Close cooperation with international development partners in the UN system and beyond will continue while at the same time diversifying the collaboration partner pool to include actors with strong local presence, such as the Aga Khan Foundation and Oxfam in Tajikistan and UN Women in Kyrgyzstan. Support to high-level policy process work (e.g. National Policy Dialogues) will be combined with activities that produce concrete deliverables on the ground. Institutional twinning projects will be initiated between Finnish and national institutions in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Wide participation is sought by including civil society organisations in the implemen-tation of activities.

Beneficiaries and stakeholders

Following the human rights based approach to development, the Programme will address the capacities of rights-holders and duty bearers, and the relations between the two groups. On one hand, the Programme aims at strengthening public authorities' capability and means to provide the citizens the necessary ser-vices and benefits from water. Improved management and protection of water resources is expected to enhance availability of water for drinking and household use particularly in the rural areas where the poorest people suffer most of inadequate water services. On the other hand, the Programme will also provide direct support to beneficiaries in the form of awareness-raising campaigns, mobilisation of citizens for sustainable water and wastewater management as well as exploring bottom-up approaches to sustainable water management. Particular attention will be paid to mobilising women and improved mainstreaming of gender considerations in water management at different levels.


The overall objective of the Programme is to enhance water security in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the related region through equitable and integrated management of water resources. The Programme aims at reducing water-related risks by supporting the countries in managing their national and international water resources in a balanced, equitable and integrated manner. It also promotes a rights-based approach to water use and water management by supporting the capacities of both the duty bearers (authorities) and the rights holders (citizens).

The overall objective and purpose is expected to lead to four Key Results:

Result 1: Improved application of integrated management of water resources and strengthened basis for transboundary cooperation;
Result 2: Reinforced capacity of the water, environment and health administrations to monitor the quality and quantity of waters;
Result 3: Enhanced adaptive capacity and preparedness towards climate variability and change;
Result 4:

Improved capacity of rights holders – including the poorest and other vulnerable groups – to understand and realise their
rights and responsibilities towards water.

Горный пейзаж Таджикистана. Фото: Лаура Рантанен

Mountainous view of Tajikstan, Laura Rantanen

FinWaterWEI II Projects

Result Area 1: IWRM and transboundary water management

1 The economics of water security in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

Implementing organisation: OECD / EAP Task Force
Key partners: Relevant Ministries and Governmental agencies in the countries

This project will strengthen the economic and financial dimension of Integrated Water Resources Management in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In Kyrgyzstan, the project will (a) focus on options for better coherence between the agri and water policies; and (b) assess existing business models in rural water supply and sanitation, identify more effective and efficient alternatives and draw up guidelines for reform. In Tajikistan, the project will assist in strengthening economic regulation of water supply and sanitation. The project will offer training opportunities for governmental officials and water experts and will facilitate a regional exchange of experiences related to the economic and financial aspects of water security. The project will be implemented within the framework of National Policy Dialogues on Integrated Water Resources Management.

2 Implementation of national water and health targets in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan through National Policy Dialogues (Water and health targets implementation in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan)

Implementing organization: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Key partners: Relevant Ministries and Governmental agencies in the field of water and health in the two countries, World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe

Improving access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and thus enhancing human health and wellbeing is a challenge for Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The project will support the governments of these countries in implementing their national targets in the area of water and health through developing a comprehensive action plan outlining how the countries could best realise their medium and long-term goals in line with the Protocol on Water and Health. The project will contribute directly to the implementation of national targets through capacity development at national and local levels. Through National Policy Dialogue process, regular exchange between different stakeholders will be maintained for the improvement of the legal, strategic and managerial frameworks for water and health. The project will increase the implementation capacity of water sector stakeholders by training employees of water utilities, rural public associations of drinking water, and other organizations engaged in management, operation and maintenance of water sup-ply, wastewater and sanitation systems in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

3 Strengthening cooperation on hydrology and environment between Tajikistan and Afghanistan in the upper Amu Darya River basin (TAP – Tajik-Afghan Pyanj project)

Implementing organisation: UNECE

Key partners: Relevant Ministries and Governmental agencies in the countries,OSCE, Zoï Environment Network

The project aims at enhancing systematic and long-term cooperation on hydrology and environment between Afghanistan and Tajikistan on the Pyanj River. This will be done through the establishment and support of a political dialogue on water and hydrology, through awareness-raising on the state and trends in climate and water resources, and by improving capacities of experts in the field of hydrology data exchange, joint forecasts and flood warnings mechanism, as well as on environmental monitoring, indicators, operation of protected areas and afforestation.

4 Assessment of the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus in transboundary river basins: The Syr Darya (The Syr Darya nexus assessment)

Implementing organisation: UNECE

Key partners: GWP with Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and FAO, relevant Ministries and Governmental agencies in the countries, Civil Society Organisations and Research Institutes in the countries

The assessment will enable the national sector ministries, authorities and joint bodies (espe-cially basin organisations) to better assess the interactions between water, food, energy and ecosystems in transboundary basins. The assessment will provide the following results: 1) Improved "nexus-knowledge base" of pressures on resources, needs and hotspots in the Syr-Darya basin; 2) Identification of the main inter-link-ages, policy incoherencies, trade-offs and potential benefits; 3) Improved awareness of stakeholders and other actors of the Syr-Darya Basin of the nexus assessment and its policy recommendations. This assessment is part of a wider set of water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus assessments focusing on different trans-boundary basins in the pan-European region and beyond.

Result Area 2: Water quality and quantity monitoring

5 Strengthening cooperation on water quality management in Central Asia (Water Quality in Central Asia, phase 2)

Implementing organisation: UNECE

Key partners: CAREC, national and regional water management organisations

The objective of the project is to reduce the deterioration of water quality in shared rivers of the five countries of Central Asia through improved basin-wide, regional cooperation on water quality. The project aims at institutionalising water quality cooperation in the Aral Sea basin. Building on the results of Phase 1 (2009– 2012), the project will produce substantive information on water quality in Central Asia and make it publicly available. A specific focus on relevant agencies in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will be established in the framework of the project.

6 Capacity building on surface water quality monitoring in Tajikistan (TJK-Water)

Implementing organisations: Finnish Environment Institute SYKE and the Committee of Environmental Protection under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan

Key partners: State Administration for Hydrometeorology of the Republic of Tajikistan (Tajikhydromet), Analytical Laboratory of the Committee of Environmental Protection

The aim of the project is to increase the capacity of the Analytical Laboratory of the Committee of Environmental Protection as well as the Surface water laboratory of Tajikhydromet in surface water quality monitoring. Increased capacity is needed in order to enhance the implementation of the national monitoring programme and to support Tajikistan in fulfilling its international monitoring and reporting obligations. Training on international water quality standards will be carried out. The project covers the entire monitoring chain from field sampling to reporting.

7 Formation of Decision-Making System Aimed at Ecological and Economic Development of Issyk-Kul Lake's Territory Based on Results of Environment Monitoring (KGZ-Water/Issyk-Kul)

Implementing organisations: SYKE and State Agency of Environment Protection and Forestry under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (SAEPF)

Key partner: Agency on Hydrometeorology under the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzhydromet)

The main goal of the project is the creation of a decision-making system through improved environmental quality assessments in a pilot area of Issyk-Kul Oblast (Issyk-Kul Lake). The project will strengthen the environmental monitoring system and the participating organisations' capacity to track areas posing major risks to the quality of Lake Issyk-Kul. The project will focus on capacity-building in the following fields: 1) establishment of a proper system of environmental information exchange among relevant state actors and formation of a structured database using GIS technologies; 2) increasing the capacity of SAEPF's personnel in data analysis and development of "user friendly" information products; 3) creation of accounting mechanisms to support environmentally significant decision-making; 4) development and introduction of recommendations and measures on adaptation to climate change for a pilot territory near Lake Issyk-Kul.

7.1 (13) “Capacity Building of the Kyrgyz Republic on Son-Kul Lake status assessment for environmentally sustainable development (KGZ-Water/Son-Kul)”

Implementing organisations: Syke and State Agency of Environment Protection and Forestry under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (SAEPF)

Key partners: NGO “Environmental Expertise”, Agency on Hydrometeorology under the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzhydromet), Ministry of Health

The project aimed to increase the capacity of the Kyrgyz environmental authorities to determine POP compounds (Persistent Organic Pollutants) present in water, sediment, fish and benthos, as well as the physical and chemical characteristics of the water of Lake Son-Kul in order to assess the environmental status of the lake for following development of recommendation on environmentally-friendly and sustainable lake basin management.. In the 1970’s DDT was intensively used in the surroundings of the Lake Son-Kul. Authorities were concerned about the possibility that POP residues could still be found in the lake and in living organisms, possibly causing severe health risks for human beings.

Result Area 3: Adaptation to climate change

8 Enhancing climate resilience and adaptative capacity in the transboundary Chu Talas basin, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan 

Implementing agency:  UNECE 

Key partners (national and international): Chu-Talas Basin Commission, Department of water management and melioration under the Ministry of Agriculture and Melioration of the Kyrgyz Republic, Hydromet Kyrgyzstan, smallholder farmers, rural poor in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, United Nations Development Programme in Kyrgyzstan. 

The project purpose is “to establish a framework for regular and strategic climate change adaptation action in the Chu-Talas River Basin and enable the Chu-Talas Commission and local authorities to facilitate climate change adaptation in the basin”. 

Based on stakeholder consultations during the previous project phase, the expected project results are formulated as follows: 

  1. Framework for regular and strategic climate change adaptation action in the Chu-Talas River Basin established.
  2. Benefits of adaptation measures assessed and demonstrated on the ground.
  3. Increased awareness and knowledge of Chu-Talas Commission and other key stakeholders of adaptation options in the river basin and the need for transboundary cooperation in adaptation.

9 Enhancing resilience to the negative effects of climate change through improved water management in Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), Tajikistan (Climate Change Resilience in the Pamir (CCRP))

Implementing organisation: Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)

Key partners: Local implementing partners of the Aga Khan Development Network – Village Organisations, Social Union for the Development of Village Organisations, Local governments, District health departments, Centers for sanitary and epidemiological control

The project will enhance the resilience of communities to negative effects of climate change.
This will be achieved through the provision of 1) safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and hygiene education resulting in improved health conditions and reduced water-borne diseases; 2) a developed community participatory governance structure; 3) enhanced capacity of communities and local authorities to play an effective role in climate change resilient preparedness, planning, implementation, and governance of natural resources with the greater integration of disaster risk reduction and adaptation.

Result Area 4: Rights holders' capacity

10 Small and safe: scaling-up water safety planning and effective water quality monitoring in rural Tajikistan

(to start later)

11 Community-driven water and sanitation project, Tajikistan (CoDWSS)

Implementing organisation: Oxfam

Key partners: Relevant Ministries and Public agencies, District and Local Level Authorities in Rudaki and Ayni districts, Drinking Water User Associations, civil society

The project will contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for the sustainable provision of safe drinking water and sanitation in rural Tajikistan. The project will 1) support better processes to manage water and sanitation systems by assisting in the establishment of Water Trust Funds, drinking water users associations and local networks of stakeholders, as well as help in the development of Water Safety Plans, 2) support these various stakeholders in constructing and managing water and sanitation systems in selected villages and 3) ensure a civil society based moni-toring mechanism is in place at district level so that consumers, operators and other stakeholders can hold a constructive dialogue over water managemen.


12 Securing livelihoods for vulnerable women, men and children, through their participation in community governance of water resources, and enhanced ability to use water efficiently, Kyrgyzstan (Using water fairly means building sustainable communities)

Implementing organisation: UN Women

Key partners: Rural Advisory Service Jalalabad, Local Self-government Bodies in target communities

The project aims at securing livelihoods for vulnerable women, men and children through efficient on-farm use of water and equitable community governance of water resources. The project will contribute to the adoption of measures for equitable and efficient water use by the population of target communities in their house-holds and kitchen garden plots. This will be assisted through the education of secondary school students by improving their advocacy and communication skills to influence attitude change in their communities in favour of more equitable and efficient use of natural resources. The project will increase the capacity of local self-government and Water Users Associations in target areas to provide equal access to resources and enhanced services to the population. This will be facilitated by the use of an electronic management information system 'Berkut' with an updated list of people eligible for to fully participate in local resource allocation systems. The Water Users Associations will be able to increase water fee collection as a result of improved user accounting and billing incorporated into 'Berkut'.


Tea Törnroos ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Head of International Affairs Unit, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE