Integrated Rural Development Project/TRIGGER supported the first meeting of the Vakhsh River Basin Council in Bokhtar. The event was organised by the Vakhsh River Basin Organization with the support of the Project. The meeting was attended by the members of the River Basin Council (RBC), representatives of the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources (MEWR), regional Khukumats, relevant stakeholders from the public sector, civil society international, local and private organizations.

The Deputy of Head of the Water Resources Department of MEWR, Mr. Sharifov, opened the meeting by stressing the importance of implementation of the Tajikistan Water Sector Reform Programme for 2016-2025.

The Water Reform sets out the goals, objectives and mechanisms to address existing challenges related to water resources planning, use and management. It also allocates significant financial resources for the implementation of the reform process.

In a vote, the governing body and regulations of the River Basin Council were approved by a large majority of the River Basin Council members. Furthermore, in the meeting, development partners, namely, GIZ, CARITAS, The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank presented their respective project interventions in the Vakhsh River Basin along with recommendations and conclusions on improving the sustainable and resilient management of water resources in the basin.

As the result of the meeting, the Vakhsh River Basin Council was established as key element to ensure the participatory formulation, implementation, in achieving inclusive, equitable and resilient water resources use and management in the river basin. The Project will further continue its support to the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources in implementing the Tajikistan Water Sector Reform Programme for 2016-2025 and improving water security and resilience in the Vakhsh and Zarafshon river basin zones.

The Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP)/TRIGGER co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development aims to boost added value of agricultural production in Tajikistan through improving water security and resilience, strengthening productivity of selected value chains, supporting market development, export readiness, entrepreneurship promotion and policy advice.