The workshop "Towards a Regionally-Consistent Exposure Database for Central Asia: Characterizing Buildings, Infrastructure and Croplands in Tajikistan," which took place virtually on July 27-30, focused on data retrieval and usage of up-to-date tools for exposure assessment, according to European Union Delegation to Tajikistan.

The European Union (EU) funded workshop reportedly targeted policymakers, experts, and practitioners from the Ministries of Tajikistan, as well as national and regional research and academic institutions, and representative from the EU Delegation, other development partners, and World Bank task teams participated in the event.

Tajikistan is prone to different types of natural hazards, earthquakes, floods, and mudflows, in particular.  The country was affected by several strong earthquakes in the past, such as the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake in the Gorno-Badakhshan Badakhshan Region (2015), destroying more than 1,000 dwellings.

During the past five years, several floods have caused victims and widespread damage, such as the May 2016 heavy rains in Dushanbe, June 2019 floods at the border with Afghanistan, and June 2019 floods in Khatlon Province.

These events and the triggered effects highlight the importance of multi-hazard approaches for improving natural hazard risk mitigation.

The current workshop was the third of a series of five country-based workshops on exposure assessment in Central Asia, to be held in the framework of the project, Regionally Consistent Risk Assessment for Earthquakes and Floods and Selective Landslide Scenario Analysis for Strengthening Financial Resilience and Accelerating Risk Reduction in Central Asia, implemented by the international consortium led by RED (Risk Engineering + Development).

The project aims to support Central Asian countries in building disaster resilience and strengthening capacities for financial protection.  The RED-led consortium partnered with the Institute of Water Problems, Hydropower Engineering and Ecology of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan (IWPHE NAST) to organize the workshop on exposure in Tajikistan.

The main objective of the third workshop was to prepare the ground for the development of a harmonized database of structures, infrastructure, and crops assets exposed to devastating natural events, such as earthquakes, floods, and landslides, which are common occurrences in Central Asia and Tajikistan particularly.  Therefore, this hands-on workshop enabled attendees from Tajikistan to actively contribute with their expertise to disaster risk reduction in Central Asia

The consortium will organize two further workshops on exposure in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan by the end of this year.  Two previous workshops focused on Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.  This series of country-based workshops will build capacities of attending experts, stakeholders, and young professionals about exposure characterization and, most importantly, provide them with the tools needed to develop exposure datasets.