On 25th of June 2021 a new water supply project was inaugurated in Pashor village of Shugnan district by the GBAO Governor, representatives of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) Tajikistan and numerous community members. The project will improve access to safe drinking water for 92 households (552 individuals) in this rural and remote region. The total cost of the water supply system is CHF 134,000, whereas Switzerland is contributing CHF 107,000, and the community themselves CHF 27,000).

In the past, residents of this area were unable to access clean drinking water since no water sources were available around the village. As a result, residents would drink water from unprotected water wells and mountain streams which can become contaminated by livestock and result in numerous health problems including diarrhea. With the support of the project, an electric borehole and 15km of water supply lines were constructed to supply safe drinking water to households.

The implemented water supply system in Pashor village is part of a broader project, the Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation Management Project in Tajikistan (SWSMT). Under SWSMT project, AKF Tajikistan implemented 77 water supply systems constructed in rural areas of three districts of Eastern Khatlon and seven districts of GBAO. In total, more than 42,000 people now have access to safe drinking water.

The SWSMT project has seen a shift from the construction of public water supply systems outside of the household to private-metered household connections. Under this project, the implementing agencies and communities planed, designed, and constructed more sophisticated distribution networks with individual household connections.

In all villages where water supply systems were built, all existing social infrastructure buildings like schools and medical facilities were connected and provided with safe drinking water.

Access to private metered connection substantially reduces the workload for women and children who would often have to fetch water from long distances. Following the project implementation, it now takes a maximum 5 minutes’ walk from their houses to get water. Moreover, with many households now receiving water into their homes, there have been significant improvements in hygiene and sanitary conditions.

According to local communities, the time saved from collecting water from far away is now used for various household and economic activities such as agriculture, animal husbandry, the production of handicrafts, dairy production, supporting their children with schoolwork and other household work. In turn, other domains of quality of life have considerably improved including, but not limited to, health, housing conditions, school performance and attendance, and spending more quality time with families and children.

Kishwar Abdulalishoev, CEO for AKF in Tajikistan stated: “The goals and objectives of the project contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and the International Decade for Action "Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028", initiated by the Government of Tajikistan at the United Nations (UN) and adopted by the United Nations. The SWSMT project is financed by the Government of Switzerland, supported by the Government of Tajikistan and implemented by AKF and its partners in close collaboration with local authorities and communities. We are glad to see that this project is increasing access to a sustainable and safe drinking water.”

Salome Steib, Director of Swiss Development Cooperation Office in Tajikistan stated: Water is life – and the Government of Switzerland has been a partner to Tajikistan for more than 25 years in improving access to safe drinking water for its population. In recent years, we have strengthened our commitment towards improving access to safe drinking water service in Tajikistan. It is spurred on by the need for constructing a water supply system in GBAO, specifically in the Shughnan district which is considered one of the most remote regions in the country. This complex water supply system with a borehole and an extended distribution network to connect private households is unique in such a remote region as GBAO. We hope this experience will be further scaled up in other areas of the country by improving the access to sustainable and safe drinking water.”

“Before, we and our children were walking long distances to fetch water from unprotected water well and carry it back home. During the winters, some households used cars to transport water from the neighborhood villages. At least one hour a day was spent bringing water from long distances but now, with the private connection system, there is no need for us and our children to walk such distances and children have more to work on school assignments and play. The private connections also provide the opportunity for households to build bathrooms with flush toilets and to access water inside our kitchens, which helped significantly in improving hygiene and sanitation conditions.” -says Chorshova Sadbarg resident of Pashor village.


About Aga Khan Foundation (AKF): The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) has been implementing innovative development solutions in Tajikistan since 1993. Central to its efforts have been inclusive, community-based development approaches in which local organizations identify, prioritize and implement projects with the Foundation’s assistance.

The AKFs programmes in Tajikistan focus on six areas: agriculture and food security, climate resilience, work and enterprise, health and nutrition, education, early childhood development and civil society. Its initiatives address cross-cutting themes including gender equality, pluralism, environment, human resource development and public awareness of development issues. Through its activities in all four regions of Tajikistan, AKF is working to improve the quality of life for approximately 1.9 million people. Read more at


About the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC): Within its Cooperation Strategy for 2017-2020, Switzerland focuses on the four sectors in Tajikistan, such as Water, Infrastructure and Climate Change; Health; Governance, Institutions and Decentralization; Employment and Economic Development. The overall goal of the Swiss Cooperation in Tajikistan is peace and social cohesion as well as responsive and inclusive institutions and sustainable development to improve the population’s well-being.