National Policy Dialogue Steering Committee in Kyrgyzstan approves targets on water and health
At its ninth meeting, held on 13 March 2013 in Bishkek, the Steering Committee of the National Policy Dialogue (NPD) on integrated water resources management (IWRM) in Kyrgyzstan approved national targets with regard to water quality, water supply and wastewater treatment with a view of improving human health and reducing the incidence of water-related diseases. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is the implementing partner for National Policy Dialogues on IWRM, which are the main operational instrument of the European Union Water Initiative in the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The targets were part of a report, “Setting targets in the context of the Protocol on Water and Health in Kyrgyzstan”, developed by a national interministerial working group over the past few years, and presented at the meeting for the Steering Committee’s consideration. The report identifies key challenges for water supply and sanitation and in reducing water-related diseases in Kyrgyzstan and suggests concrete measures and implementation deadlines in nine key areas. For example, by 2015, 80 per cent of schools and 90 per cent of kindergartens are to be equipped with improved sanitary systems, and by 2017, 20 per cent of the water treatment plants in the city of Osh and other municipalities are to be renovated and equipped with modernized technology.
Also at the meeting, different agencies reported on the latest developments in regard to drafting of river basin management plans. In particular, the approaches to basin planning in the Chu, Isfara, Kugart and Talas River Basins were presented. Participants also discussed the concept of river basin planning developed by the Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia Programme of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and the concept for the Chu River Basin Management Plan developed in the NPD process. It was agreed that a uniform approach should be developed in the future to ensure that a similar methodology was used in development of river basin plans in Kyrgyzstan. The meeting also welcomed the establishment of the Chu River Basin Council, which had its first meeting on 28 February 2013.
The meeting also discussed the report on economic and financial aspects of water policy in Kyrgyzstan developed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and concluded that recommendations on the use of economic instruments for the improvement of water resources management should be followed up.
The meeting was attended by many international institutions and donors to ensure coordination of the activities in the water sector in Kyrgyzstan. Participating organizations included the European Union (EU), GIZ, the World Health Organization, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the United Nations Development Programme, UNECE and OECD.
The ninth Steering Committee meeting was hosted by the Department of Water Management and Melioration of Kyrgyzstan and supported by “Water Management and Basin Organisations in Central Asia (WMBOCA)” project, which is funded by the EU and implemented by the GIZ Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia Programme.
More information is available at: http://www.unece.org/env/water/npd
Mr. Peep Mardiste
EU Water Initiative (EUWI) National Policy Dialogues
Note for Editors:
NPDs on IWRM and water supply and sanitation (WSS) are the main operational instrument of the EU Water Initiative (EUWI) in the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. The EUWI was launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg (2002). UNECE is the strategic partner to support the policy dialogue process on IWRM, whereas OECD is the strategic partner for WSS and financial aspects of IWRM. National Policy Dialogues are under way in the following countries of the region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. The National Policy Dialogue on IWRM in Kyrgyzstan is supported by the European Commission and the Governments of Norway and Finland.
The UNECE/World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe Protocol on Water and Health to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes is the first international agreement adopted specifically to ensure, by linking water management and health issues, the adequate supply of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Twenty-five States are Parties to the Protocol.