June 4, 2022, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has organized an Expedition for water professionals, officials, and journalists from all countries of Central Asia along the Syr Darya River basin to promote regional cooperation in the environmental, social, and water spheres.
The Expedition started in the upper reaches of the Syr Darya in Kyrgyzstan on May 18, passed through Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and ended in the Aral Sea Region of Kazakhstan on May 30.
Expedition participants visited hydro posts, various water facilities, pumping stations, and Small Basin Councils. They visited the Toktogul and Kambarata hydropower plants in the Kyrgyz Republic. Then they toured the Northern Fergana and the Great Fergana canals, as well as fish farms in Uzbekistan. In Tajikistan, they traveled to the Khoja-Bakirgan and Zafarabad pumping stations, the Bahri Tojik Reservoir, and a hydro post in Kizilkishlak. In Kazakhstan, participants visited the Arnasay Reservoir, Koksaray seasonal water storage facility, Lake Kamystybas, and the Kokaral Dam.
One participant, Mereke Imangaliyev, Deputy Head of Syrdarya Basin Water Organization, noted “This Expedition gave us a unique opportunity to see and learn about innovative agriculture and drip irrigation methods and water management principles, study how the Syr Darya River flows and water volumes are measured and analyzed, and learn about the implementation of water reforms in our countries. Moreover, a visit to the Aral Sea allowed us to see the consequences of climate change. We shared best water management practices during the Expedition and felt like one team. We will continue our cooperation in the future and are already thinking about some regional-level initiatives.”
The Expedition was designed to promote regional cooperation, exchange of innovative ideas, and adoption of concerted action to address the challenges the Central Asian region is facing. The Expedition was implemented in close collaboration with the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS) in Tajikistan.
USAID’s Regional Water and Vulnerable Environment Activity is focused on strengthening regional capacity to manage shared water resources and mitigating environmental risks in the Syr Darya and Amu Darya river basins. The Activity takes a multi-level approach to tackling complex regional water challenges by strengthening collaboration through stakeholder dialogues; developing a shared vision for integrated and sustainable river basin management using evidence and modeling; and fostering collaborative action across sectors and governance levels.
USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. For more information, visit: https://www.usaid.gov/central-asia-regional and USAID’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/USAIDCentralAsia