More than 11 000 rural residents of Almaty oblast gained access to safe drinking water
Clean drinking water is a pledge of any nation’s health. Only 60% of villagers currently have access to safe drinking water. One of the most remarkable CAREC projects is the water supply project “Drinking Water for Rural Communities in Kazakhstan”, which had been launched in 2003 and is ongoing. As a result of this project’s implementation, over 10,000 villagers from Almaty Oblast gained access to safe drinking water. This project was initiated by CAREC jointly with Almaty Oblast Akimat in support of the Drinking Water Programme of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2002-2010.
The project was designed to improve access of people to safe drinking water through the local self-government. Another aim of this project was to increase public awareness of environmental problems and to encourage community participation in the decision making, management and maintenance of public water supply systems. Thereby, villagers establish a water user cooperative, which is to set tariffs and maximize revenues to support a water supply system. With the help of sponsors CAREC reimburses 70% of costs for construction of a water supply system, villagers pay 10%, and remaining 20% are covered by the regional budget.
The project consists of two phases. The first phase includes establishment of a water supply system itself, and the second one aims to replicate CAREC best practices using Almaty Oblast as an example. Besides, during the second phase it is planned to provide additional access to safe drinking water for residents of the following villages of Koksu District of Almaty Oblast: Enbekshikazakh, Mukry and Kyzyltogan.
This project had been successfully implemented in 2003 in Algabas village of Koksu District. During the period from 2004 to 2007 the programme had been extended to cover other communities of the region, including villages Kopberlik and Pervoye Maya of Karatal District, and village Konyr of Yeskeldy District, where all activities had already been completed and people gained access to safe drinking water.
“We believe that the strength of our programme is participation of the local population. We actively involve local communities in the decision making process, and urge them to independently manage drinking water supply systems in their villages instead of waiting for help from outside. As part of the project implementation efforts, we organize numerous meetings with the village activists, participate in regular village community assemblies, and to promote people’s feeling of ownership. Besides, we teach local residents to properly use available financial resources to ensure sustainable operation of the water use system both technically and financially”, said Gulzhamal Isayeva, the Project Manager.
In 2008 similar activities were accomplished in villages 10th Anniversary of Kazakhstan and Beskainar of Koksu District, and Telnik of Yeskeldy District. Overall in 2003-2008 water supply had been refurbished in 6 villages of the region for the amount of over 86 million tenge, or about 660,000 USD.