BISHKEK (TCA) — The opening ceremony of three socially significant infrastructure sites was held last week in Samarkandek aiyl aimak (rural community) in the Batken province in southern Kyrgyzstan, the UNDP in Kyrgyzstan reported.
These projects were implemented as part of the “Cross-border cooperation for sustainable peace and development” project by the UNDP Kyrgyz Republic and Batken Area Based Development Programme. The UNDP contribution to these projects was more than 5 million KGS.
The first project completed reconstruction and concreting works at cross-border canal Aktatyr in Samarkandek village. The canal has its start on Kyrgyz territory, crosses the territory of Tajikistan, and runs back into the Kyrgyz village Samarkandek. The lack of irrigation water in this village has always led to frequent disagreements between neighboring communities of Kyrgyz and Tajiks. Reconstruction of the canal section has improved water permeability and reduced the loss of water. As a result, the volume of water coming to Samarkandek village has been increased, eliminating one of the reasons for mutual discontent among the residents of border communities.
The second project rehabilitated the bank of a canal in Pasky-Aryk village in the Batken district. The irrigation canal was built in 1951–1952. However, people residing in Chorukh and Surkh areas of the Isfara district of Tajikistan are also using water from the canal. The state of the canal had been deteriorating after the collapse of the Soviet Union due to the lack of funds for its proper maintenance. About 100 meters of the canal run along and very close to the dry wash and crosses mudflow bed through the big pipe. Frequent mudslides washed away the banks of the canal so much that the pipe was about to fall down. After rehabilitation works, the canal can provide about 2,500 villagers of the Pasky-Aryk village of Kyrgyzstan and 40 hectares of land in Surkh Zhamoat of Tajikistan with irrigation water.
The third project opened the local public market in Samarkandek village, which has always been the platform for Kyrgyz-Tajik cross-border trade. A shed and stalls for 110 trading places and a meat pavilion were constructed in the market in order to improve the trade conditions there. This market is located very close to the Tajik border and about 100 residents from Tajikistan trade in this market every Saturday.