New projects launched in Karakalpakstan under the auspices of the UN Joint Programme
On 27-28 February 2019, a number of projects initiated within the UN Joint Programme on addressing negative consequences of the Aral Sea crisis were launched in Kegeyli, Takhtakupir, Muynak and Shumanay districts in cooperation with national counterparts in the Republic of Karakalpakstan.
ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
The increased incidence of extreme droughts over the past twenty years, as a result of the Aral Sea catastrophe, which has also exacerbated the climate change processes in the northern regions of Uzbekistan, has had a significant impact on agriculture. A need has emerged to develop and use new technologies in agriculture, which ensure the improvement of soil tillage, the rational use of water resources and the achievement of ecological balance. The introduction of such methods and technologies is actively promoted within the framework of the project "Developing climate resilience of farming communities in the drought prone parts of Uzbekistan" implemented in Karakalpakstan jointly by the United Nations Development Programme, the Centre of Hydrometeorological Service at the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Adaptation Fund under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Specialists from the Advisory and Information Centres, which have also been established with the support of the project being implemented in the region, help share experience and knowledge in climate change adaptation among farms, dekhkan farms, rural households and communities.
One of the centers was opened in 2015 at the Nukus branch of the Tashkent State Agrarian University within the project. It has been equipped with soil humidity and salinity measuring equipment, necessary office equipment, thematic publications, etc. At present, there are four Advisory and Information Centres operating in the Republic of Karakalpakstan. In 2018 alone, 3,215 farmers, dekhkans and owners of household plots were consulted here.
The greenhouse built with the support of the project on the basis of the training farm of the Kegeyli Agro Industrial College will be one more platform for introducing agro- and water-saving technologies, improving the practical knowledge and skills of the rural population. The opening ceremony of the greenhouse was held in the format of a meeting with teachers, students and rural residents who, together with farmers and dekhkans of the district, will be able to study methods of agro- and water-saving technologies using drip irrigation system in practice.
UN JOINT PROGRAMME
In 2012, with the financial assistance of the UN Human Security Trust Fund, the UN Joint Programme was launched to improve the living standards of the population, enhance the development of communities and mitigate the ecological and socio-economic consequences of the Aral catastrophe in Karakalpakstan. Today, based on the experience of implementing this programme, the UN agencies in Uzbekistan, are working with the Government to implement its second phase, "Building the resilience of communities affected by the Aral Sea disaster through the Multi-partner Human Security Fund for the Aral Sea". This initiative clearly demonstrates the mechanism of action of the Sustainable Development Goals in empowering people and building the resilience of local communities. At the same time, the bases of the approach to ensuring human security in the pilot areas of the programme are also taken into account.
In "Taza Oray" mahalla of "Daukara" rural citizens’ assembly, a water desalination facility was launched to provide local residents with drinking water. The facility was reconstructed by the Joint Programme and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Another opening ceremony was held in "Makpalkol" village of "Atakol" rural citizens’ assembly, where a project to provide access to drinking water was also implemented. This initiative was supported by the New World Program in collaboration with the Coca-Cola Foundation and the Global Water Challenge organization.
LLC “Tkachikha Takhta” is a sewing workshop that was also established with the financial support of the UN Joint Programme. Today, 11 rural girls and women from Takhtakupir district are employed here.
Here, at the very center, the Secondary School No.1 is located, where the opening ceremony of an additional educational building took place. Initially, only children of elementary classes were trained in the building, which was built in 1993 and designed for 320 seats. However, the school later received the status of a general secondary school, and the number of students increased to 530 children. Children were brought from almost every mahalla of the city. As representatives of the school noted, works have been carried out on the reconstruction of additional premises, and all classes and offices are equipped with necessary furniture and equipment with the assistance of the UN Joint Programme and in partnership with the district administration, as well as the Ministry of Public Education of the Republic of Karakalpakstan. The building now has 120 additional seats. The building is equipped with a modern fire system and heating equipment, which is important in the extremely cold winter conditions in this northern region of the country.
In "Monshakly" rural citizen's assembly, a storage facility for fruits and vegetables, which can store simultaneously up to 100 tons of products, has been created with the assistance of the Joint Programme. The district produces annually about 1,004.4 tons of fruits and vegetables. This initiative is important for local farmers and gardeners, given the economic factors, as well as local climatic features. Besides, a new milk processing plant and a men’s footwear production workshops, which were created with the financial support under the UN Joint Programme were also launched that day.
The UN Joint Programme demonstrates the efficiency of the approach of the human security concept to addressing the interconnected and complex humanitarian, environmental and economic challenges faced by residents and communities affected by the Aral Sea catastrophe. The Joint Programme and its achievements are the result of cooperation between various UN agencies, government agencies, international organizations and other stakeholders who have done serious work in searching, developing and implementing various tools to mitigate the effects of the environmental crisis in the Aral Sea region.