Tajikistan - United Nations update 26 Jul 2004
Unseasonably heavy rains have left a trail of destruction across Tajikistan as rivers burst banks and mud and landslides swept down into valleys. Rains that started on 13 July and continued intermittently for a further week caused most damage in the Varzob Valley, to the North of the capital Dushanbe. Roads, bridges, communication and electricity lines have all been damaged, together with the city drinking water supply system. Fortunately, casualty figures have been low, though hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed, with significant damage done to irrigation systems and agricultural land.
The Government response with international assistance to the immediate needs arising from the crisis has generally been well coordinated and effective. The United Nations has delivered more than $200,000 in immediate assistance through Government partners and NGOs. With nearly 60% of the Dushanbe population still living without regular access to potable drinking water, there is a real threat of outbreak of waterborne disease. Efforts to provide emergency supplies of water, educate city residents on correct water treatment, and to prepare city hospitals for a potential outbreak are ongoing.
The Government has been conducting a nationwide, cross-sectoral damage assessment, which is expected to be developed into an international appeal, for release in the coming days.
More information on this crisis can be found on www.untj.org