The Branch of the German Caritas Association in Tajikistan (Caritas Germany) officially launched its new one-year project titled ”Inclusive disaster preparedness by institutional strengthening and income generating measures in Ayni district”.

Representatives from Caritas Germany and the implementing Public Organization “Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia – Tajikistan” (EFCA) introduced the chairpersons of all 8 jamoats of Ayni district, who were attending the kick-off meeting, to the project’s goal, objectives, outcomes, activities and timeline.

In his welcoming speech, Shuhrat Negmatov, who was representing Caritas Germany, said that the main goal of the project is to increase the role and sustainability of the mahalla committees as the governing bodies on the grass root level, adding that this project is the continuation of Caritas Germany’s efforts to build inclusive resilient communities, so they could easily cope with disasters and social issues.

Azimzhon Sayfiddinov, Director of EFCA drew the participants’ attention to strengthening the institutional capacity of self-governing bodies at community level and informed that the project would support registration and legalization of mahalla committees along with a series of capacity building trainings for their members.

Ilkhom Makhkamboev, Project Manager from EFCA, in his turn, focused on establishing income generating activities at the community level. He mentioned that this is a pilot project and therefore, only one grant would be awarded to one mahalla committee on a competitive basis to support an income generating project. The profits received from the project will be used to meet the needs of a mahalla committee with a special focus on disability inclusive disaster risk reduction. Upon successful completion of the project, other mahalla committees can duplicate this practice to apply for donor support in the field of disaster risk reduction.

Ayni is a sparsely populated mountainous district located in the north of Tajikistan with villages prone to various natural disasters. There are 67 villages in the district and 40 of these villages are exposed to natural disasters, including mudflows, avalanches, landslides, snowfalls and rock falls. These natural disasters put people’s lives in danger and disrupt the agricultural and livestock practices in the region.

With its own funding and funds provided by the European Union, Caritas Germany has been working since January, 2018 in Ayni district with projects aimed at improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities through provision of Community-Based Rehabilitation services, disability inclusive disaster risk reduction and implementation of income generating activities. Among many other capacity building trainings and awareness raising campaigns, Rapid Response Teams were established and equipped with necessary tools in all 8 jamoats, gabion walls were constructed and fruit trees were planted to prevent soil erosion and flooding and a mini excavator was donated for the clean-up of mudflow derivation canals and other emergency works.

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