Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 10 / Trend /
Bishkek hosted a final conference of a project under which the OSCE provided training to Water User Associations (WUA), irrigation equipment and construction material for canal renovation to reduce the potential for conflict over water distribution in Kyrgyzstan .
The conference participants concluded that the trained WUAs are now able to address the challenges of water distribution in the country more effectively.
Head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, Ambassador Andrew Tesoriere said conflict over precious resources such as water often gives rise to localized tensions that can widen.
"The OSCE has been working successfully with the Water User Associations in Kyrgyzstan, who shoulder the responsibility for the allocation of irrigation water. This is particularly important in the densely populated Ferghana valley. We aim to strengthen the support WUAs can give each other in reducing the risks of conflict over water."
Director of the WUA Omur-Suu Nematjan Pattaev stressed that "one reason for the success of this program has been the application of the mentoring method when less experienced WUAs received from their more experienced peers first-hand knowledge about efficient administration and budgeting, new irrigation methods to prevent soil salinisation and reduce the amount of water consumed, as well as ways of conflict mediation and resolution".
The OSCE trained 55 representatives of eleven mentoring WUAs, who in turn provided peer-to-peer mentoring to 330 members of 33 other associations in the framework of the project "Capacity Building Support for Water Users Associations in southern Kyrgyzstan".