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Habitat for Humanity Tajikistan wins environmental award

BRATISLAVA, SLOVAKIA/DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN (June 3, 2010) – Habitat for Humanity Tajikistan recently won the national Global Energy Award 2010 for its water project “Water for life—bio-sand water filters.” The prize was established in Austria in 1999 to showcase projects that conserve or protect natural resources. Since then, it has grown to be recognized as a prestigious environmental trophy globally. This year, the awards ceremony precedes celebrations of World Environment Day held under the auspices of the United Nations’s Environment Program in Kigali, Rwanda.

“It is a great honor for us to see our project as a national winner of a prominent environmental prize. Half of the population in our country lacks access to clean water and energy, and our project helps to protect and best use water resources. For us, the award is both recognition of our achievements and inspiration for further contributions of building a green and sustainable future in Tajikistan,” said Behruz Dadoboev, program development manager at Habitat for Humanity Tajikistan.

Habitat Tajikistan’s project of installing bio-sand water filters is implemented in partnership with a local nonprofit organization in rural communities of the Kumsangir district. The biggest and poorest region in the country is home to almost 30 percent of the population. Rural communities there suffer from a lack of basic infrastructure. Drinking water is drawn from contaminated irrigation canals and ditches.

With the assistance from Habitat for Humanity, local families in Tajikistan can install water filters in their homes. One filter consists of a concrete container filled with graded sand and gravel, topped with a bio-layer. As water passes though the layers, bacteria are naturally filtered out. One filter can produce enough water for two families and with proper maintenance, serve for 20 years.

About Habitat for Humanity Tajikistan
Habitat for Humanity Tajikistan was established in 1999. To date, more than 530 housing interventions have been done, ranging from new house builds, completion of half-build homes and renovations and remodeling of apartment block buildings, together with volunteers and homeowners. Almost 3,600 families have been served. Find out more at www.habitat.tj.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitateurope.org.