Habitat for Humanity Tajikistan
Habitat's work in Tajikistan
Habitat for Humanity in Tajikistan
Habitat for Humanity was established in Tajikistan in 1999, and to date has performed new house builds, completion of half-built homes, repairs and retrofits of existing homes, renovation of Soviet-era apartment blocks and installation of water filters in remote rural communities. It is working in the field of disaster mitigation by helping build safe and decent homes for families in earthquake-risk areas and educating communities on the possible disaster hazards and possible prevention methods.
The housing need in Tajikistan
Tajikistan remains the poorest and most economically fragile of the former Soviet countries. More than half of its population lives on less than US$2 a day. As an independent country, it has experienced high levels of emigration. Because of a lack of employment, nearly half of the labor force works abroad, primarily in Russia and Kazakhstan, supporting families back home through remittances. The exact number of labor migrants is unknown, but estimated at 1 million.
The 1992-1997 civil war severely damaged the already weak infrastructure. House building in Tajikistan has almost halted. Unfinished homes are scattered across the country while existing stock deteriorates because of neglect. Families live in houses made of raw brick or clay with dirt floors. In cities, several generations live together in tiny apartments where heating and sanitation are often absent and water must be drawn from communal wells. Housing problems are complicated by frequent disasters such as earthquakes and mudslides.
How Habitat addresses the need
Habitat Tajikistan is working in partnership with both local and international nongovernmental organizations, microfinance institutions and banks, local and national governments. Many innovative programs in Tajikistan are now ready to expand and serve substantially more families.
Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Tajikistan:
- Housing support services and affordable loans
Many families live in substandard living conditions, because they don’t have access to solutions of housing finance. Habitat Tajikistan, in partnership with local financial service providers, offers a housing finance product which gives families both access to construction and financial solutions and services. Together with the delivery of construction technical assistance from Habitat the project aims at improving living conditions of low-income families. Since March 2011 through such collaboration more than 14,000 families were empowered to improve their housing condition throughout the country.
- Habitat resource centers
In response to the need for skilled workers, higher income and reduced emigration, Habitat Tajikistan opened two Building and Training Centers in the country. These Centers offer vocational education on construction, financial management and sewing skills for women. They also act as a social enterprise that produces construction materials from local ingredients. These are offered by Habitat to potential homeowners.
- Energy-efficient renovation and winterization and disaster mitigation
Every year, Tajikistan experiences tremors and earthquakes. Those who suffer the most live in substandard homes that cannot withstand quakes. Many houses that were devastated by the earthquake in July 2006 are still not completed and lack windows and/or doors. Habitat Tajikistan offers loans to improve insulation in apartments and houses as well as the trainings on more solid and safer buildings practices in the vulnerable area of Kumsangir district. Proper windows and doors will protect families from harsh winters.
Meet a Habitat family
Alieva Maksatoy lives with her two daughters in the north of Tajikistan. Her husband and son work in Russia as seasonal labor migrants. With the money that they send back home, the family has managed to build a nice three-bedroom house. However, they could not finish it off with proper windows and doors. The winter was coming but the family still could not afford to prepare the house for the coming cold. Maksatoy applied for an energy efficiency loan with HFH Tajikistan. With the money she received, she installed windows and doors to keep the heat inside the house.
“It was very relieving to find out that I can winterize my house with the help of Habitat Tajikistan. Most banks in Tajikistan have high-interest short-term loans which are very hard to pay off. Habitat Tajikistan offers affordable loans and I am confident about the quality of the products.”
What you can do
You can help Tajik families improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:
Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Tajikistan or lead your own. For more information go to: habitat.org/gv
Establish a strong and rewarding tithe partnership to help build houses globally! Quote 815600, TAJIKISTAN on your checks sent to: Habitat for Humanity International, Attn: Affiliate Tithe, 121 Habitat St. Americus, GA 31709
To learn more about Habitat projects in Tajikistan or in other parts of the region, please contact us.
Michal Kruzliak, Program Manager
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa
Main country facts: Independent since September 1991
Population: More than 8 million
Urbanization: 27 percent live in cities
Life expectancy: 67 years
Unemployment rate: 10.8 percent, unofficially can be more than 25 percent
Population living below poverty line: 46.7 percent
Find more country facts on:
CIA The World Factbook – Tajikistan
When the program started: 1999
Families served: More than 20,000
Volunteers hosted: More than 260
Housing Solutions: New builds, Repairs and renovations, Water and sanitation, Training (vocational, DRR, financial education, water and sanitation, construction)