Habitat for Humanity Tajikistan
Habitat's work in Tajikistan
Habitat for Humanity in Tajikistan
Habitat for Humanity has operated in Tajikistan since 1999 and seeks to generate community, sector, and societal impact toward the universality of safe, affordable, and decent housing. To date, Habitat has performed new house builds, repairs, and retrofits, as well improved access to financial products and advocacy efforts. The scope and scale of Habitat’s work spans from large-scale construction projects, to the development of market-based housing products with the private sector, to directly assisting individual families with their housing concerns such as promotion of secure tenure and housing rights of vulnerable groups.
The housing need in Tajikistan
Tajikistan remains one of the poorest and the most economically fragile countries that emerged after the fall of the Soviet Union. Almost 50 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, on less than 2 dollars a day. After the fall of socialism, public services in Tajikistan disintegrated. Wages are extremely low, with an average gross monthly wage considerably below $100 USD. This is only a fraction of the average in other post-Soviet countries. Tajikistan also underwent a prolonged period of civil war and economic decline. As a result, living standards have gone down and a shortage of financial resources in the private sector and inadequate public budgets resulted in poor house maintenance. The state no longer could provide these services, and private owners had no own funds to invest into property maintenance. Tajikistan has a housing stock of 1.23 million units (2011, Habitat’s Housing Review 2013). This is only 163 dwellings per 1,000 inhabitants, which is the lowest level of all countries in the Europe and Central Asia region.
How Habitat addresses the need
In Tajikistan, Habitat is working in partnership with both local and international nongovernmental organizations, microfinance institutions and governments. Having a strong community presence, Habitat has implemented more than 30 projects in Tajikistan supporting most vulnerable and remote communities. Currently Habitat operates in 38 districts of 3 provinces of Tajikistan of where more than 90 % of country’s population lives.
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. The partnership between Habitat Tajikistan and microfinance institutions represents a unique response to the overwhelming housing demand. Habitat Tajikistan has developed loans for home improvement and house constriction. Often, these loans are taken out by women, who in the absence of their husbands need to care for the family and homes. Habitat engineers and construction specialists provide construction assistance to these women to help them understand the scope of work, select necessary materials and properly budget for the works. So far, Habitat Tajikistan has supported more than 5,000 families with construction services and more than 15,000 people with construction support services across the country.
- Promoting women’s equal right to housing and property
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 sub-standard 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.
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa
Michal Kruzliak, Program Development Manager
Main country facts: Independent since September 1991
Population: 8.19 million
Urbanization: 26.8 percent live in cities
Life expectancy: 67.39 years
Unemployment rate: 2.5 percent
Population living below poverty line: 35.6 percent
Find more country facts on:
CIA The World Factbook – Tajikistan
When the program started: 1999
Families served: More than 30,000
Volunteers hosted: More than 300
Housing Solutions: New builds, Repairs and renovations, Training (vocational, DRR, energy efficiency, financial education, construction), Advocacy and awareness raising on housing rights and property