Habitat for Humanity Tajikistan
Habitat's work in Tajikistan
Tajikistan News and Stories
Habitat for Humanity was established in Tajikistan in 1999, and to date has performed new house builds, completion of half-built 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.
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 1992-97 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, 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:
• 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.
• Water and sanitation
Only 58 percent of the 7 million people in the country have access to clean and safe water. Habitat Tajikistan, with a local partner, has developed a low-cost solution to the problem: the bio-sand filter. One filter costs approximately $150 and provides clean drinking water for years, if maintained properly.
• Condominiums renovations
This is an ongoing project with the aim to renovate and improve the state of condominium blocks buildings from Soviet era, that due to lack of government funding and /or technical assistance have been neglected for decades. Habitat Tajikistan will help 112 families living in aged condominiums in urban areas of Dushanbe by providing both an affordable housing- improvement loan and high quality technical assistance during the needed renovations.
• Habitat resource centers
In response to the need for skilled workers, higher income and reduced emigration, Habitat Tajikistan opened two Building and Training Centres. It offers vocational education on construction skills and acts as a social enterprise that produces construction materials for Habitat homes.
Meet a Habitat family
Bahriddinov Gufron (43), and his wife Nigina (38), with their two children: boy Shohrukh (5) and daughter Rano (15) live in a 4-room house that is made of mud bricks and lacks proper insulation. The family uses plastic covers on their windows to protect themselves from cold This has been going on for some 5 years.
Gufron and Nigina completed training with Habitat about home repair and maintenance, which will enable them to install new doors and windows themselves. The loan Habitat offers meets their personal need and is affordable for them. The family believes that Habitat’s intervention will have a positive impact on their health and on their lives in general.
Main country facts: Independent since September 1991
Population: More than 7 million
Find more country facts on:
CIA The World Factbook – Tajikistan
When the program started: 1999
Highlights: Habitat Tajikistan’s “mulberry branch” building method withstood two earthquakes
Families served: More than 7,800