Our Actions in Tajikistan
The Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) operates in Tajikistan since 2003, based on a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan which was ratified by parliament in 2004.
The FSD land release project annually achieved productivity increase and cost-efficiency improvement.
FSD’s Tajikistan re-focus on land release through non-technical survey, technical survey, and if required clearance since late 2007, its establishment of small multi-purpose demining teams and permanent capacity development resulted in outstanding productivity increases and cost-efficiency improvements.
FSD as the only demining/land release and ammunition disposal operator in Tajikistan currently employs 197 staffs. In 2009 there are three (3) non-technical survey teams, nine (9) multi-purposes demining teams, five (5) mine-detection dog sets and one (1) bulk weapons and ammunition disposal (WAD) team deployed.
Since land-release operations started more than 48 millions square meters of landmine / explosive remnants of war (ERW) affected land were released and handed over to communities / local authorities for productive use and livelihood improvement. The year 2008 was the most successful year in FSD’s Tajikistan history concerning land release productivity and cost efficiency.
This year’s land release results by end of October 2009 were:
• Reduction of Suspected Hazardous Areas (SHA) through non-technical survey operations
3,745,854 square meters;
• Land-release through technical survey with and without mine detection dogs and manual clearance
1,713,213 square meters.
This year’s WAD operations results by end of October 2009 were:
• The disposal of 45 tons of conventional munitions.
In this year per end of October 1,643 anti-personal mines (APM) and 630 items of unexploded ordnance have been destroyed.
Total land release results (2004 – 2009): 48,606,687 m2
Total landmines / UXO disposed of (2004 – 2009): 13,204 (APM: 11,602)
Total landmine/ERW affected land remain to be released by end of October 2009: 11,893,313 m2
The Republic of Tajikistan is the only States Party to the Ottawa Convention in Central Asia. It fulfilled it’s article 4 obligation regarding the destruction of APM stockpiles ahead of the deadline. The Government of the Republic of Tajikistan recently requested on Article 5 extension.
Capacity development, land release and ammunition disposal in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan (Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Defence; National Guard, Committee for Emergency Situations and Civil Defence, Ministry of Interior, Boarder Guards); the Tajikistan Mine Action Center (TMAC); the Mine Detection Centre Kabul/Afghanistan etc., FSD conducts land release operations in Gorno Badakhsan Autonomous (GBAO) Region and Khatlon Region, including the Tajik-Afghan border.
FSD Tajikistan in close coordination and cooperation with the host government started a successful bulk weapons and ammunition disposal project (WAD) in early 2009.
The WAD operations supervised by the Ministry of Defence are currently conducted at the central demolition site (CDS) at Lahur, close to Dushanbe. Conventional ammunition (total of 50 tons) from the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Interior, the National Guards and in the near future from the Border Guards are disposed of by end of November 2009.
In the past, FSD's land release operations and capacity development activities were mainly funded through UNDP and OSCE.
Currently these operations and activities are mainly bilaterally funded by the respected Governments of Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Belgium, and through UNDP.
The German Government alone is funding the Mine Detection Dog Center (MDC) with currently 12 Mine Detection Dogs; land release operations conducted by 5 multi-purposes demining teams and 5 MDD sets; non-technical survey operations; and capacity development activities.
The Government of Japan is funding land release operations conducted by tree (3) multi-purpose demining teams. The Government of Belgium is funding non-technical survey operations. UNDP is funding capacity development activities and land release operations.
The Royal Netherlands Government is funding weapons and ammunition disposal operations conducted by the first weapons and ammunition disposal team from May 2009 until April 2010.
Poverty reduction and development (Examples)
Around 500,000 people living in landmine/ERW contaminated hazardous areas.
Clearance of landmines and other explosive remnants of war was a pre-requisite for the reconstruction of the civil war affected Shagon-Zighor road along the Tajik-Afghan border. This road connects Tajikistan with China and Kirgizstan which is necessary for economical development of the country.
The reconstruction of the Highpower line through the Khaburobod Mountain (above 3,500m) which provides electricity for the Darvoz district (more than 8000 people) was only possible after land release/demining operations were conducted in this mountainous area.
The repair and rehabilitation of filters and drinking water pipelines from the Panj river in the in the drought affected Kumsangir district which provides 100,000 people which potable water was only possible after FSD’s land release / demining operations.
Land release / demining operations were necessary to open access to the Halkayor Dam were emergency damage repairs were required to avoid flooding of villages and towns in the Panj and Kumsangir districts.
Land release / demining operations had to be conducted in order to allow repair / rehabilitation of water channels in the Panj district which collected underground water after irrigation and channelled the outflow to Panj River. The stagnant water resulted in the expansion of various infectious diseases – such as typhus and malaria in the region.
Release / demining of the agricultural land is the priority in Tajikistan’s demining programme. For most of the population arable land is the only source of income generation and improved livelihood.
For 2010 there are pledges from respective donor countries, which might result in the additional establishment and the deployment of a mechanical demining team and one (1) mine detection dog set.
The Government of the Republic of Tajikistan supports FSD plans to establish and deploy up to two (2) additional WAD teams in 2010.
FSD strives to start in 2010 the first cross-border land release project between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.