For decades, residents of Kuldara, a village nestled in the remote mountainous region of Khovaling, Tajikistan, hauled water on their shoulders from the bottom of a gorge, up 800 meters of steep slope, to their homes. Now, thanks in part to a new water project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this arduous task is no longer necessary. Water flows effortlessly into the center of the village…
Westerners who’ve been abroad and known what it’s like to live without consistent water or electricity, or the luxury of bath water running into a tub with a turn of the knob, may truly appreciate the high spirits at the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the water tap in Kuldara. Even the sound of the running water was music to the ears of villagers. The occasion was shared by neighbors from surrounding villages, government officials and especially members of a non-profit group in Washington, D.C., called Counterpart, who spearheaded the project.
Counterpart worked in partnership with the ‘Community Organization of Kuldara Village’ and many hardworking villagers, who dug seven kilometers of trenches and installed piping from a mountain spring. This was the fourth and, finally, successful attempt to bring water to the remote village. Severe winter weather caused numerous delays with pipe-laying, exacerbated by a local bear that apparently reveled in digging up the pipe.
Just in case thirsty bears come round in the future, the project included the addition of an extra 25-ton water tank to be used for storage and maintainance of a year-round supply, and to guard against shortages. More than 400 people benefit from the new water tap.
Counterpart has been working in Tajikistan since 1998, with support from USDA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Founded in 1965, Counterpart has revitalized communities in more than 60 nations through partnership and service. Join their effort and check out the other projects they’ve developed to help people around the world.