On December 15, a new EU funded project started working on establishing a water treatment plant in the city of Istiklol (formerly Taboshar) in northern Tajikistan. The project is part of the EU's programme for Central Asia on Environmental Remediation, the Delegation of the European Union to Tajikistan said.
This project is of high importance to Tajikistan as it not only aims at cleaning radioactively contaminated mine water, but it also serves as a pilot project intended to set standards for similar projects in the region. It will be to the benefit of the Tajik people and the plant will supply clean water from abandoned mines for domestic use and for irrigation.
The installation of the facility will be done in close contact with all relevant stakeholders. They will be kept informed on project progress and steps to be taken in close consultation with all directly concerned, especially the local population. Work will be carried out by a project office in Tajikistan established especially for this purpose. This office will serve as point of contact for project stakeholders and people interested in the project.
The project is part of the overall EU strategy towards Central Asia with particular focus on Tajikistan. Currently, the preparations of other environmental remediation projects are being completed in Tajikistan and elsewhere in Central Asia. There is close involvement of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international organisations in this work, to ensure that the best international practices are applied.
Recently, a special fund for Environmental Remediation in Central Asia has been opened by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). This multi-donor fund will finance future environmental remediation projects at uranium legacy sites in Central Asia. Partners are invited to join this fund. Targeted and coordinated funding by the international community is a prerequisite for success.
For the Taboshar project, the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of Tajikistan is working with a Consortium led by G.E.O.S. (Germany) and involving the German company Wismut on a “Detailed Design and Engineering of a Water Treatment Facility for Taboshar”. The project is funded by the European Union under the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation. The project will be implemented within 36 months. The overall budget is 2.5 million EURO and takes account of experience gained with similar construction works inside and outside the EU.