Tajikistan is often described as the poorest country in Central Asia, with GDP per capita consistently lower than any of its regional neighbours. Its water and sanitation infrastructure is severely dilapidated, suffering from decades of underinvestment and the failure to address widespread damage suffered during the country’s civil war (1992–1997). Efforts to ensure everyone has improved access to adequate water and sanitation services are characterised by contradictory legislation and blurred responsibilities between state agencies. Reform of the sector and roll-out of improved infrastructure have been slow, requiring strong accountability mechanisms to ensure that the rights of the most vulnerable people are adequately protected. Oxfam’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programme s therefore based on a theory of change that aims to improve the health status of Tajikistan’s population through the delivery of long-lasting WASH services, while addressing market systems and strengthening institutions.
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