IOM-supported project for the restoration of ancient irrigation systems – kahrizes in regions of Azerbaijan will contribute to Azerbaijan’s efforts to fulfill three Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the IOM official told Trend.
The IOM official noted that the project is among the most crucial and timely activity undertaken by the IOM in Azerbaijan.
Sine the start of the project in 1998 more than 160 kahrizes in different regions of Azerbaijan were rehabilitated within various projects.
“Building upon IOM’s successful past experiences and unique expertise, the mission currently is implementing the “Integrated Rural Development for Internally Displaced Communities in Azerbaijan through Revitalization of Kahriz Water Supply System” project with financial support of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to provide safe and consistent water supplies for over 8,000 families in eight districts where IDPs’ communities are settled through the renovation kahrizes, a traditional, sustainable water supply system,” the official said.
In the official’s words, as previous ones this project also continues to implement a community-driven approach, paying specific attention to cross-cutting issues such as gender, governance and environmental sustainability.
The project’s overall objective is to contribute to the prevention of forced economic migration by enhancing access of rural communities in Azerbaijan to energy-free water resources as a means to increase agriculture productivity and livelihoods through provision of water infrastructure, by providing opportunities for income-generating activities in link with Kahriz renovation.
“The Project has 6 main components, which are developing National Master Plan for kahriz renovation, kahriz rehabilitation, capacity building for kahriz engineering and kankans, supporting small business among IDPs in target regions, and increasing community awareness on Kahriz Maintenance and Efficient Use of Water,” the official added.
The project will contribute to Azerbaijan’s efforts to fulfill three Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through: the provision of water for domestic and agricultural needs which has a direct impact on poverty reduction and food security (SDG 1), empowering and involving women into decision making process, increasing their role in the community in terms of leadership (SDG 5), and the rehabilitation of eco-friendly and sustainable water supply systems, kahrizes and enhanced access to safe drinking water (SDG 6).
IOM’s presence in Azerbaijan dates back to 1996 with the establishment of the IOM Baku office in January. On 8 December 1999, the Agreement establishing the legal basis for further cooperation between IOM and the Republic of Azerbaijan in handling migration issues was signed.
Following the Agreement’s ratification by the National Assembly of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 8 February 2000, the Council of IOM, at its 81st Session in Geneva, accepted Azerbaijan as an IOM Member State on 7 June 2001.