IOM Azerbaijan and KOICA visit regions to monitor Kahriz rehabilitation progress

Last week, IOM Azerbaijan, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Office in Azerbaijan conducted a monitoring visit to the Aghdam, Shamkir, and Jabrail districts. The purpose of the visit was to assess the progress of the "Integrated Rural Development for IDP Communities in Azerbaijan through Revitalization of Kahriz Water Supply Systems" project. Prior to visiting the project sites, a meeting was held in Mingachevir to provide an overview of the completed and planned rehabilitation activities. The participants also discussed future plans and deadlines.

During the field visit, Mr Amr Taha, Chief of Mission a.i. in Azerbaijan recalled that rehabilitating kahrizes contributes to improved access to water and hygiene at the individual household level; to economic development at community level; and more broadly they concretely advance Azerbaijan’s vision for green and smart cities. “These are no little contributions for a project that should be replicated beyond Azerbaijan.” said Mr Taha.

The monitoring group inspected the kahrizes that were handed over to local communities in Agdam and Shamkir districts to assess their current condition. In Jabrail district, they observed the ongoing and planned rehabilitation works carried out in various kahrizes, including "Asgar", "Orta", "Khelife deresi", "Gul Gasim", and "Sighi". The group also met with engineers and locals involved in the project at the respective sites.

Galib Atakishiyev, head of the municipality of the Irmashli village of the Shamkir district highly appreciated the organization's efforts to rehabilitate their Garaoghlanli kahriz. He emphasized that the hand overed kahriz is critical for the provision of drinking water to residents of the village that faces adverse effects of climate change – water scarcity.

To date, as part of the project, IOM Azerbaijan has successfully rehabilitated a total of 28 kahrizes situated in the districts of Aghdam, Goranboy, Fuzuli, Goygol, Gazakh, Shamkir and Jabrayil.

The main objective of the project is to prevent forced economic migration by improving access to water resources in rural communities in Azerbaijan. This is achieved through the enhancement of agricultural productivity and livelihoods by providing water infrastructure and creating income-generating opportunities linked to kahriz rehabilitation.

By addressing these objectives, the project contributes to three Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Azerbaijan. These include reducing poverty and ensuring food security (SDG 1), promoting gender equality and empowering women in decision-making processes (SDG 5), and rehabilitating eco-friendly and sustainable water supply systems to enhance access to safe drinking water (SDG 6). The project also aligns with SDG target 10.7, which focuses on facilitating safe and responsible migration and mobility.

SDG 5 - Gender Equality
SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation