Natural Hazard Risk
Tajikistan’s geology, hydrology, and topography make it prone to such natural hazards as avalanches, droughts, earthquakes, flooding, and land and mudslides. Glaciers, heavy rainfall, and mountainous terrain create conditions for flooding, which, based on GFDRR analysis, impacts about 100,000 people and an of average $100 million of gross domestic product (GDP) on an annual basis.
Tajikistan is also exposed to earthquakes, with 63 percent of the population living in highly seismic areas. In 2015, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake triggered landslides that killed two and affected 124,000 people while destroying about 660 houses. Emergency response was complicated by the remote location and the lack of alternative transport routes.
An increase in the frequency of already-common flooding and mudslides, as well as a reduction of up to 40 percent of glacial water flows, have been projected by climate models. The highly vulnerable agriculture sector (today exposed to regular drought, flooding, frost, and hail) employs 60 percent of the population.
A GFDRR model places disasters in Tajikistan among the riskiest to people’s well-being as a percentage of GDP.
Mainstreaming disaster risk management in development planning and reducing vulnerability to disaster impacts are government priorities. In 2010, the government in tandem approved the Hyogo Framework for Action and adopted a National Disaster Risk Management Strategy and Action Plan 2010–2015.
In 2012, an advisory body was created to better coordinate the government and partner agencies: The National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction develops disaster preparedness and response plans and raises awareness through trainings.
In 2015, Tajikistan adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and has begun revising its strategy in alignment.
To continue mainstreaming disaster risk management, the government is prioritizing the following:
- Strengthening institutional capacities to integrate climate resilience in national development and investment planning;
- Improving the accuracy and timeliness of hydro-meteorological services for early warning, weather forecasting, and climate change assessments;
- Making key water management and hydropower infrastructure more climate resilient; and,
- Supporting land management measures to enhance rural livelihoods through greater resilience to climate-related shocks.
Since 2008, GFDRR has supported Tajikistan to help improve its weather forecasting efficiency and to better plan for extreme weather. Initial support covered an extensive review of hydro-meteorological services in Central Asia, including in Tajikistan. Following this review, in 2009, GFDRR developed an action plan to improve weather and climate service delivery in Central Asia, including Tajikistan. GFDRR’s recommendations informed the World Bank’s $27 million investment program to modernize the country’s hydro-meteorological system.
GFDRR support has helped improve the national and regional knowledge on seismic risks and seismic mitigation best practices. Regional gatherings supported by GFDRR, such as the Central Asia Earthquake Risk Reduction Forum in 2015, have stimulated dialogue on reduction and mitigation initiatives and on the needs and challenges of each country.
In 2015, following an earthquake and destructive landslide debris flow, GFDRR partnered with the World Bank to support the Ministry of Emergency Situations to undertake a rapid risk assessment and to make recommendations for reinstating transport links and establishing an emergency management plan.
In 2016, GFDRR and the World Bank together developed quantitative country risk profiles for Tajikistan and other Europe and Central Asian countries to equip government decision-makers with more information about how floods and earthquakes are likely to impact people and the economy.
Going forward, GFDRR foresees demand from the Government of Tajikistan in the following areas:
- Integrating disaster resilience into national development planning;
- Strengthening critical infrastructure against natural hazards;
- Producing and sharing disaster risk information to inform planning and investments in various development sectors; and,
- Increasing response capacity by modernizing crisis management systems to respond to disasters more efficiently.