Red Cross and Land Rover: Water and Health for Tajikistan

Niklas Meltio / Suomen Punainen Risti
Only half of the inhabitants and schools in the Tajikistan countryside have access to clean water.
Image: Niklas Meltio / Suomen Punainen Risti

The Finnish Red Cross and Land Rover begin collaboration. The objective is to offer clean water and better health for 24,000 people in Tajikistan, the most impoverished country in Central Asia.

Only half of the inhabitants and schools in the Tajikistan countryside have access to clean water. There is also a need for information on good hygiene and the prevention of tuberculosis and respiratory infections. In addition, mothers need more knowledge for care during pregnancy and safe childbirth.

Guidance for women and children

The project supported by Land Rover and the Finnish Red Cross begins in the mountainous valley of Rasht, in Central Tajikistan. The work is conducted by the local volunteers in collaboration with schools and authorities. There is one Finnish Red Cross aid worker in the country.

Clean water is accessed by building new water lines and pumping stations. Hygiene is improved by repairing washing facilities and toilets. 

The most important part, however, is guidance. The volunteers influence inhabitants through schools and regular home visits. 

– The well-being of families is mainly the responsibility of women, because many men have been forced to leave looking for work from Russia, for example. The villages can only be reached through difficult mountain roads, so they live on their own. That’s why prevention is vital, says the healthcare advisor of the Finnish Red Cross, Tiina Saarikoski, who has recently visited Tajikistan.

Land Rover delivers cars appropriate for the project, and also collaborates with the Finnish Red Cross locally.

By 2018, Land Rover and the Red Cross will collaborate globally and actively. The objective of the collaboration is to improve the lives of a million people and strengthen different communities by utilising the expertise, preparedness, and reach of the organisations.

The World Water Day is held on 22 March, and this year, the theme of the day is sustainable development. The Red Cross reminds people of the importance of the basics. Clean water and proper hygiene prevent diseases.