UzWaterAware project sums up the work on raising water awareness

Publication date: 02 November 2020
UzWaterAware project sums up the work on raising water awareness

On October 28 and 30, 2020, final and reporting events of the UzWaterAware project implemented by CAREC with the financial support of the European Union took place in Tashkent.

The project “Raising Awareness and Partnership for Sustainable Water and Environment Development in Uzbekistan” or UzWaterAware is Component 3 of the European Union Programme “Sustainable Management of Water Resources in Rural Areas in Uzbekistan” with the Ministry of Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan as the national partner. The project was implemented from November 2016 to November 2020 in 9 regions of the country and Tashkent city.

Among the key objectives of the project is to raise awareness and knowledge among the general public about the importance of efficient use of water resources and environmental protection in the context of climate change, as well as to strengthen cooperation and interaction between ministries and their press services with NGOs, youth organizations, and the media.

The final event was opened by the Deputy Minister of Water Resources of Uzbekistan Mr. Akmal Mirzaev, Head of Cooperation Section of EU Delegation to Uzbekistan Mr. François Begeot, CAREC Executive Director Mr. Zafar Makhmudov, Director of NGO “Suvchi” (co-applicant of the project) Mr. Takhir Majidov, as well as manager and specialist of other components of the above EU Programme Dr. Carolina Milow (Component 1, GIZ), and Ms. Malika Ikramova (Component 2, UNDP).

“Within Component 3, close cooperation was established between the press service of the Ministry of Water Resources and CAREC, media representatives, and NGOs. This cooperation made it possible by joint efforts to expand knowledge of the population about the state water policy being implemented. Ministry of Water Resources of Uzbekistan expresses its commitment to further cooperation in the implementation of similar projects in the future,” noted Deputy Minister of Water Resources of Uzbekistan Mr. Akmal Mirzaev.

Representatives of international and state organizations, as well as active partners and participants of the project – representatives of non-governmental organizations, experts, journalists – were invited to sum up and discuss the project results.

“The EU has made water one of the main priorities of its development aid for the Central Asian region. I truly hope that established wide network of press services of relevant ministries, mass media, and NGOs will continue its cooperation beyond the Programme on ‘Sustainable Management of Water Resources in Rural Areas in Uzbekistan’,” said Head of Cooperation Section of EU Delegation to Uzbekistan Mr. François Begeot. “I am confident that if we take decisive actions now like water-saving practices by the population, we can avoid predictable challenges coming our way. For that, we will continue our joint efforts with the Government of Uzbekistan to further improve water management practices and sustainable use of natural resources.”

On October 30, the events were held in an informal atmosphere and gathered active project participants – NGO-partners, journalists, experts, as well as representatives of press-services of water and ecological agencies.

“As our NGO partners, journalists, and participants of numerous events noted, UzWaterAware turned out to be an unusual, bright, and in many ways positive and experimental project,” emphasized Project Manager and Director of CAREC Branch Office in Uzbekistan Ms. Shakhnoza Umarova. “The project demonstrated interesting approaches and fascinating presentation of water and environmental information through various events, as well as its ‘knowledge products’ prepared in an accessible format for different target audiences. After all, the theme of water, especially the theme of water resources management, concerns each of us regardless of age, sphere of activity, and interests. Especially if we consider that we live in a region with quite limited water resources. If now we do not think about common solutions in the future, we will all face common problems. This is what the UzWaterAware project was telling about – the problems and solutions – together with its partners within numerous water-saving eco-marathons and eco-lessons, trainings, master-classes, demo and study-tours to the regions of Uzbekistan and European countries – Spain and Germany.”

“Knowledge products” for sustainability of the UzWaterAware project goals

When finished, the UzWaterAware project leaves the following developed “knowledge products” for a wide audience and free distribution:

-          five animation videos about water, created in the format to conduct water-ecological lessons (in Russian, Uzbek, and English). The videos are available for download or watching on the UzWaterAware Project YouTube channel, as well as on the pages of the Internet media and sites of partners who have published them;

-          an educational online platform with the training course “Coverage of water management issues for sustainable development” with content in Russian and Uzbek (in cooperation with the Modern Journalism Development Centre) for students, young journalists, and anyone interested in covering water and environment;

-          two bright illustrated books about water in digital formats: children’s book “Good knowledge of precious water” (in Uzbek, Russian, and Karakalpak), as well as an informative book for a wide range of readers “The Water Path” (in Russian and Uzbek). They are available for viewing and downloading at

The work of NGO “Suvchi”, a co-applicant of the project, was focused on six regions: Fergana, Samarkand, Surkhandarya, Syrdarya, and Khorezm, as well as in the Republic of Karakalpakstan. While implementing the project since 2017, NGO “Suvchi” organized and conducted seminars on water and environmental issues with the population, thematic round tables with media and youth, trainings for journalists, NGO representatives, and local specialists, interactive events for children, media tours to water facilities for more than 4,300 participants using information presentations and materials. As a result, over 300 journalistic materials were prepared in regional publications and on television.

Also, other NGO partners prepared the following products within the UzWaterAware project:

·         methodological guidelines for media and NGOs (developed by the In-Service Training Centre for Journalists and BORDA (Germany) in three languages);

·         methodological manuals for teachers and educational game materials for children (developed by NGO “Ekomaktab” in Russian and Uzbek);

·         content of the water-ecological online quiz of 36 questions and answers (developed by the Facebook platform “”).

The families of two brothers, Khasan and Khusan, became the characters of the UzWaterAware project. One family knows that it is necessary to protect and respect water – and does it. And another family knows about it but does not care. The phrase “respect water” became a slogan and hashtag of the project aimed at fostering a respectful attitude to water because there would be no life without it. Project hashtags are #respectwater, #suvnihurmatlang, #уважайтеводу.

The UzWaterAware project in numbers and events

Within the UzWaterAware project, nine active water-environmental NGOs of the country were involved in the joint implementation of activities and cooperation with CAREC Branch Office in Uzbekistan, in particular Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan, Yuksalish National Movement, the In-Service Training Centre for Journalists, the Modern Journalism Development Centre, Khorezm Rural Advisory Support Service KRASS (Urgench), NGO “Ekomaktab”, NGO “Salomatlik Plus Ecologia” (Kokand), NGO “For Environmentally Friendly Fergana” (Fergana), NGO “Rodnichok” (Tashkent region).

Representatives of 35 water and environmental NGOs across the country participated in various field trainings and demo tours of the UzWaterAware project implemented jointly with main NGO partners and the support of local authorities in the regions.

Close cooperation was established with state organizations – the Ministry of Water Resources and the State Committee of Ecology and Environmental Protection, as well as their press services. Within the UzWaterAware project, press services of these agencies became participants of specialized professionally oriented events, trainings, demo tours with the participation of local and foreign lecturers and trainers. The main attention was paid to the development of interaction between these press services, NGOs, and media, so the project often held joint activities for these target groups. According to the organizers of the project, such interaction will allow ensuring sustainability and consistent further dissemination of information in order to raise awareness of the population of Uzbekistan on issues of careful attitude and efficient use of water resources.

In total, during the implementation of the UzWaterAware project, the team together with partners held about 100 events of different formats, in particular:

  • 22 thematic seminars and trainings with local and international trainers for NGOs, media, and press services;
  • over 30 eco-lessons for children and teachers;
  • five masterclasses for farmers on water-saving technologies (drip irrigation, hydrogel);
  • ten demo tours to pilot sites in Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan;
  • seven media and study tours to the Aral Sea region, Central Asian countries, and Europe;
  • five eco-marathons in various regions of the country; 
  • seven creative contests on water and an educational 12-week online quiz;
  • a mini-grant program that supported three water-saving projects of TIIAME students;
  • as well as round tables and media briefings for the mass media, NGOs, and youth; annual meetings with representatives of active water and environmental NGOs.

In total, about 250 NGO representatives, journalists, and bloggers, as well as tens of thousands of schoolchildren, teachers, farmers, community activists, and others, became beneficiaries and participants of the UzWaterAware project in 2016-2020.

Thanks to the active involvement of media representatives, including regional editors and bloggers, during the project implementation, nearly 600 printed, online, audio, and video materials on water and ecology were presented in the information space.

The UzWaterAware project is implemented by CAREC with the financial support of the European Union during the period 2016-2020. The overall objective of the project is to sensitise and generate a greater degree of awareness on the strategic importance of water saving, water conservation and environmental protection under the conditions of climate change.


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