On October 2-3, CAREC Branch Office in Uzbekistan held some events in the Republic of Karakalpakstan within the UzWaterAware project funded by the European Union. The events were organized with the support of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan (RK), Ministry of Public Education of RK, Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan and its subdivision in Nukus.
More than 160 pupils of 3-4 classes of 28 and 31 schools of Nukus city and 5-7 classes of 31 and 32 schools of Nukus district participated in environmental events with the involvement of representatives of press-services of the Ministry of Water Resources of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and Committee of RK on Ecology and Environmental Protection, as well as local and Tashkent journalists.
The activities included eco-lessons for children based on five social and informational videos within the project to raise awareness about the efficient use of water resources in different spheres of life – agriculture and water-saving technologies, household use and efficiency, virtual water, careful and respectful attitude towards resources. Also, children participated in a discussion of ways of protecting and saving water resources in regions with limited access during the quarantine period. The teachers who attended the eco-lessons noted a creative format for presenting information about water resources, which they will surely continue using during lessons with their students.
It should be noted that in December 2019, the project team has already conducted eco-lessons in Karakalpakstan, in particular, at school #9 of Amudarya District for 80 pupils of junior and senior classes. It was then that the teachers asked to pay attention to the preparation of children’s educational materials in Karakalpak language for use in those districts remote from the center.
During the visit on October 2, there was also a meeting at the Ministry of Public Education of the RK for transferring the products developed within the project – social videos about water, children’s book “Good knowledge of precious water” translated into Karakalpak language at the request of the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan, information booklet with tips to prevent risks of coronavirus infection, as well as branded personal protective equipment (facial masks and antiseptics for hands), prepared following the request of the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan.
“We are very grateful to the project for paying so much attention to water and environmental education and awareness. Special thanks for preparing materials in the Karakalpak language as well. We will hand over all materials and means of protection to the district schools, as well as distribute a children’s book on water and videos to teachers through all available channels,” said Mr. Kuanish Zhubanov, Director of the Republican Training and Methodological Center under the Ministry of Public Education of the RK.
In total, 3 000 facial masks, 3 000 antiseptics, and 5 000 children’s books were given to the Republic of Karakalpakstan. During the meeting, it was noted that cooperation between the project and the ministries, agencies, public organizations, and journalists will help ensure the sustainability of the project and the developed knowledge products.
“Today, the Ministry of Public Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan faces great challenges. Non-governmental organizations act as assistants to the state in solving some of these tasks. We hope that materials developed by CAREC during four years of the UzWaterAware project implementation will help promote environmental education among the population of the country,” emphasized Ms. Shahnoza Umarova, Director of CAREC Branch Office in Uzbekistan, Project Manager.
On October 3, a meeting was held with more than 40 representatives of the Karakalpak division of the Ecological Movement, as well as the women department of the Ecological Party in Nukus. Among the participants were employees of different spheres such as education, medicine, ecology, and others. During the conversation, special attention was paid to the role of women in water conservation and awareness-raising. In their turn, the participants expressed interest in using and disseminating the information received, as well as in further cooperation in various directions.
Similar eco-lessons will be held in the schools of two more regions of Uzbekistan – Surkhandarya and Khorezm, as part of the final stage of the project.
It should be reminded that the project “Raising Awareness and Partnership for Sustainable Water and Environment Development in Uzbekistan. Component 3” (or UzWaterAware) has been implemented by CAREC with financial support of the European Union since 2016 and is part of the “Sustainable Management of Water Resources in Rural Uzbekistan” Programme. The national partner of the project is the Ministry of Water Resources of Uzbekistan. UzWaterAware has become one of the projects which managed to draw attention to water and environmental problems in the country and in partnership with government agencies, NGOs, and the media to carry out large-scale work with the population.
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.