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2-3 March, 2011 within the framework of the project "Dam Safety in Central Asia: Capacity Building and Regional Cooperation" UNECE and IFAS organized a regional expert meeting in Almaty.

Major hydraulic structures on the irrigation facilities of the Central Asian countries were built over 30 years ago and for a long time these facilities have been running without proper maintenance, repair or replacement of worn equipment and instruments. The risk of an incident is now high. If something were to go wrong, not only would the delivery of water be at risk, but also the lives of the population living in the immediate vicinity of the structures would be under threat.

Nurek dam, Tajikistan
The improvement of the reliability and operational safety of the observed facilities requires the installation of early warning systems and the harmonization of technical regulations for hydraulic structures operation.
The capacity building requires training programs for the staff of organizations responsible for the safety on hydraulic structures.

An analysis of major breakdowns in recent years clearly shows that almost all of them were caused by human error, in particular by untrained staff unable to locate or prevent them. About 50% of breakdowns are the result of low-skills, improper organization of work, violation of hydraulic structures safety rules and regulations, as well as poor security control.

According to the latest studies, the distribution of the break-down reasons is as follows:

  • violation of safety rules and regulations - 15%
  • mismanagement - 12%
  • weak supervision - 11%
  • untrained staff - 11%

Therefore, it is clear that there is an urgent need for training and capacity building of the staff responsible for the safety of structures, which could prevent most of the break-down cases and ensure a safer operation of water facilities.

Currently the related capacity building activities are implemented with support of the UNECE and UNESCAP.



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