Climate Change: Zarrina’s Story
“We are protected now, we feel safe, we realize that we are not alone with our fight with natural cataclysms”
Zarrina Noyobova, an inhabitant of Qozideh village in Tajikistan suffers from the negative impact of the climate change and global warming daily. The effects manifest in an increased number of natural disasters such as flooding, avalanches and mudflows.
Qozideh is a small village with a population of around 285 people and 57 households. Each natural disaster has a devastating effect on the populations lives and livelihoods. Extensive melting of glaciers for example causes the rivers to rise, which in turn, comes out of its banks destroying land and posing a high risk to people’s lives.
“Living with the fear that one day your house, your livelihood, school, the main road connecting us to the market and to city center can be destroyed by mud flow or flooding is unbearable. This is when you are lucky to save your life. But…our lives can be taken in just minutes, hours, days…You never know when the natural hazard will strike, we just need to be prepared, to find ways to escape or reduce the risks”.
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) through the DIPECHO phase 10 project “Fostering Disaster Resilient Communities in Isolated Mountain Environments of Tajikistan” addresses this challenge. The project aims at strengthening community emergency preparedness and the disaster response capacity while also implementing structural mitigation projects to reduce disaster risks.
In order to understand potential risks for the village and specifically the high at-risk zone AKAH conducted Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (HVA). Based on the HVA, AKAH through the DIPECHO X project successfully implemented the clearing of mudflow channel mitigation project. Now when the rivers rise, water is contained, preventing it’s spread and saving lives and livelihoods.
“As a woman, who always thinks about the well-being of her children – for them to be healthy, protected, safe and successful, I … decided to leave the village and start new life in a safer area. I lost hope that the threat of natural hazards can be reduced until I become witness of how AKAH cares about the safety of my small village. So I decided to stay, and be part of the work that this organization is doing. I am a witness of how the work has been carried out and as a result I feel safe now”