Malaysia’s water policy provides good input to Uzbekistan

(Bernama) – KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s water policy has provided good inputs to Uzbekistan’s study towards adequate and equitable use of water resources, especially in the Central Asian region, said Uzbek deputy minister of Agriculture and Water Resources Farkhod Khakimov.

“Next year, Uzbekistan will invite its Malaysian counterparts to share experiences on how to enhance cooperation to improve water usage as well as develop a mechanism to maintain constant focus on water management,” Khakimov said. 
He revealed this to Bernama following a roundtable discussion on ‘Uzbekistan’s View on Water Resources of Transboundary Basins as Downstream Country’ held at the Uzbek embassy, here recently. 
During the roundtable conference, participants had discussed Uzbekistan’s problems in overcoming the growing number of hydropower stations in the neigbouring countries, which had led to artificial floods in the winter and increased deficits in the summer in Uzbekistan.
Khakimov also remarked that the irrigation system, which has been replaced by the hydropower station at the upper watershed countries, has resulted in this situation.  
Thus, he added that Uzbekistan favours cooperation and understanding with the world, especially Central Asia towards adequate and equitable use of water resources. 
“Our main focus now is to attract attention from the international community on this water issue. Water is the solution for energy and commercial work should be carried out independently, without harming each other,” he stated. 
Reports have stated that with more power being generated by hydroelectric complexes and dam projects from the neighbouring countries, the amount of water flowing into Uzbekistan has severely reduced that has continually led to serious water management and environmental issues in Uzbekistan. The country has just two main rivers namely Syrdarya and Amudarya, Khakimov added. 
Khakimov, who was here for an international conference organised by Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM) last week, said that with regard to international standards on these issues, the country has adhered to international water laws by participating in the two main conventions of the UN. 
The two conventions which Uzbekistan joined were the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (1992) and Convention on the Non-navigatonal Uses of International Watercourses (1997), he added.     
Meanwhile, elaborating on INWRDAM conference which was held here from July 9 to 13, he said that it outlined a biennial plan for action, before adding that these were the areas on which INWRDAM would concentrate on during 2012 to mid 2014.
The plan included conducting training programmes on ‘Developments in Irrigation Drainage Management,’ mooted by the Uzbek delegation, he added, pointing out that the programme was listed as a priority for INWRDAM’s implementation once the funds were made available. 
This training workshop could benefit many Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries as it will also serve the purpose of strengthening science and technology cooperation among the OIC member countries. 
Among those who attended the roundtable conference were Malaysia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Principal Assistant Secretary of South & Central Asia Division Bong Yik Jui and Malay Businessmen and Industrialist Association of Malaysia (PERDASAMA) president Datuk Mohamad Izzat Emir. Uzbekistan ambasssador to Malaysia Dr Shukor Sabitov was also present.