Bukhara is an ancient stop on the Silk Road, a center of trade, culture, and learning. Though the city’s infrastructure is not as old as the minarets and madrassas of the center city, it is a decades-old legacy of the Soviet Union and it is falling into disrepair.
The deterioration in the delivery of basic municipal services has big implications for city residents. Both Bukhara and Samarkand faced serious public health risks because of the decrepit water supply system. And the cost, for average water users, of the ineffectual and not always-safe water supply, was high.
From 2002 to 2010, with support from the World Bank, Bukhara and Samarkand have improved and updated their water systems. The improvements are aimed at protecting public health, streamlining water costs, and raising living standards.