Uzbekistan has made substantial investments in upgrading its water supply and sanitation (WSS) services over the past decade, amassing the largest public borrowing portfolio for WSS projects of any country in Central Asia.
Despite such progress, the country’s citizens continue to face challenges in accessing clean and reliable water services. For instance, the households of more than half the population (roughly 31 million people) remain unconnected to a piped water system.
A recent World Bank study, Social Impact Analysis of Water Supply and Sanitation Services in Central Asia: the Case of Uzbekistan, aims to assist the Uzbekistan government and WSS service providers in designing policies to improve the water sector – by providing information on consumer experiences and readiness for reform in Uzbekistan.
Statistics about access to WSS services tell us little about the quality of those services, and reliable evidence on the continuity of service, water quality and accountability of service providers is scarce in Uzbekistan. The study, therefore, builds upon this evidence base with much-needed citizen feedback and stakeholder views on WSS modernization needs.
In 2014, a team of Uzbekistan-based World Bank researchers conducted 17 focus group discussions with consumers, 19 in-depth interviews with government and WSS utility firm officials, and 10 household case studies across Uzbekistan. Comments and feedback by Uzbek citizens who participated in the focus group discussions are included in the study.