Switzerland supports service improvement at the local level

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On October 24, 2017, an official ceremony was held to inaugurate a renovated water supply system providing access to safe drinking water for the population of the village Kachybek of Ak-Chiy Aiyl Aimak of the Issyk-Kul oblast, and its social facilities, i.e one school, one kindergarten, one village medical point and the sport hall. The ceremony was attended by the residents, representatives of the local municipality and council, representatives of the oblast and the district authorities.

The event was organized in the framework of the Public Service Improvement Project financed by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by a consortium of organizations composed of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and the Development Policy Institute.

The Service Improvement Action Plan aims to identify in a participatory manner priority public and municipal services as well as to plan and improve the organization and provision of these services. The Service Improvement Action Plan of the Ak-Chiy Aiyl Aimak focused on the repair and rehabilitation of water infrastructure and also on the organization and sustainability of the service provided to more than 1000 people.

During public hearings broadly attended by the population, a new tariff for drinking water was discussed and thereafter approved by the local council. The municipality also introduced new mechanisms for effective management of drinking water services, such as municipal-private sector partnership and allocation of subsidies for vulnerable groups of the population who cannot afford paying for the service.

“The service of drinking water supply in Ak-Chiy municipality was looked at in a systemic manner, from the rehabilitation of the water system, to the enhancement of the management capacities of the self-government, the establishment of a tariff system that would allow sustainable and affordable provision of quality services as well as the maintenance of the system, and the creation of a subsidy mechanism ensuring that all citizens will have access to water,” – said Véronique Hulmann, Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic.

"After having applied a methodology elaborated by the project, we calculated the most optimal tariff for all. Despite the fact that after the calculation, the tariff has doubled, the population reacted to this with understanding, because everyone knew that earlier the tariff was adopted without justifications and calculations," - said Elmira Sultanbayeva, Chairwoman of the Ayil Kenesh.

In total, the Swiss financed Public Service Improvement Project supports the implementation of 36 Service Improvement Action Plans of rural municipalities for a total of 92 million soms, including 30% contributions from the municipalities. The priority services that will be supported by the project are sustainable access to safe drinking water, rehabilitation and accessibility of preschools and schools, improvement of communal and housing services in municipalities, etc.

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