Integrated disaster risk reduction in flood-affected areas

Published: 11 July 2019
Last edited: 12 July 2019
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Villages and most productive lands in the lower parts of the Turkestan mountain range are located in the valleys of rivers and streams. Water discharge of streams is seasonally highly variable. After rainfall and during snowmelt extreme flow events happen with discharges several times exceeding the average of the wet season, causing the transportation of large amounts of debris. These debris flows can be much more destructive than ordinary high water events. Local people report about formerly unknown events of flashfloods and debris flows, which can be attributed to land degradation in upper catchment areas in combination with climate change impacts.

The solution brought together the Committee of Emergency Situations, affected local communities and the forestry enterprise. Assisted by experts provided by the project, the situation was analyzed; risks identified and integrated intervention planned. These interventions consisted of green and grey measures and were jointly implemented.


North and Central Asia
Scale of implementation
Freshwater ecosystems
Rangeland / Pasture
River, stream
Disaster risk reduction
Ecosystem services
Erosion prevention
Health and human wellbeing
Sustainable livelihoods
Urban and Disaster Risk Management
Resilience and disaster risk management
Erratic rainfall
Ecosystem loss
Lack of technical capacity
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Lack of infrastructure
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
SDG 13 – Climate action
Aichi targets
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Sendai Framework
Target 1: Reduce global disaster mortality by 2030
Target 2: Reduce the number of affected people globally by 2030
Target 3: Reduce direct disaster economic loss in relation to GDP by 2030
Target 4: Reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure and disruption of basic services, among them health and educational facilities, including through developing their resilience by 2030
Target 6: Enhance international cooperation to developing countries through adequate and sustainable support to complement their national actions for implementation of this Framework by 2030


Sughd Province, Tajikistan | Shahriston district, Spitamen district, Devashtich district


The communities did not have the technical knowledge and skills and also lacked the financial means to implement the solution on their own. Also the Committee for Emergency Situations lacked the financial resources for supporting the communities. Engineering expertise, machinery and construction material had been provided by GIZ, while the communities contributed voluntary work.


The planted trees are at risk of being damaged by free-ranging livestock. So they had to be fenced or individually protected.


The beneficiaries are the households and communities in the disaster risk areas as well as individuals caring for the green measures and in return being entitled to use fruits and branches from the trees as well as forage from the rehabilitated site.

How do the building blocks interact?

The building blocks represent three different elements:

- the general participatory approach, ensuring the best local benefits, the ownership by local people, their commitment and thus the sustainability of implemented measures;

- the key technical elements, which ensure the effectiveness of the disaster risk reduction as well as its sustainability; and

- the collaboration with one key actor, as example, of involvement of different stakeholders, beyond the immediate zone of the disaster risk.


The GIZ project ensured the interaction of the three building blocks and it is expected that this interaction will function beyond the project lifetime and will be replicated.


Environmental impacts:

- prevention of unnaturally intensive erosion;

- rehabilitation of vegetation and creation of new habitat;


Social impacts:

- mobilization of joint community work to address problems and risks affecting the community;

- collaboration between land users, community leadership, Committee of Emergency Situations and forestry enterprise;

- capacity development in form of knowledge of and skills to implement several technologies for land rehabilitation, sustainable land use and disaster risk reduction;
- prevention of disasters causing the destruction of houses, infrastructure, productive land and threatening live and health of people.


Economic impacts:

- prevention of economic losses caused by disastrous flood events;

- rehabilitation of affected lands;

- creation of new productive tree plantations (fruits, fuel wood).



For years Hoji Numonjon Aslonov, a resident of Kurush village in Spitamen district of Sughd province, has seen his land washed away by debris flows originating in the mountains of neighboring Kyrgyzstan. Due to extreme rainfall events and unusually high temperatures in summer the risk was further exacerbated in recent years. His and his neighbors’ houses had already become under direct threat when the Committee of Emergency Situations together with GIZ supported the local population with technical advice and construction materials to build a protection wall for their houses.


Within approximately 30 days the community members, led by Hoji Numonjon Aslonov, constructed a 300 meters-long gabion protection wall. In addition the community provided wwillow seedlings, which they planted along the wall, creating additional long-term protection, which grows stronger over time.  


The protection wall has already been withstanding heavy mudflows several times since, showing its strength and effectiveness. Hoji Numonjon Aslonov takes good care of the trees, and by now they have already grown to a respectable size and prevent the foundation of the wall from being washed out. Feeling safe and secure again, he even started to use the area behind the wall by planting fruit trees for an additional contribution to his livelihoods.

Contributed by

Stefan Michel

Other contributors

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH