During a ceremonial visit to the GBAO region of eastern Tajikistan, President Emomali Rahmon officially opened the Tirchid Mahalla sports ground on 21st August 2020.
The playground is one of six that has been constructed under the EU-funded infrastructure project that has been underway since last year and is being implemented by AKF, and its partners, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) and the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP).
The Tirchid sports ground is located in a densely-populated area with some 225 households living nearby, and roughly 1,000 residents under the age of 35 who will likely get the most use from the state-of-the-art facilities that include a football pitch, basketball and volleyball courts, as well as a playground for smaller children. There is also seating for 320 attendees to watch the sporting events.
The programme aims to create a sense of civic pride for the people of the town, since they are involved in the building projects from the outset.
The project’s overall objective is to improve the quality of life for residents in Khorog, GBAO, though the planning and building of community facilities that will enhance the physical environment. The process not only creates jobs, it also aims to boost confidence in local authorities and helps to create a sense of civic pride for the people of the town, since they are involved in the building projects from the outset.
All those involved were delighted that the president himself was able to attend the inauguration, evidencing the strong partnership between local and national governments with regard to the programme, as well as with the local people and the project implementers. Many noted that there is enduring support for programmes like this which improve relationships and trust between stakeholders, as well as contribute to the physical and social enhancement of the town whilst engaging with young people.
President Rahmon initiated a warm discussion with the coaches, sportsmen and the local youth who had gathered at the opening ceremony, encouraging them to study well and to be engaged in sports for a healthy lifestyle. He then presented various gifts including sports uniforms to the young athletes.
The construction of Tirchid Sport ground started in May 2020, and engaged four local construction companies to provide local people with job opportunities. Construction of an additional five sport grounds are also underway in Khorog through the project grant, creating more than 300 jobs. The local community will have full ownership of the Tirchid Mahalla facility, and the regional Youth and Sport Committee will ensure it is well-maintained so it can be used by generations to come.
The 1,800,000 EUR project is funded by the European Union. Implemented over the period of 18 months, the project aims at fostering peace and stability in Khorog Town by improving highly-demanded public infrastructure and services, strengthening confidence in local authorities, and generating temporary employment opportunities through construction work.