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UN monitors water quality in Tajikistan after floods erode supply

UN monitors water quality in Tajikistan after floods erode supply

As concerns receded in Tajikistan over contamination of the country's water supply - which was polluted during floods last month - the Government has stopped trucking clean drinking water into the capital, prompting the UN to monitor the supply.

The Tajik authorities are telling residents of Dushanbe that boiled tap water is now safe to drink, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.

But concerns persist that typhoid may spread as a result of a tainted supply, and many of the city's residents remain hesitant to drink tap water. Last summer, 1,000 cases of the disease were registered in Tajikistan due to consumption of contaminated water.

After massive floods and landsides last month polluted the water supply and left 40,000 people susceptible to disease, UN agencies rushed aid to the area and allocated tens of thousands of dollars to support the Government's relief effort.

"When the floods occurred there was a real concern about the water supply," but "there have been efforts made to chlorinate the water supply and the Government believes this is adequate," Stephanie Bunker of OCHA told the UN News Service.

"The country team is monitoring the situation," she said, because "there is concern the water may not be clean."

Because of the flooding, the only north-south road link via Dushanbe was rendered impassable, leaving an estimated 5,000 people stranded and complicating the delivery of clean water by truck.