The main purpose of the trip was to get acquainted with the experience of Kyrgyzstan in reforming and managing public utilities in small towns and rural areas, visiting public services implemented in the framework of various technical and investment projects, exchanging views on existing problems and forthcoming reforms in both countries.
The study tour consisted of a two-day workshop in Bishkek and a four-day field trip to Chui, Issyk-Kul and Osh regions. The program of the trip included an expert assessment, presentations, round table discussions, meetings with heads and employees of small towns' administrations, and visits to utilities.
The study tour began on March 26, 2008 with a one and a half day seminar entitled “Reform of public services in small towns of Kyrgyzstan: achievements, problems, lessons and prospects”.
The following topics were discussed in the first session of the workshop:
- State policy and issues in the field of transfer of communal property to local authorities in Kyrgyzstan;
- Review of the general state of public utilities in small towns in Kyrgyzstan and the prospects for the development of this area;
- Utilities Management in Kyrgyzstan: Achievements and Next Steps;
- Assessment of the quality of public services in small towns of Kyrgyzstan.
The Kyrgyz side, represented by the Deputy Director for Local Self-Government Affairs, Executive Director of the Association of Cities of the Kyrgyz Republic, Executive Director of the Community Development and Investment Agency (ARIS), shared their experience and provided a complete picture of the situation of public utilities in Kyrgyzstan from different angles ... Despite the fatigue after a long journey, the members of the Mongolian delegation showed genuine interest in the topics presented and asked many questions. At the beginning of the first session, they were asked to fill in cards with their expectations and priorities for the study tour.
The second session, held on March 27, 2008, was entirely devoted to presentations of donor-funded projects in the field of rehabilitation of public services in small towns and villages, as well as rural water supply and sanitation, implemented by ARIS and Department of Rural Water Supply under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Processing Industry.
The coordinators and experts of these projects presented the following projects to the attention of Mongolian specialists:
- Small Towns Infrastructure Development and Capacity Building Project (ARIS);
- Rural Investment Project (ARIS);
- Utility Infrastructure Financing Project (ARIS)
- Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project, Asian Development Bank (Department of Rural Water Supply, MAWRPI).
These presentations aroused great interest and many questions from Mongolian specialists.
During the field trip, the participants of the study tour met with the mayors of two cities: Kant (in the north) and Uzgen (in the south).
In addition, they visited the following utilities:
- Bishkekvodokanal office;
- Treatment facilities (Bishkek);
- Water distribution enterprise (billing system) -g. Kant;
- Private waste collection company (Kant);
- Water tank, water supply, water chlorination plant, ADB project, p. Chyrpykty (Issyk-Kul region);
- Pumping station and reservoir (Balykchy city, Issyk-Kul region);
- Pumping station and reservoir (Uzgen city, Osh region).
All visits were carried out with the support of the ARIS and Department of Rural Water Supply. They constantly accompanied the delegation in the regions and provided technical information about the objects visited. The participants of the study tour were given the opportunity to see the work of utilities in action, compare them with similar enterprises in Mongolia and gain some experience. According to their statements, these visits gave them a lot of ideas for applying the Kyrgyz experience in the Mongolian environment. In particular, the participants were impressed by the completed water supply projects in rural areas.
The workshop concluded with a round table discussion in Bishkek. Mongolian specialists informed their Kyrgyz colleagues about the state of com