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In Tajikistan, FSD acts at two levels: the destruction of stockpiles of obsolete weapons and ammunition, and the remediation of areas contaminated with toxic pollutants.


FSD staff moving obsolete ammunition to a safe location for its destruction, using controlled explosion. (Tajikistan, 2020)



In 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan, alongside several former Soviet States, declared its independence. At the time, numerous stockpiles of weapons and ammunition were stored throughout the country. Today, a large portion of the weapons remains in the country in poor stockpile conditions. They constitute a threat for national and regional security, posing the risk of accidental explosions or of falling into the wrong hands. 

Tajikistan is also contaminated by other dangerous remnants dating back to the Soviet era. In 1950–60, pesticides were largely distributed in the country, almost for free, to increase the agricultural production. The collapse of the Soviet Union saw numerous stockpiles of the pesticides abandoned in the country. 


Since then, such obsolete pesticides, notably Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, commonly known as DDT, have started to infiltrate the environment and the food chain. Long-term exposure to such organic persistent pollutants has been linked to a series of negative impacts on health, from effects on the nervous, immune, reproductive and endocrine systems to various types of birth defects and cancers.

While the Tajik government is aware of the risks of such substances on health, the environment and the economy, it lacks the legal, financial and institutional resources to solve the problem.



When it rains or snows, the soil turns yellow and the smell is unbearable.


An inhabitant of Oykamar, a village contaminated by toxic pesticides.

Salmanjoon - Inhabitant of Oykamar, village contaminated by toxic pesticides

Environmental remediation

The project, whose aim is to clear soils contaminated by toxic pesticides dating back to the Soviet era, began operating in 2016. One of its first actions was to relocate several families living above a pesticide dump. FSD then focused on removing and transporting the top layers of contaminated soil to a secure central storage site in Vakhsh, far from any homes and waterways. Clean soil was later transported to contaminated villages.

In 2021, FSD began work on a project funded by the United Nations Environment Programme to develop technology that would permanently eliminate the problem of obsolete pesticides. The aim is to test using a supercritical water oxidation reactor to treat contaminated soils at very high temperature and pressure, without releasing dioxins or other toxic emissions into the atmosphere.

FSD excavator in Tajikistan

Disposal of weapons and ammunition

For almost 20 years, FSD has managed a project to eliminate obsolete stockpiles of small arms and ammunition dating from the Soviet era. Depending on their size, the obsolete weapons and ammunition are either incinerated or destroyed by way of controlled explosions.

To date, FSD has destroyed more than 1.7 million weapons and ammunition in Tajikistan, as well as around 50 man-portable air defence systems (MANPADs).

Controlled explosion from an obsolete ammunition stock in Tajikistan.jpg

FSD in Tajikistan

The FSD presence in Tajikistan dates back to 2003, when the Foundation carried out a mine action programme supported by the United States Department of State.

In parallel, in 2009, FSD launched a stockpile disposal programme to promote national and regional security, also funded by the United States of America.

In 2016, FSD initiated a third project: the remediation of areas contaminated by toxic pesticides that were remnants of the Soviet era. FSD established a partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme to develop clean and efficient remediation technology.

In 2018, demining operations in Tajikistan were suspended due to lack of funding.


News from Tajikistan


Environmental remediation

In Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, FSD is expanding its involvement in the remediation of soil contaminated by toxic pesticides. As part of this GEF-funded project, FSD is working […]


New trees planted in Vakhsh

With the collaboration of the Deputy Director of the Tajik Committee for Environmental Protection, Ms Qiamzoda Zarafo, FSD has planted a further 3,000 trees […]


Weapons and ammunition destruction

How do we destroy obsolete weapons and ammunition found in Tajikistan? :
➡️ Incineration, for small arms ammunition and pyrotechnics
➡️ Controlled explosion, for larger weapons […]

In 2021, our deminers cleared 8.5 kms², an area equivalent to half of Geneva. The task required constant concentration, even in working conditions that were at times extreme.


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