UNODC renovates border post in Tajikistan with funds supplied by U.S. Government

The refurbished Border Guard Post at Yol in Shurobad District was formally reopened at a May 14 ceremony attended by representatives of the Border Guards, UNODC, and the United States Embassy. This remote Border Post is strategically located on the Panj River which separates Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The U.S government paid for the equipment and refurbishment. The total cost was $450,361(US). UNODC supervised the work, which was contracted through a Dushanbe based contractor. In addition to the construction at the Yol facility, the Border Guard outpost was supplied with a Kamaz truck, UAZ jeep, and technical equipment for drug detection.

UNODC implemented the USG-funded refurbishment at the Yol border outpost. Improvements included: reconstruction and refurbishment of soldier's barracks and officers family quarters, construction of an auxiliary kitchen and storage rooms, construction of new showers and washrooms, improved water supply system and external sewage system, installation of a heating system with 3 boilers on solid fuel with natural water circulation and ventilation system, enhanced perimeter security and refurbished classroom, armory, and offices.

This new post will enhance border security between the two counties by providing improved facilities to house both Border Guards and specialized anti-drug officers with the aim of disrupting trafficking organizations and seizing illicit drugs. U.S. Embassy INL Officer Anne Carson commented that, "a cooperative effort is needed to stop the threat from the trans-national drug trafficking organizations operating here in Tajikistan and across the border in Afghanistan. This new facility will help the Border Guards control this section of the border."

UNODC project-"Strengthening Control along the Tajik/Afghan Border" has operated with funding from the Embassy of the United States of America since 1999. Tajikistan shares a 1344-km border with Afghanistan which is difficult to guard because of extremely high mountains that are connected by remote mountain passes.

Gary W. O'Hara the UNODC law enforcement advisor who coordinates the border project stated, "heroin that crosses the river here at Yol ends up in Russia and Europe. This is the very beginning of what we call the 'Northern Route.' We have a long way to go but this new post should help the Border Guards disrupt the flow of drugs moving through this district."