Markus Tuukkanen, Managing Director of Finnish Water Forum and Evija Pudane, Executive Director of CLEANTECH LATVIA visiting Uzbekistan to observe Presidential Elections 2nd – 6th December 2016. Preparations for this visit had been made well ahead.
Markus Tuukkanen had visited Tashkent (3d of December) and Bukhara (6th of December). In both places people were very motivated to be part of the election process. “High motivation of people at the polling stations was reflected also to me by the way people received me” – notice Mr. Markus Tuukkanen and continuing: “All people coming to vote knew how it works and they had the needed documentation with them. After the closing of the polling station I was observing the polling station 74 at TIIM and how they very professionally continued the process into counting the votes.”
There were areas that could be replicated to many countries from Uzbekistan’s elections:
* child care room and sanitary rooms are great way to make polling easier and more “welcoming”.
* fee public transportation to polling stations – this was a superb idea to encourage people to vote.
Markus Tuukkanen had also an opportunity to discover the ancient city of Bukhara and some of the major sites in Tashkent too. He was so impressed what he saw and heard from the hosts that his head was filled with interesting information about the history, science and culture of Uzbekistan.
Regarding the arrangements prior and during the trip to Uzbekistan Markus Tuukkanen noted:
“I was really pleased with the hospitality and support from Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration (TIIM) led by Rector Khamidov Mukhammadkhan and the Student they had helping them. They introduced me with their institute incl. laboratory and teaching facilities and we had very good discussions on how to find ways for co-operation. As there is excellent knowledge on drainage in Finland that could be supporting TIIM in their work, I have already started to identify right persons from Finland to continue discussions on this topic. I also linked one TIIM researchers with a Finnish company that has an additive to irrigation water that can reduce water need by 30-50%.”
As one of the topics discussed during the visit was naturally water supply. Hosts organized a meeting with the Vice Minister Shavkat Khamraeu who has visited Finland several times and knew the water as one of the Finnish strengths. Minister raised the topic of water efficiency and measuring technologies that he was particularly interested from Finland. Mr. Markus Tuukkanen briefly explained about our solutions for example the Finnish Water Safety Model, where all water utilities are using same national level software for risk management and for authorities to monitor performance. In the meeting, there was also present from the ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources Head of international relations department Shokhrukh Tolibov.
As a summary, Markus Tuukkanen set off as following: “I had a great visit to Uzbekistan with a lot of information and few first steps for co-operation. But most importantly I really got to know how wonderful and fun people are in Uzbekistan.”