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Assessment of economic impacts from disasters along key corridors [EN/RU]

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This Study

This Final Report forms the third deliverable for the World Bank funded study to assess the economic costs incurred by Tajikistan, due to the impact of disasters affecting the road network. This report details the overall findings of the study, building upon previous reports. This Report details the work done to identify the potential costs of mitigating disasters across the road network, the socio-economic costs incurred by Tajikistan as a result of disasters that affect the road network, and the economic viability of investing to increase resilience across the network.

As part of this study, engineering inspections of at risk sections of the republican road network have been completed. These inspections identified the locations within target sections that require the implementation of mitigation measures. At each location an assessment was undertaken to identify the source of a problem, the potential impact and appropriate mitigation measures. 331 individual locations were identified and inspected across more than 2,000 km of the road network, highlighting hazards including flooding, landslides, avalanches, rockfalls and mudflows. As part of the inspections pro formas were completed, ensuring that all relevant information was collected. In addition, a range of photographs were taken to ensure it is possible to identify the particular location being considered. From this work, appropriate mitigating measures were identified for each site. These were costed, based upon high level standardised costs, to produce a total cost for a programme of mitigation. It should be noted that in order to implement this programme, further detailed inspections and design work must be completed, to ensure that proposed measures are adequate.

To inform the study at a detailed household level, a series of socio-economic surveys were undertaken. The locations of these matched, as far as possible, the locations of the road inspections, ensuring that the results of the surveys and road inspections could be used in combination. The socio-economic surveys included a wide range of questions aimed at detailing the situation of surveyed households, as well as the impact of disasters on a range of socio-economic factors. These surveys were backed up by a series of key informant interviews. In total, 400 surveys and 15 key informant interviews were completed, giving a broad based view of the areas affected by disasters.

The basis for the study were existing, published statistics on past disasters that have affected Tajikistan. This data includes records of all disasters for the past 3 years from CoESCD and records of disasters affecting the road network from MoT for the past 7 years. Together these were used to build a picture of historic patterns of recent disasters.

Whilst there are reasonable records of past disasters in Tajikistan, it is important to assess how the patterns of disasters may change over time, particularly as a result of the effects of climate change. A detailed analysis of secondary data sources has been undertaken as part of this study, to assess future patterns of the factors that lead to disasters. The aim of this was to highlight where factors may change over time, particularly highlighting differences in different parts of the country. This has resulted in a clear understanding of how climate change will affect different parts of Tajikistan and the disasters that affect different parts of the road network. Whilst in some ways Tajikistan will benefit as a result of climate change, issues such as increased glacial melt, changes to snow and rainfall patterns and a quicker transition into spring will result in gradually increasing numbers of disasters.

Road Inspections

Based upon the results of the road inspections, proposals for appropriate mitigating measures have been developed for each of the 331 sites. In eight locations more than one measure has been proposed, to deal with multiple hazards. Where appropriate, a range of innovative solutions have been suggested for hazard sites. Whilst some of these solutions will be new to Central Asia and Tajikistan, and some may not yet be included within relevant design standards, it is considered appropriate to include these within this analysis, as these new solutions represent the best options for dealing with identified hazards. Based upon outlines of the requirements for each measure, an assessment of the likely costs has been made. Where the solution from a particular manufacturer is proposed, costs have been estimated based upon data from the relevant manufacturer. Where solutions have been implemented in Tajikistan in the recent past, we have utilised information from recent construction contracts to estimate costs. The overall estimated cost of the proposed programme of measures for all 331 sites is 4.6 billion somoni (USD 404 million). It should be noted that this total cost is significantly increased by a relatively small number of more expensive measures, mainly avalanche galleries, which represent almost 65% of the total cost, for 65 of the 331 sites.

Economic Cost of Disasters

The economic costs of disasters affecting the road network includes a range of costs such as damage to infrastructure and the costs of repair, search and rescue costs and the costs associated with the loss of life. In addition, other less tangible costs, such as the costs to delayed traffic and the costs endured by communities that are often regularly cut off by disasters, are key elements in the total costs of disasters that affect the road network. These latter two cost items will generally represent around 95% of total costs, according to the assessment undertaken for this study.

The costs of damage and repair have been assessed based upon existing data provided by the Ministry of Transport, which reflect the costs incurred each year since 2014. The estimate of the costs of search and rescue has been informed by data provided by the Aga Khan Agency for Humanity, which often leads these operations in Tajikistan. The costs associated with loss of life have been estimated based upon statistics on the numbers killed since 2009. The cost of each individual casualty has been estimated based upon published income data and assumptions regarding the profile of casualties. In total, over the period 2022 – 2032, these costs are expected to total around 355 million somoni.

The costs incurred by traffic that is delayed by disasters which block road sections have been estimated based upon traffic intensity data provided by the Ministry of Transport. Data sourced by the consultants relating to the breakdown of traffic by type and journey purpose, has been used to supplement traffic intensity data. Data since 2011 has been used to estimate past growth patterns for traffic, which have informed predictions for how traffic will grow in the future. The costs incurred by delayed traffic have been predicted based upon estimates of the value of time for travellers, for different regions within Tajikistan. Over the period 2022 – 2032, these costs are expected to total around 4 billion somoni.

The long term costs incurred by remote communities that are regularly cut off by disasters are more difficult to estimate. The impacts that regular disasters have are many and varied, including loss of economic opportunity, reduced education, shorter life expectancy, reduced short term income, and loss of household assets. The socio-economic surveys carried out under this study, provide a useful guide to some of these effects, although some are difficult to quantify. For this study, estimates have been developed of the short term loss of income that may occur immediately after a disaster, and the long term effects of repeated disasters that affect a particular area.

Short term loss of income has been assessed based upon published income statistics, the results of the socio-economic surveys and secondary sources. Estimates of how many days income are likely to be lost each year have been developed based upon assumptions regarding the impact of each individual disaster, with the number of disasters being predicted based upon past trends and the predicted impact of climate change.

The long term impact of repeated disasters has been related to average income in each area. Based upon published statistics and the results of the socio-economic surveys, it was possible to estimate how much income is lost in affected areas. By estimating the proportion of people affected by repeated disasters, based upon the socio-economic surveys, it was possible to estimate the overall impact for each of the areas affected.

Over the period 2022 – 2032, these costs are expected to total around 2.2 billion somoni.

The total economic costs of disasters affecting the road network has been estimated at 445 million somoni in 2022, rising to 787 million in 2032. This represents around 0.5% of national GDP for Tajikistan.

Cost Benefit Analysis

This study has completed a cost benefit analysis of the proposed programme of mitigation measures for identified hazard sites. The results of the CBA show that as it is currently proposed, the full national programme of mitigation measures is not considered to be economically viable. This is in part due to the large costs attached to some of the measures on roads with limited traffic and only a small number of disasters.

To better inform the analysis, appraisals of each road section have been completed separately. This highlights that there are a number of road sections where the proposed programme of measures would be economically viable. These include Labijar – Kalaikumb, Murgab - Karakul – Kizilart, Guliston - Pyanj and Dehmoy – Kanibodom.