Mother Nature's Bounty: In response to the climate crisis, women are turning to vermicomposting as an alternative source of income in Turkmenistan

Women holding worms

The Lebap region of Turkmenistan is a land of superlatives. Here you will find the largest river in Central Asia, the Amu Darya. Stretching some 830 kilometers from south to north through one of the world’s highest deserts, this ancient waterway has provided water and sustenance for the region since the times of the Scythians and Alexander the Great.

In the face of climate change, environmental degradation, a rise in extreme weather and other factors, the Amu Darya can no longer sustain the farmers who have relied on its bounty to feed their families, grow their crops and ensure their livelihoods for centuries.

This is paradise lost. But with the support of an innovative Climate Resilient Livelihoods Project funded by the Global Environment Facility’s Special Climate Change Fund and supported through the United Nations Development Programme, the people of the Lebap region are finding new opportunities, new wealth, and a new hope at prosperity.

All of these environmental and climatic factors are coming together to reduce the welfare of locals, and a significant portion of the population is forced to look for more effective farming solutions and alternative sources of income.

As is the case across much of the world, the main burden often falls on women. 

In partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection of Turkmenistan, the Supporting Climate Resilient Livelihoods in Agricultural Communities in Drought-Prone Areas of Turkmenistan project provides advisory support to rural women to maintain financial stability. The project is also empowering women by enhancing their potential, introducing successful practices and demonstrating ways to generate alternative sources of income.