The name Tentek-say—which translates as ‘playful’ or ‘mad’ river—says it all: It is unpredictable and a management nightmare. Complicating its management is a political boundary which criss-crosses two countries. The boundary separating Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan runs through the village of Chek—two-thirds of the settlement lies in the Nooken district of Kyrgyzstan and the remaining one-third is in Pahta-Abad district of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan has reinforced the right bank in its part of the border but the entire village of 4,500 people is prone to floods because the river does not have embankments in upstream Kyrgyz territory. The floods last year and early this year washed away the Kyrgyz part of the river bank submerging about 100 hectares of land downstream. Another 10 hectares were washed out in spring this year. In an effort to bypass bureaucratic red-tape, local Kyrgyz and Uzbek authorities and the community are now trying to manage the border-rivers by supporting local water user groups. And there are early signs that the idea works.

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