M. Stein delivers article "Conflict over Water Related Resources in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and Its Impact on Local Security". He concludes that if the dispute over the Roghun goes on, it could take military action, leading to an international conflict.
The 110-MW Sangtuda-2 HPP constructed by Iran on the Vakhsh river was inaugurated. When the plant comes on stream, it should be a significant milestone in energy independence for TJ. Iran will control the facility for next 12 years before handing it over to TJ.
According to TJ's Finance Ministry, the government will assign more than $223 million in 2012 to continue construction
of the Rogun HPP. The parliament will adopt the final decision on the state budget, and on the Rogun project in
particular, in November 2011.
The immense Rogun project, while very prestigious, is hobbled by a lack of funding and carries in its wake increased strife with TJ's neighbors. The lesson seems to be that small is beautiful as regards hydropower stations, even though they are far less prestigious.
Russian president D. Medvedev announced at the annual CIS summit that Moscow is ready to invest in energy sector in CA, including the CASA-1000 and Roghun projects. But for that to happen, Russia needs to feel assured that its interests in TJ will be protected.
Hundreds of thousands of people in the CA region depend directly on water from the rivers, not only for irrigation, but
also for personal use. CA governments are being criticized for failing to agree on ways to cooperate on proper water management in the region.
Iranian specialists are about to build "Ayni" hydropower station on Zeravshan River. The future HPP will become the second hydropower facility in Tajikistan sponsored by Iran (after the Sangtuda-2). Will Iran yield to Uzbekistan's pressure on giving up the project?
Russia is confronted with difficult choices in the Rogun related situation. Charting a trajectory to optimally combine the interests of the parties locked in the CA water dispute is a serious challenge and Moscow does not have much time to make up its mind.
The damming of Vakhsh River for construction of Sangtuda-2 HPP and its dam started. Experts say that Sangtuda-2 HPP has a very suitable location from technical, project and economic point of view. The HPP should help with addressing Tajik energy shortages in autumn and winter.
TJ needs to deal with large number of major environmental challenges, including water pollution, soil erosion and untreated industrial waste pollution from toxic chemicals. Major part of this battle is fought in the spheres of environmental legislation and policy.
A development worker reports from northern TJ about people living there in rather harsh conditions during the time of climate changes, lacking drinking water, facing gender violence and poor governance. These (and many more) factors make TJ one of the poorest countries in the world.
Exchange of views between TJ and UZB officials about the Roghun filling is getting outrageous - e.g. "The
statements made by Tajikistan are invalid and aim to mislead the international community", vs. "Tajik MFA should note a protest against the dirty Uzbek provocations!"
S. Stevenson, personal representative of the President in office of the OSCE, presents his views about TJ's water issues affecting the neighboring nations. Tajik officials will surely like his encouraging "Tajikistan is leading the way in water resource management in Central Asia" quotes.
EBRD provides opportunities for suppliers, contractors and consultants. Among the most recent ones is invitation for expressions of interest for "The North Tajikistan Water Project", which will support water companies in Chkalovks, Gafurov, Isfara, Kanibaidam, Karaikkum, Khorog and Taboshar.
P. Shodmonov, Head of the State Sanitary–Hygienic Surveillance Dep. at the Ministry of Health delivered a presentation about water and sanitation situation in TJ. It shows alarming facts, e.g. that number of water pipelines not complying with sanitary requirements doubled during the past 20 years.
TJ’s Energy Ministry says that "residents of areas where electricity rationing has been introduced or will be introduced will have electricity no less than 12 hours per day". Combination of limited use and 224 new small HPP should prevent blackouts that plagued the country past winters.
Central Asia faces serious water-related challenges, climate change may even aggravate the situation. The CAWa project
intends to contribute to a sound scientific and a reliable regional data basis for the development of sustainable water management strategies in Central Asia.
Water reservoirs in KRG were overflowing this summer, causing authorities to lament the loss of precious water in summertime when it isn't needed to make electricity. The source of the problem is melting glaciers. In fact, CA's glaciers are starting to recede at an alarming rate.
Principles for sharing water resources, best practices in river basin management and tools to prevent and solve conflicts
involving water are the focus of a workshop at the OSCE Office in TJ. While water management is not one of the OSCE's core priorities, it contributes to regional stability.
Hydro-mechanical modernization project of the Varzob HPP-1 will start soon and will be carried out by Indian companies BHEL and NHPC. The HPP provides electricity and drinking water to the entire Varzob region and part of Dushanbe. It is expected that the works will not stop water supply.
FAO offers "Country Profiles and Mapping Information System" - a tool which groups the organization's vast archive of information on its global activities in agriculture and development in a single area and catalogues it exclusively by
[TJ water management profile]
Tajik FM H. Zarifi said in response to Uzbek arguments that "Rogun HPP will not reduce flow of the Amu Darya River to downstream Uzbekistan" and that "condemning Tajikistan for building the Rogun HPP and claiming that Uzbekistan will be left with no water for eight years is baseless."
While little outdated, "2000 - Tajikistan State of the Environment Report" developed by UNEP/GRID-Arendal contains detailed description of 17 Tajik environmental issues (including water resources and water quality) and the international indicator concepts to address them.
Tajik government has formally asked the OSCE to send a fact-finding mission to look into a railroad dispute between TJ and UZB. Tajik authorities believe that UZB has held transit of rail freight bound for TJ in retaliation for Dushanbe's determination to proceed with construction of Roghun.
"Water for All" is the ADB’s vision and policy for the Asia and Pacific region, where ADB works to increase investments and support reforms in rural, urban and river basin water. Related "Water Knowledge Center" serves as the reservoir of ADB's knowledge products on water and related issues.
Uzbek president Karimov said during his recent meeting with Uzbek farmers that he has "been fighting against this stupid project (Roghun) for five years" and "if Tajikistan goes on to complete Roghun as planned, it would leave Uzbekistan facing water shortages for eight years until Roghun dam filled with water."
International Water Management Institute concentrates on addressing key water management issues in CA - identifying BMP for water savings, improving irrigation performance, reversing trends in land degradation and contributing to the development of effective water resource institutions.
Tajikistan asks Iran to take all possible measures to introduce the first unit of the Sangtuda-2 HPP into operation before
the winter comes. The HPP was originally scheduled to become operational by 2012, but Tajik officials want it to be inaugurated sooner than planned.
Scientists warn that the world's rivers are so badly affected by human activity that the water security of almost 5 billion people is threatened. Due to a range of human impacts, developing countries are suffering the most, particularly in Africa and Central Asia.
Russia is seriously reconsidering plans to revive the diversion of Siberian river water to Central Asia. Not only can Moscow rely on assistance from the private sector, but governments of CA states can be possibly counted on to provide some of the needed funding.
Tajik research experts analyze past and current environmental impacts on natural and social-economic potential of the country and try to predict in various charts its possible qualitative and quantitative future changes as results of global climate changes.
As TJ is pursuing completion of its Rogun mega-project, the ordinary people set to be displaced by the dam see no short-term
relief of poverty. The government has forcibly resettled tens of thousands of residents who are angry, confused and fearful about the looming change.
Tajik president Rahmon had a speech at the 65th UN General Assembly in New York, assessing progress towards the Millennium
Development Goals. He also emphasized that TJ has enormous hydro potential and is increasing its effort towards
development of hydro power engineering.
In 2010-2012, state investments in the construction of Rogun dam and HPP will come to 2.7 billion somoni (4.38 somoni/$1), which is 60% of all state projects money during that period. Rough estimate for putting the whole Rogun facility at operation is over 13 billion somoni.
WaterWiki.net connects water professionals to knowledge and experience based on work in the context of the UN, provides an on-line collaboration platform for water sector practitioners worldwide and improves coordination and inter-agency cooperation in the water sector.
[WaterWiki TJ web]
Mouso Ghafurov, the deputy head of the state unitary enterprise Khojagii Manzilivu Kommunali (housing and communal
services) estimates that $2 billion are needed to rehabilitate water supply systems across Tajikistan. The water supply situation remains complex despite some successes.
Lake Sarez flood is probable sometime in the future. Human intervention to prevent it seems limited because of the
inaccessibility of the region and its challenging geology. The best possible work right now is to monitor the lake and dam and improve the reliability of early warning systems.
Read a story about villagers, who took the matter of the North Aral Sea saving effort into their hands. While it is an inspiring story for many other projects in CA, it has a serious downside as well: it means virtual abandonment of any hope of restoring the Sea's far bigger southern section.
UNDP leads a project to promote Integrated Water Resources Management and Foster Transboundary Dialogue in Central Asia through interventions mostly at national and local-transboundary level. A variety of projects and activities should lead towards improving long list of water related issues.
Measures to ration electricity supplies (daily electric power to rural districts reduced to 7 hours/day) are planned in TJ
during the coming autumn and winter. They seek to curb the rising electricity consumption and stem from decline in the
water level in the main HPPs.
Many of CA ageing large dams are located on transboundary rivers. The UN is leading an initiative to promote safe operation of such structures and better manage the shared water resources. This is a precondition for sustainable development in the region.
Trade between Belarus and Tajikistan is steadily growing. TJ's major export items are cotton, wool and aluminum, imported is mostly heavy-duty construction machinery - over 1,000 Belarus’ heavy-duty equipment is used at the Rogun HPP already. The plan is to intensify cooperation even further.
Scientific-Information Center of the Interstate Coordination Water Commission of the Central Asia (SIC ICWC) develops since 1993 approaches of prospective improvement of water management and ecological situation in the basin and
organizes information exchange at the international level.
[SIC ICWC website]
Tajik Minister of melioration and water resources R. Bobokalonov introduces his concept of irrigation management reforms. Among main objectives of the reforms are e.g.: transfer parts of the management cycle to consumers, improve land quality, develop eng.infrastructure, etc.
Large collection of information, knowledge base, publications and data related to water and land resources management in Central Asia is available for free downloads. The web calls itself "Portal of Knowledge for Water and Environmental Issues in Central Asia".
Kazakh president Nazarbayev proposes the resurrection of a Soviet-era project to divert Siberian rivers to provide drinking water for drought-hit regions of CA. Russian president Medvedev says that "we are open to discuss ideas, including ideas from the past that had been gathering dust."
Uzbek authorities put a newly-constructed small hydropower plant (SHHP) Akhangaran in Andijan province into operation. The
SHPP is very close to Tajik and Kyrgyz border. Its purpose is to improve energy and water supply of rural Uzbek areas. UZB plans to build 9 similar SHPP within next 3 years.
High-ranking U.S. diplomat Robert Blake urged TJ to negotiate with UZB to resolve ongoing transport and hydropower
disputes. "The United States position on this issue coincides with the UN position that calls on [TJ and UZB] to solve existing problems through negotiations".
Kambarata-2, Kyrgyz first HPP since independence, was opened. The project will bring up number of issues - enrage neighboring UZB and KZ for holding needed irrigation water or anger Russia, who financed the project under conditions that were not met.
Tender winner for equipment purchase and delivery to the Roghun HPP is known, but was not disclosed. Tajik authorities fear that disclosing it might bring problems with transiting the cargo through Uzbekistan. The large electric pumps, worth of $1.5 mil., will then be to TJ smuggled?
The current drought in CA, the worst in regional recorded modern history, has heated up the Tajik-Uzbek disputes over
water. The stakes are rising all the time, as both TJ and UZ have insufficiently developed infrastructures. The outcome risks are far worse for Tajikistan.
Pakistan faces acute power shortages and is keen to import hydroelectricity from TJ. Both countries agreed to
fast-track the $680 million CASA-1000 project which envisages construction of a power transmission line to transfer surplus electricity from TJ to Kabul and northwestern PAK.
Traffic via the Kulma pass in the Murghab district, the only border crossing between Tajikistan and China, has been
temporarily suspended because of recent floods on the Chinese side of the border. Last year Tajik businesses imported $7.5
million worth of goods from China.
As a result of outdated water supply systems, many Tajik residents live without running water in their homes. It’s a good time for doing donkey business - residents without running water are forced to haul their water supplies from rivers and reservoirs and need the animal's help for carrying the heavy buckets.
Training course for officials and experts from CA opened in Moscow and is organized in the framework of the UNECE project
"Capacity-building for cooperation on dam safety in Central Asia". It is an effort to ensure safe exploitation of large
hydro-technical facilities in CA.
ADB is extending a $122M grant to modernize TJ’s electricity transmission system. It will boost energy trading with neighboring countries and support better management of TJ’s electricity, generated almost exclusively from hydropower,
leaving it with summer surpluses and winter shortfalls.
Water originating from 1-million-year-old glaciers on the Pamirs Plateau in the border area of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and China generates from now on hydroelectric power in western China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, specifically then at Xinjiang Xiabandi Water Control Project.
History, emergence and development of water issues in CA and description of political, economic, legal, technical and ecological problems are presented in the 2004 publication "Water problems of Central Asia". Only proper understanding of problems background can lead to theirs solutions.
Despite pledging not to impede rail freight heading for Tajikistan, Uzbek authorities keep holding up hundreds of wagons loaded with Tajik goods. It is one of the ways how Tashkent raises its objections to Tajik plans to complete the Roghun HPP, which might have effect on the Amu Darya downstream in Uzbekistan.
Five CA republics are being simultaneously courted by the U.S. military, Western energy firms, China and Russia. Each of the republics seem to be following their own unilateral, currently discordant energy policies and dreams. In case of TJ, it very much hopes for the Rogun endeavor.
In rural Tajikistan, 50%+ of people don't have access to clean and safe drinking water. Oxfam made a short video about one of their rural water projects there. While the presented product is a bit on the PR-side of things, it is surely worth to show it to others for realizing urgency of the issues.
Tashkent is expanding its trade embargo against Dushanbe, levying new tariffs for trucks crossing the border and delaying
train freight bound for TJ. As long as the two countries disagree on energy and water issues, TJ’s business sector will
continue to bear the brunt of the losses.
Torrential rains caused a mudflow that seriously damaged several residential buildings in Murgab district in GBAO. The mudflow also damaged drinking water wells as well as local bazaar. Similar disasters are frequent in TJ - deforestation and erosion often intensify such damages.
In the immediate proximity to the Nurek HPP was the epicenter of an 5.7 earthquake on Aug 3, 2010. No damage has been reported at this time, but over 2000 minor earthquakes are registered in Tajikistan annually. Large HPPs in seismically active areas create potential danger.
Tajikistan's Red Crescent Society has begun to develop the Reserve disaster response plan to help communities enhance their capacity to withstand disasters such as the floods that hit the Kulob region in May 2010 and that strike other parts of the country several times every year.
The UN declared "the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life". Numerous countries (41 out of 163) did not vote or attend, including Uzbekistan, embroiled in water disputes with Tajikistan.
[BBC] [Full document]
An $83,000 irrigation canal funded from Grass-roots Human Security Projects will provide water for 100 households through
irrigating 45 hectares in Sughd province. Japan's GGP seeks to reduce poverty by increasing land productivity, this is its
project #251 in Tajikistan since 1996.
Tajik National Park was nominated to the World Heritage List, but unfortunately its mountains, glaciers and rivers didn't make it to the list of the new natural sites. On the other hand, the cultural proto-urban site of Sarazm (in NW TJ) earned the first World Heritage tag for TJ.
Construction of a power transmission line from the Sangtuda-1 HPP to the Afghan border is expected to be completed by TJ’s Independence Day (September 9, 2010). Barqi Tojik hopes to meet the deadline, but delays by Uzbek rail over Roghun might delay the project.
Sangtuda-1 HPP lost $20 mil this year due to Uzbekistan leaving the CA power grid. The dam had to discharge abundant water over this summer and could not sell excess electricity to e.g. Kazakhstan. Construction of new power lines to Afghanistan will hopefully prevent further loses.
August 1st marked the start of Tajik Breastfeeding Week. 47 maternity houses have been certified and are supporting the proper and exclusive use of breastfeeding for infants. Formula mixed with unsanitary water account for approximately half of all infant deaths in the world.
The Ministry of Labor announced 1500 families affected by the construction of Roghun HPP will be relocated by the end of 2010. Families will be given less arid land and means to settle into new homes. Families are protesting the move, claiming that it will devastate them financially.
Barqi Tojik power holding announced that electricity prices will stay where they are for the second half of 2010. This announcement is against the desires of investors in hydroelectric power and international donors. Residents currently pay 2 US cents (9 dirhams) per 1 kWh.
Heavy investments from Iran and over 350 Iranian specialists make the Sangtuda-2 HPP a subject of political and economic
interest for Tajik government and president. All revenue in the first 12.5 years after the inauguration will go to
investors before being turned over to TJ.
Carolyn Drake provides photographs of the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, two of the Islamic Rivers of Paradise starting in the Pamirs and Tian Shan. Originally the sources of the Aral Sea, these CA rivers sustain millions, but are also a major source of regional disputes.
230 million somoni (equivalent to 52.5 million U.S. dollars) of temporarily surplus funds raised from the sale of shares in OJSC NBO Roghun have been placed in five local banks, which offered annual interest rates of 9 to 12 percent that suited the Ministry of Finance.
High-level officials from Central Asia met in Ashgabat over water. The summit focused on trans-boundary water disputes, Aral Sea Basin Program 3, and progress made in the region. UN facilitated meetings like this bring common understanding on water to these governments.
Cotton is Tajikistan's second-largest export product (after aluminum). Not because of lack of water for this thirsty plant, but because of deep overall crisis the production lowers every year. Tajik cotton has been also blacklisted by the USA for the use of child labor in the cotton industry.
Tajik Railways head announced that Uzbek authorities released 1,157 blocked rail cars with cargo heading to Tajikistan. Supplies for Sangtuda-2 hydroelectric power plant are listed among the freed cargo. Up to $10m in goods may have been damaged by the hold in Uzbekistan.
Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan has its website. While value of information shown there in English is rather poor, information presented in Russian and Tajik languages is more valuable - e.g. water related laws in TJ are cited there.
Dr Michael Brady proposes that low immunization levels and increased global travel could lead to outbreaks of Polio in the US based on the events in TJ. Intelligentsia's intern Jay Colingham responds to the arguments and challenges mildly inaccurate article of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Iran's Presidential Chief of Staff is publicly blaming Uzbekistan for delays in the construction of the Sangtuda-2 HPP.
Rail car delays occurred as Uzbekistan claimed the plant reduces river water flow used for agriculture. Many cars had
damaged cargo from the heat.
According to the UNFPA and Agency for Statistics, Tajikistan has grown from 1 million people in 1913 to 8 million people today. The population has grown to a size that creates greater demands on the environment and necessitates new strategies in food, water, and family planning.
Following devastating floods and mudslides, Tajikistan is elected to be a recipient of an ADB, World Bank, and EBRD grant to develop climate resilience. $1.5 mln and PPCR tools for land, river basin, and seasonal rain management should help
develop capacity for avoiding future disasters.
On July 5th, Russia ended the entry restriction for Tajik children younger than six years. Russian claims that 12 deaths were caused by Polio, only two are confirmed. There have been no reported infections of Polio for nearly one month in Tajikistan.
A meeting of stockholders of OJSC Sangtudinskaya GES-1, which operates the Sangtuda-1 HPP, has decided not to pay dividends for 2009. In the meeting were considered issues related to profits and losses and it was decided not to pay dividends for 2009.
Critics warn that the Tajik government has collected more money for building the Rogun hydropower station than it knows
what to do with. The government continues to search for a place to deposit the funds after Tajik banks offered low rates of return in two separate tenders.
UNICEF has received $350,000 emergency grant (from the Japanese Government and NGO Vaccines for the World’s
Children) to support immunization efforts in Tajikistan, following recent polio outbreak. TJ, which was previously polio-free, has confirmed 334 polio cases since April 2010.
ECHO and AKF UK plan to implement their 6th disaster preparedness project in Central Asia. Their focus will be on Tajik and Kyrgyz communities affected by flooding, mudslides, and landslides. ECHO hopes to "Foster Disaster Resilient Communities" in the GBAO region of Tajikistan.
President of Islamic Development Bank Ahmed Mohammed Ali announced the bank's concerns over political situation in Central Asia. Major issues are seen over various Uzbek - Tajik political disagreements and as a consequence, the Bank is compelled to refuse financing Rogun hydro-power plant.
The WHO discussed Tajikistan as the first place of Polio importation since the panel certified the disease eliminated. Tajik cases occurred with the nationwide breakdown of sanitation and clean water. Reviewing immunization and prevention methods will help the WHO in future efforts.
Uzbekistan has brought up a new element in its "cold war" with Tajikistan, when terminating an aviation agreement and thus possibly baring Tajik aircrafts from Uzbek airspace. Some observers call the agreement's suspension as being another punishment to TJ for its proceeding with Roghun.
USAID's Land Reform Project will create greater water demand as farms become more organized and productive. USAID hopes to increase production by improving tenure and land-related news. Communities will have integrated water resource management but demand will most likely increase.
High geopolitical stakes and unresolved tensions about ethnicity, borders, electricity and gas supplies, planned high dams, water flows, drug trafficking, organized crime and potential resurgence of radical Islam, will according to political observers keep the CA region in turmoil.
CESVI of Italy has rebuilt two drinking water supply systems in the Khatlon Province. The new pumps were connected to existing wells and complimented by 19 new taps. The village Water User Committees service 2,300 residents, who were affected by mudslides and flooding this spring.
Another regional water consortium has come and gone. Somehow managing to keep a straight face, an UN official said, “It took us five years to define proper directions, and now the time has come to plan and to act.” All the conference glittery unfortunately highlights a lack of real action.
After decades of construction, Russia's Sangtudinskaya-1 Hydroelectric Power Plant was completed south east of Dushanbe. Cement injection has halved the natural seepage in the dam and could increase the reservoir and power output. This dam will provide 15% of Tajikistan's overall power.
Tajikistan produced 54 tons of fish during 2009, while over 50,000 tons of trout is possible to breed in reservoirs full of clean and cold water in Gorno Badakhshan. The real and potential production disproportion is caused by lack of specialists, technology and underdeveloped fisheries.
Water stress and water scarcity have reached populations in Africa, the Middle East, and now Central Asia. The stress of
shortages may become the strain of scarcity for some countries. The perspective that water does have finite capacity is being realized in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Part of the World Bank money earmarked for Rogun will be used for international consultants, who will assess engineering and technical safety as well as social and environmental issues. The feasibility study will provide feedback for construction of the hydroelectric power plant.
The Japanese Government donated $91k in medical equipment to Kulyab Emergency Hospital. Kulyab was devastated by floods and mudslides in May. The new devices will serve to 180,000 residents and the services provided will be those of greatest demand to flood victims.
The World Bank announced approval of a $10 million grant to finance a water resource management projects in the Fergana Valley. This grant was approved in addition to recent $24.4 million development grant to help the Tajik government recover from the global economic meltdown.
Tajik Deputy Minister of Finance Jamshed Norinov claims his ministry will invest $80 mln for Rogun in the Central Bank. Private banks were allowed to invest the money but failed to offer adequate interest. Many bonds have been sold to the public for building Rogun HPP.
UZB wants to close a 44-kilometer stretch of railroad connecting Termez and Khatlon province. Uzbek officials say the route
is not economically viable. Tajik authorities agree, but object to its closure. Because of Roghun water issues, so-called "railroad war" between the two countries goes on.
The branch office of the Moscow State University in Dushanbe has opened new degree level program - "Hydrogeology and engineering geology”. Students will learn skills to be applied in Tajikistan, where highly professional specialists with such degree are extremely needed.
Iran vowed to halt Uzbek railway cars traveling through its territory if UZB continues to impound Tajik-bound rail freight. Uzbekistan's halting freight cars has affected construction of the Sangtuda-2 hydroelectric power plant that Iran is financing and building in southern Tajikistan.
The Japanese govt. is providing over $81k for a grassroots project in the Tutkaul village of the Muminobod district. Newly built irrigation pipeline will serve 54 hectares and increase profits from crop sales. Three other projects have also been chosen for this grant.
[AsiaPlus] [GGP guidelines]
Tajik and Uzbek presidents agreed that UZB will release freight wagons loaded with foodstuffs and fuel designed for TJ, but not those that contain materials designed for construction of Rogun HPP. So much for "technical problems" cited by Uzbeks previously as a reason of the blockade.
UN round tables made the suggestion that technology be supported by the UN and used wherever possible and reasonable, that clarification on the priority of governing bodies water rights takes place, and that developing countries receive new water quality and availability monitoring tools.
The UN international conference "Water for Life" produced a declaration that seeks greater responsibility and accountability from policy makers while increasing funding and involvement of women. Water inequality was identified as a major contributor to most of the MDGs.
"Tajikistan is able to provide clear drinking water not only to Central Asian countries, but also to wider regions of our planet", said Tajik President during an event related to opening ceremony of the international conference "Water for Life" focused on the MDG targets overview.
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Mr. Zukang arrived to Dushanbe. He will attend the "Water for Life" conference focusing on MDG targets. Officials of such organizations as UN, OSCE, SCO, ECO, ICO, CIS-EC and EurAsEC will also attend the event.
Many people affected by the spring mudslides and flooding say that help is chaotic and slow in coming. Relief work has not covered all and many are left empty handed. Local people say that since Tajikistan became independent in 1991, no work had been done to prevent similar disasters.
Tajik Prime Minister Aqil Aqilov is looking for new ways to prevent major flooding in Tajikistan's future by using Russian Alazan-6 Antihail rockets. Using silver iodide, the active reagent can suppress hail and disperse clouds. Reducing heavy rainfall could ease heavy rainfalls and future flooding.
The water decade 2005-2015 was established at the UN General Assembly in 2003. This June, the annual Water For Life conference will be held in Dushanbe. The goal is to work towards reaching MDG Target 10 - halve by 2015 the proportion of people without access to drinking water and basic sanitation.
TJ's freight transit through UZB has been nearly constantly on hold since late 2009, when TJ decided to raise funds for Roghun. TJ is therefore searching options for a long-term solution to end its dependency on Uzbek transit routes - there are plans for new rail projects via Afghanistan and China.
Tajik Ambassador to the USA Abdujabbor Shirinov spoke during an interview openly about energy and water shortages impacting the region, joint collaboration between TJ and AFG, construction of a large hydro-power key to TJ's energy security and untapped potential of oil and gas exploration.
The Global Flood Detection System is a tool made for the purpose of providing early detection on a global scale. Current methods detect wet and dry conditions and determine the statistical significance of the wetness. The map of TJ shows recent flooding by the Amudarya River.
France sent over 6 mln. of Oral Polio Vaccine doses to Tajikistan for the vaccination of school children. Poliomyelitis is a virus that spreads from human to human through fecal oral contamination. Heavy rains and failing sanitation may have disrupted herd immunity enabling an outbreak.
UZB is holding over 2500 railway cars from crossing the border to TJ. 300 of the cars carry NATO fuel and food supplies to Afghanistan. As a direct consequence, NATO will need to reroute future shipments. Many authorities believe that the holdup is Uzbek response to the Roghun construction.
High Level International Conference on the Mid-term Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the International Decade for Action, "Water for Life" - 2005-2015, will take place in Dushanbe on June 8-10, 2010. A whole spectrum of water related issues should be covered.
The UN called on the international community to support the Tajik government’s appeal for $5.3M to provide relief to victims of recent deadly floods. Funded projects should provide food and basic social services to the tent camps residents and restore drinking water and safe sanitation.
The rail blockade of the Uzbek-Tajik border has been renewed and specific conditions for passage made. Some observers see the recent closure as possibly the latest escalation in the continuing dispute over water management policies between the two nations.
Iranian Defense minister A. Vahidi says that "Iran is ready to try to alleviate tensions between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan over Roghun at their request. The countries should try to improve bilateral relations as regional development is contingent on cooperation between all regional states."
Torrential rains keep hitting various districts in Khatlon province and trigger floods and mudflows that already caused damage of $600 millions. Thousands of people are affected, hundreds of houses, roads and agricultural fields destroyed. The victims are waiting for the authorities to act.
Dr. Roland Schmidt, Department Head of Hydropower Structures Design at German company Lahmeyer Int., offers qualified and independent insight into various Rogun issues - from project history, over its geology and seismic risks, up to economy impacts and key issues to be addressed.
Search and rescue efforts are under way in Kulob region, where floods have killed at least 21 people. Local residents have
expressed theirs anger at what they call the authorities' insufficient and belated response to the natural disaster that hit in the early hours of May 7, 2010.
Uzbek president Karimov, addressing the ADB’s board meeting, blasted his neighbors over their water management
policies, saying that "they lack foresight about the environmental impact." That's particularly thoughtful from a politician, whose country managed to bring Aral Sea to its current stage.
Tashkent has started directing some of its ire over Rogun water at a massive Tajik aluminum smelter Talco, portraying it as an environmental nightmare. Officials in Dushanbe reject Uzbekistan’s protests as absurd, emphasizing that it is their sovereign right to go ahead with building the HPP.
10 companies will participate in a late May 2010 tender for carrying out techno-economic, environmental and social studies of the Roghun HPP project. If the studies findings will be positive for Tajikistan, World Bank will assist with attraction of funds for construction of the site.
Pakistani Minister for Water & Power Pervez Ashraf informed after meeting with Tajik Ambassador Zubaydullo Zubaydov about the country's new electricity conservation program and about signing an agreement with Tajikistan to import 1000 MW of electricity through CASA-1000.
REACT is currently undertaking needs assessment in all areas affected by April 11, 2010 flooding and will determine based on the outcomes, whether external assistance is required. As a result of heavy rains, flooding occurred and affected 18 villages throughout the country.
[REACT report] [RCS report]
Eight small hydroelectric power plants were built in Tajikistan in the first quarter of 2010. The small power plants were mainly constructed in mountainous and remote districts of the country - Zafarobod, Ayni, Vakhsh and Vahdat. The largest one, with daily capacity of 50 kWh, is Nurofar-2.
Axel Schimmelpfennig said on behalf of his IMF team that the Roghun fundraising campaign had a negative impact on macroeconomic and social indicators of the country and that he has been greatly encouraged by Tajik government’s commitments to stop the official advertising campaign.
World Bank plans to develop new environmental strategy for the CA region, study current and future climate resistant investment in the infrastructure, determine vulnerable parts and offer innovative forms to finance the adaptation to changing climatic conditions.
The whole world is watching fate of Tajik neighbor - Kyrgyzstan. Protesters in Bishkek say that they were driven to revolt by the govt. decision to raise communal charges for water and electricity. The price hikes were the last straw in the country already wrestling with poverty.
Aim of the Czech - Kyrgyz project "Analysis of the risk of failure of alpine lake dams" is to enable safe development of mountain valleys and to protect inhabitants from flooding due to catastrophic failures of alpine lakes dams. One day, similar project will be hopefully also started in TJ.
Bloggers comment on the possible Uzbek mismanagement of Rogun's issues - Uzbek bluster and bullying over the issue could have the effect of strengthening domestic support for the project in Tajikistan, where the project itself, thanks to often forced contribution, isn't so popular either.
CommodityOnline.com tries to address several difficult questions regarding the Rogun's story. For example - How much more money will be raised through voluntary and forced contribution? What will happen if feasibility studies turn out to say that the project is not environmentally sound?
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon proposes major UN role for resolving tensions in CA over the water use. “We need to
sit down and resolve these issues in a harmonious way, to benefit all. In this regard, I ask to appoint a permanent focal point to work with the UN in promoting regional dialogue."
Al Jazeera offers a look on Rogun issues in complex perspective - a possible solution to slow development, a forced financial contribution of regular Tajiks, a raising economic concern with unhappy neighbors and questions of how average Tajiks will immediately benefit from the investments.
The Central Asian countries are poorly prepared to deal with disaster risks. There has been little progress in this
critical area since the collapse of the Soviet Union 20 years ago, and the risk of a major earthquake and floods, possibly on the scale of Haiti, is a real threat.
ADB issued a formal statement clarifying details of Central and West Asia Department Director General Juan Miranda's visit to Tajikistan. "In terms of the Rogun Hydroelectric Plant, ADB welcomes the government's readiness to prepare a project study and the necessary ecological expertise..."
In response of Uzbekistan blocking freight trains bound for Tajikistan for 2 months already, Tajik PM Oqil Oqilov said in UN headquarter that "I think that all issues of energy consumption may be solved in a civilized manner for the benefit of all Central Asian people."
A series of meetings between CA leaders reflects a move forward on the issues of energy and water use in the region. Experts say that the disputes reached critical point and if KRG and TJ are prepared to make concessions, progress will become possible by agreeing to an assessment of their dams.
The UN General Assembly convened on the occasion of World Water Day a plenary session to discuss how to help almost 1
billion people with no access to safe drinking water. A detailed summary of the dialogue will be used as an input for the
June conference “Water for Life 2005-2015” in Dushanbe.
Tajik president says that he channeled all resources and potential into the Rogun construction and that the day is not far away when the country will achieve its goodwill purpose - the energy independence. However, for example BBC looks on the Rogun energy issue in much more conservative manner.
Turkmen president rejects criticism for construction of the Golden Age Lake. Regardless, with the ambitious attempt to create a vast lake in the center of Karakum desert, the country has once again cemented its reputation for eccentricity.
[Turkmenistan.ru] [Science magazine]
Tajik president held talks in Dushanbe with his visiting Turkmen counterpart. The talks focused on the use of water resources, including for hydroelectric power, Turkmen president also commented on the construction of a massive reservoir in the Karakum Desert.
World Bank offered to underwrite an environmental feasibility study for the Rogun project. This could mark a decisive moment in Tajik efforts to become an electricity exporter. Buoyed by this initial support, some officials in Dushanbe believe that the project may have gained critical momentum.
Uzbek and Kazakh presidents agreed on the need to conduct international expertise of the Rogun and Kambarata construction. They stressed that independent international expertise must answer a number of issues, including possible geological dangers and effects on the feeding rivers.
World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a mean of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and its sustainable management. This year, the Day is dedicated to the theme of water quality, reflecting its importance alongside quantity of the resource in water management.
Tajik Hydro - Meteorological Agency forecasts heavy rains and snow in the mountains during March. Precipitation might be up to twice the usual amount. The agency also says that snow, rain and snowmelt may trigger various hazards (avalanches and flash floods) over the spring months.
The Korean Intl. Cooperation Agency will allocate $2.8 mln for construction of small hydropower plants in TJ. The Tajik minister of energy and industries notes that his country is ready to cooperate with South Korea in other directions of energy and industrial sectors.
New, two components project, (1 - improving ability of hospitals to withstand disasters and 2 - recovering from 2009's severe flooding), funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by WHO and ACTED, is being rolled out along the Tajik-Afghan border.
The Institute of Water Problems, Hydropower and Ecology, Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan forecasted for period 2006 - 2032 water volume of two largest CA rivers - Naryn and Vakhsh. The scientists found that the average annual runoff of the rivers will continuously decrease.
The Interstate Coordination Water Commission, consisting of heads of water departments of all 5 post-Soviet CA states, will hold a meeting in Ashgabat. Among discussed issues will be further development of constructive intl. cooperation in water management.
Newest edition of The Economist comments results of Tajik parliamentary elections and related concerns. "Worries about the deeply flawed election and its outcome, which did little to encourage hopes for stability and progress in Tajikistan, extend far beyond the country’s borders."
AQUASTAT is FAO's global information system on water and agriculture. It collects and analyzes data and information by country and by region. Its aim is to provide users with comprehensive information related to water resources and agricultural water management.
[Tajik AQUASTAT web]
Russian Vice Premier Igor Shuvalov says that "Russia is ready to participate as a partner investing in hydropower constructions. The interests should be balanced and we want that participation of Russia will bring economic prosperity and political stability to the region."
Johannes Linn, former World Bank VP for Europe and Central Asia, says that "long term development opportunities and short term threats in Central Asia need to be addressed in order to avoid a compound crisis in which water and energy scarcity play a huge role."
[Water Power Magazine]
Election results reinforce tight grip of the president and his party. Recent survey revealed surprisingly reasonable degree of contentment with current situation though - the top concern was unemployment, while poor provision of electricity, gas and water were another main source of dissatisfaction.
Scientists both in TJ and abroad link water shortages, cooler summer seasons, increasingly warmer winters and melting
glaciers to climate change. Considering that TJ's glaciers feed 50% of all CA rivers, any drop in water supply could have severe implications across the entire region.
Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) is a partnership of 8 countries working to help CA region realize its potential in integrated Eurasia. Among the core projects is construction of power transmission line between TJ and AFG and reconstruction of el. equipment in Nurek HPP.
Red Cross/Red Crescent Preliminary Final Report about response to the spring 2009 mudslides and floods emergency appeal
has been published. While over $800,000 was raised for assistance help in southern Tajikistan, not all needs could be addressed there due to lack of resources.
Cooperation dynamics within CA witnesses rapid changes, as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan discus building a new joint regional power system. Although little is certain so far, all three states are clearly mobilizing joint efforts to counter balance Uzbek unilateralism in the energy sector.
Uzbek government’s mouthpiece, Pravda Vostoka, published another appeal to Tajik authorities to conduct an international probe into Roghun. The article did not mention whether UZB was ready to acknowledge the probe's results if it was to show that the construction was harmless to the environment.
[UzNews] [Pravda Vostoka (RU)]
US Af-Pak Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke said during his CA tour that that he and Tajik president "talked especially about energy and water and about Tajikistan's capabilities to help deal with the water crisis in other parts of the region, especially Pakistan and India."
Eurasian Development Bank chairman Igor Finogenov says that "in Central Asia, the major hydro-energy potential is located in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. An inter-governmental projects in this area could cover the energy shortfall in those countries as well as in Afghanistan, Pakistan and China".
Heavy floods in 2005 caused the border river Pyanj to leave about 1500 hectares of Tajik territory on Afghan side of the river. TJ now fortifies the riverbanks by planting apricot orchards to prevent further loss of land to AFG by further changes of the river's course.
Central Asian deputy foreign ministers met to discuss issues related to regional cooperation expansion. Among the list of issues discussed was also rational management of water and energy resources. Support was expressed for achieving durable solutions to regional challenges.
Denis Kim, Moscow’s expert of the Eurasia Heritage Foundation, comments on the ongoing difficulties in TJ - UZB relations. They could be solved if the sides were ready to make a compromise and if the presidents made a concessions to each other. However this does not happen.
Thanks to the Oxfam's report on relationship between climate changes, water shortages and poverty growth in Tajikistan, the issue made it up to the front pages of prestigious news sources such as BBC, Guardian, Reuters or AFP. Full report was published today.
[In English] [In Tajik]
Oxfam's report "Reaching Tipping Point? Climate Change and Poverty in Tajikistan" says that retreating glaciers and more extreme weather could dangerously erode food security, livelihoods and regional stability, unless immediate action is taken to tackle climate change.
OJSC Sangtudinskaya GES-1 just marked its fifth anniversary. In 1996, Tajik government sold shares of Sangtuda 1 HPP to its citizens, but in 2005 the government sold 75% of the shares to Russia’s energy giant InterRAOUES without consulting its shareholders.
[AsiaPlus][Inter RAOUES web]
Tajik Ministry of Energy published a report "Future prospects of hydropower engineering in Tajikistan". While the Russian - English translation is very poor (at best it seems like done in beta version of Google Translate), in the report can be found interesting numbers about Tajik HPPs.
Asian Development Bank completed its joint power rehabilitation project in TJ. The $75 million project included repair and upgrade of power transmission and distribution facilities in Dushanbe and Khatlon and also rehabilitation of two hydropower plants.
[Asia Plus][Project web]
Robert Blake says that the US government understands the importance of energy security for TJ, supports the government’s efforts to get its citizens access to adequate power and also encourages TJ to take into consideration views of their neighbors when pursuing hydropower development plans.
Afghan Minister of Energy and Water Resources Muhammad Khan says that "construction of a 220 kV TJ - AFG power
transmission line started on the territory of Afghanistan on February 14. The line will supply electrical power from the Sangtuda-1 HPP to the center and the east of AFG."
"Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan consider combining their energy systems", says Kazakh Ambassador to TJ
Abutalip Akhmetov. Energy ministries are negotiating construction of power lines from Osh to Khujand, which will combine all three countries electrical power system.
"International Monetary Fund (IMF) understands efforts of the Government of Tajikistan to build hydropower plants on its territory that will allow tackling many problem resulting from electricity shortages", says Axel Schimmelpfennig,
chief of the IMF mission to Tajikistan.
TJ declares through its PM Oqilov its sovereign right to build the Roghun HPP. "All questions of the environment, water balance and threat of man-made catastrophes are fully taken into account. The construction of such sites is a sovereign right of any country provided by international laws".
EBRD offered its assistance to Tajikistan with allocating 800,000 euros for a feasibility study of 30 new small HPPs and reconstruction of several other already existing small HPPs, since they are very effective in mountain villages, where it is difficult to connect consumers to a centralized power system.
Tajik PM O. Oqilov notes in a letter of response to his Uzbek counterpart S. Mirziyoyev that "no project being implemented in Tajikistan is aimed against any third side and in this process, taking into account interests of all region’s countries, we are ready for close cooperation."
$4.2 million capital grant to support municipal water infrastructure projects in southern Tajikistan was provided by The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The loan will be used for financing priority investments in Danghara, Kulob and Qurghon Teppa.
UZB has unexpectedly halved supplies of natural gas to TJ, rising tensions between the neighbors. Tajik plan to move ahead with Roghun (that Uzbeks fear could cut off water to its vital cotton industry) has cooled the neighbors’ already frigid relations even further in recent weeks.
Following ongoing heavy snowfalls, the situation in Gorno Badakhshan remains complex and its center - the city of Khorog - is still in snow captivity. Serious snow blockade occurs practically on all Pamir roads, as one meter of snow has fallen in some areas over the past weekend.
Uzbekistan is redirecting goods that used to be transported through Tajikistan and is planning to build a railway to bypass TJ completely. Analysts see in the decision strong political context, Uzbek leverage to halt construction of Roghun and a strategic move in the upcoming "transit war".
Tajik PM Oqil Oqilov is working on its response to the Uzbek PM's letter on the Rogun dam construction. Tajik analysts see the whole issue mostly as a political move by Uzbek government that does not want to see Tajikistan developing, blocks
equal dialogue and pursues economic embargos.
Uzbek official paper "Pravda Vostoka" brought a letter that Uzbek PM Shavkat Mirziyoyev sent to Tajik PM Oqil Oqilov, in which he urges the necessity to run independent examination of Roghun construction and outlines possible consequences in case his call gets ignored.
[Ferghana] [Full letter]
Erkin Kasymov, the Tajik Ambassador to the UK visited the UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science at the Dundee University. He learned there that the Center is looking to recruit students from Tajikistan for water related professional education programs.
[STV][UNESCO Centre web]
Ministry of Foreign Affairs published full speech of its boss Hamrokhon Zarifi from the London Conference on Afghanistan. He emphasized two large geo-economic and geo-strategic projects there: construction of TJK-AFG-IRN/PAK railways and power transmission lines starting in Roghun.
Tajik Ministry of Finance says that 671 million somoni worth of Roghun shares have been sold in the country by February 1. Tajik president says that 701 million somoni worth of Roghun shares have been sold in the country by January 29. Where is the missing 30 million somoni then? Good question.
The water cycle describes the existence and movement of water on, in, and above the Earth. USGS developed for educational purposes simplified diagrams and summaries in many languages, including Tajik, that teachers can use to have their students get actively involved.
[Water cycle in Tajik][Water cycle in English]
According to Tajik president, 701 mln somoni ($162 mln) worth of Roghun shares have been sold so far. He demands that
relevant organizations update him about the sale process every 10 days and also that a special commission is set up in order to control use of the collected funds.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many freshly independent Central Asian countries were dealt either a strong or
poor hand with regards to water and land resources. Complex politics and issues related to water management and control in Central Asia is clearly presented in this UNEP map.
[UNEP map][UNEP web]
"The current problem of Afghanistan has no exclusively military solution, it is also necessary to develop strategy for
reconstruction of the economy", says TJ's FM H. Zarifi. Among other plans, construction of new HPPs and development of irrigation systems can lead to achievement of the goals.
According to Said Yakubzod, Tajik Minister for Water Resources, there is a plan that all rural and urban residents will have access to clean drinking water from a centralized water supply system by 2020. Approximately one billion US dollars is required for implementation of the program.
The Dushanbe power and heat station can't provide the city with hot water because of acute fuel shortages. In addition, the station’s ageing infrastructure requires upgrading, which is planned sometimes in the future. Regardless, be ready to stand another winter without hot water.
Research fellow at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Erica Marat puts Roghun dam construction into wider perspectives, considering various economical, environmental and political issues. While also suggesting Roghun alternatives, only time will tell, what will actually happen.
South Korean company Samsung C&T is interested in TJ’s investment and the possibility of implementing joint projects. The Koreans also showed an interest in projects involving new environmental technologies as well as willingness to consider projects to increase access to safe drinking water.
Transparency is important. Ghulomiddin Sayfiddinov, an expert on Tajikistan’s energy sector, says that “if information on quantity of shares sold in Roghun is not made public, people think that they are being deceived again, bearing in mind the construction of the Sangtuda-1 HPP”.
Poorly delineated frontier compounds fraught political relationships in the CA region. While this article describes recent spats on the Kyrgyz/Uzbek frontier, similar misunderstandings can quickly lead to a confrontation involving civilians and border guards in any of the region's countries.
Many bloggers comment on issues related to call on Tajik patriotism to buy stocks or donate money for the Roghun project
construction. The official position remains that the purchase of stocks is absolutely voluntary, the increasing number of reported problems suggests the opposite.
TJ intends to propose at the June's International Water Conference (held in Dushanbe) adoption of a new doctrine about volume of water consumption in the CA region. Current conventions speak only about the quality of water and its ecological state, not about volume of water consumption.
At the upcoming conference of donors in London, TJ is going to suggest five economic projects for Afghanistan. They are aimed to stabilize situation and recover Afghan’s economy. Among the projects is implementation of CASA-1000 - an electricity transmission line from Central to South Asia.
Tajik National Park in East Pamir was nominated to the World Heritage List in 2006. UNESCO experts visited the Park and final decision will be made in July 2010. The territory includes the most outstanding natural complexes of Pamir - huge mountains and glaciers, rare species of flora and fauna.
[AsiaPlus][World Heritage web]
Tajik authorities view recent visit of the Iranian's president to Dushanbe as an epochal milestone in bilateral ties, strengthening mutual cooperation between the two countries. Several signed Memoranda of understanding include also further cooperation in construction of Sangtuda-2 HPP.
Tajik authorities deny rumors that regular workers receive a part of their wages in Roghun shares as “unfounded.” However, for example medical workers from Kulob hospital state that account departments pay them a part of theirs monthly salary in Roghun shares rather than regular wages.
The Pamir glaciers, which provide over 50% of Central Asia's water resources, are rapidly melting at a rate similar to
Greenland's continental glacier. Three generations of Pamiri women share the impacts of the melt and decreasing water
levels in this United Nation University video.
Mr. Pierre Morel, EU Special Envoy for CA and Crisis Situations in Georgia, stated that the EU is ready provide $60 mil. to
TJ for modernization of the Qairoqqum HPP in the north of the country and construction of a number of small hydropower plants on the Surkhob River in eastern TJ.
For better understanding of Central and South Asia water, energy, oil and gas issues in wider perspectives, follow the political game related to US help of constructing high voltage power transmission lines from Tajikistan to Pakistan, but only if Pakistan abandons an Iranian gas pipeline project.
Although the world’s attention is focused on the massive earthquake that has devastated Haiti, a further relief from UN arrived in Tajikistan for the victims of an earthquake earlier this month, which destroyed infrastructure in the Vanj district of the mountainous Gorno Badakhshan.
Tajik parliament considers a CASA 1000 power line agreement between TJK, KRG, AFG and PAK. CASA 1000 is the first phase of CASAREM (Central Asia - South Asia Regional Electricity Market) project, which is aimed to establish electricity
transmission in the region.
[AsiaPlus] [Project information] [Technical report]
Tajik government passed amended resolution on Roghun shares sale rules - from now on, other banks of the country
(Orienbonk, Agroinvestbonk, Tojik Sodirot Bonk, Tojprombank, Bonki Rushdi Tojikiston, Fononbonk and Eskhata Bank) have the right to sell Roghun shares along with Amonatbonk.
With the Tajik government desperately seeking funds to finish Roghun, the people appear to be buying into the country's dream of being an energy exporter. Unfortunately, the government never talks about the fate of Sangtuda-1 shares, sold to the public under very similar scenario just few year back.
There are about 1000 railroad cars with construction materials for TJ held by Uzbek officials at the border for several
weeks. Uzbeks say that there is a small technical problem, Tajiks say that the problem is political and related to the
Uzbek dissatisfaction with construction of Roghun.
Tajik court sentenced a man to 20 years in jail for spying for Uzbekistan on strategic information on Tajik hydroelectric power stations. As another example of the difficult relation between the two countries, note that UZB cut natural-gas shipments to TJ in the middle of winter.
[Sydney Herald] [AsiaPlus]
The exchange rate of US dollar against Tajik somoni has not changed despite withdrawal of a large amount of somoni from circulation in connection with the beginning of a large-scale Roghun share sale campaign. The fall in the dollar exchange rate would not be beneficial for the national budget.
Reuters is much less enthusiastic about the Roghun shares boom than an average Tajik newspaper. Some Tajiks complain that they are being forced to buy the shares and that state employers are docking their meager wages at source in order to solve the country's chronic lack of energy.
Physical and legal entities acquired shares in open joint-stock company Roghun for some 400 million somoni ($92 million)
yesterday. Who could resist the shiny offer, when families name theirs kids as Sahmiya (Share) or managers sell theirs cars in order to get money to buy the shares?
With launching Roghun shares, concerns are growing that people are being coerced into contributing funds for the dam. The official media have been full of encouraging reports to buy the shares, but not everyone is happy about buying the shares or being forced into straight donations.
Shares in joint stock-company Roghun have become available for trading on TJ’s stock market today. Each acquired share
gives its holder voting authority on making a decision at a general meeting of shareholders, where a volume of dividends
and due date are to be determined as well.
An official presentation of shares for the Roghun HPP took place at the Ministry of Finance on Dec 25, 2009. More than 580
outlets sub-divisions of Amonabonk across the country will be engaged in realization of the shares, for a total amount of 6 billion somoni (equivalent to $1.4 billion).
Tajik scientists run a pilot project to measure glacier melt, but a comprehensive survey would cost more than the government could afford. Many believe the international community should invest in the project, because Tajik mountains
could be used to model glacier melt patterns worldwide.
Blocking the Vakhsh River for beginning of the Roghun dam construction work is scheduled for late January 2010, when water levels in the river decrease. Preparatory work in the place of damming is already going on and specialists are clearing spillway tunnels that were damaged in the 1990s.
The situation in CA has been heating up. The region's peaceful coexistence depends on the answers to the question of who will solve the problems of the CA states. Trend News expert Viktoriya Zhavoronkova comments on several of the major issues in the region - terrorism, drugs, water and electricity.
Richard Stone presents in the prestigious Science magazine (published by American Association for the Advancement of Science) views on the fear of a calamitous flood from lake Sarez and options for scientists racing to improve evacuation plans and to find an engineering fix.
[Science magazine][AAAS web]
According to Dr. Muhabbatov, Tajik expert on environmental issues, among the major water-related problems in CA is glaciers melting. In his opinion, it is necessary to construct dams and preserve water reserves in the country for both power generation and irrigation purposes.
Tajik president offered at the UN Climate change conference a set up of international consortium for glaciers preservation. He also noted that TJ fully supports terms of a new climate agreement, which includes reducing consumption of fossil fuel and increased use of renewable energy sources.
Tajik parliament decided that “car owners will have to pay for having tinted glass windows and the price will be set by the
government”. The president added that all the funds collected for the permission to tint car windows will be spent for construction of the Roghun HPP...
The Climate conference in Copenhagen is supposed to come to an end in just 2 days and its final resolution is still very
unclear. If leaderships cannot do anything about the climate change and its consequences, it will be up to the population to do something on a smaller scale.
Barki Tochik has again begun to meet its financial obligations before its Iranian partner, the Farob company, on the construction of the Sangtuda-2 HPP. The financial difficulties seems to be (at least temporarily) resolved with help of the Tajik government.
Tajikistan faces like any other country a major problem — global warming. Temperatures are rising, glaciers are melting and the weather is becoming more extreme, causing floods, pollution, disease and landslides. Watch a video, illustrating the global warming effects and problems in Tajikistan.
Erica Marat, a research fellow at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program and an expert on security issues in Central Asia, brings in a complex opinion about the Uzbekistan's recent withdrawal from the Central Asia power system grid and its consequences for the region.
EUCAM project coordinator Nafisa Hasanova believes that water-energy tension between TJ and UZ will not escalate into a serious conflict. "Theoretically everything is possible, but I don't think the presidents of the two countries are so
short-sighted so as to go to war in this situation."
TJ's president met with several World Bank managers to continue dialogue about energy sector opportunities. The WB is ready to provide financial assistance to import electricity from abroad this winter, but only if there are guarantees that the imported electricity will reach the actual population.
"The government ought not to count on people’s funds for completing construction of the Roghun HPP, because the majority of the country’s population cannot afford to donate money to Roghun or obtain its shares", says Rahmatillo Zoirov, the leader of the opposition Social-Democratic Party.
The Dushanbe mayor’s office intends to continue construction of Dushanbe’s Water Park. The authorities announced a tender
for completion of construction of the Water Park that was started in 2004 with Turkey’s Emek Project Limited, however was soon canceled due to rather unclear reasons.
Tajik delegation is attending the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
During the closing stages of the conference, world leaders will try to seal a deal after years of bitter debates over how to divide up the burden of emissions curbs and who should pay.
[AsiaPlus] [Who wants what?][Conference web]
Former Tajik Komsomol leader Odiljon Yoqubov states that the Roghun's donation call is not just another order of the
government, but that discussions over these subjects made him “wake up.” Seems like the government's campaign hits another, more sophisticated brainwashing level.
[Massive campaign examples]
TJ's Public Council, which comprises representatives of state bodies, political parties and civil society, holds its session today. Its president noted that one of the immediate tasks of the Public Council is to explain the significance of the Roghun HPP for the country to the population.
The cotton harvesting season ended and Tajikistan failed to fulfill its target by 16%. The cotton sector is central to TJ's economic growth and poverty reduction. Not only it provides employment to about 80% of the country’s rural labor force, but it is also its second largest export commodity.
Touching upon critical energy supply situation in Tajikistan, the EBRD director for CA Masaru Honma noted recently that the Bank was ready to provide financial support for modernization of the Kayrakkum HPP and appeal for further assistance to TJ
to tackle its energy supply problems.
ADB has approved a $500,000 grant to develop a design and feasibility study for a new regional power rehabilitation project in TJ. The project will upgrade existing power transmission network and improve the quality and efficiency of electricity supply.
Tajik president once again called on his nation to help complete construction of the Roghun HPP. All families, except the
vulnerable ones, should buy shares in Roghun for not less than 3000 somoni ($700) each. With an average personal income of $80/month, this might prove to be rather difficult.
OCHA appealed in August 2009 for $7.7 million to help rebuild disaster-resilient communities in southern TJ. So far, only $1.7 million (21%) of the total amount has been received. As temperatures plummet below zero degrees Celsius already, the mudflow victims spiral even deeper into poverty.
[UNNews] [British assistance]
Officials and analysts in Dushanbe say that Tashkent’s annual machinations and its recent departure from the CA electricity grid are political moves designed to keep Tajikistan isolated and weak, and thus unable to construct more hydropower plants and exploit the energy potential of its rivers.
Just 4 months after official opening of Sangtuda-1 HPP, only one of the station's four units will operate. Sangtudinskaya
GES-1, which runs the Russian-built HPP, decreased the generation of electricity due to almost 30 mil somoni debt that Barqi Tojik owes to the open joint-stock company.
Tajikistan states that withdrawal of Uzbekistan from the CA's united power grid broke principle of parallel work of the system and all before reached agreements in water power sphere. As a result, supply interruptions may appear not only in Uzbekistan, but in the whole CA region.
World Bank Director for Economic Management Luca Barbone announced that WB intends to allot $20 million to support Tajik state budget for 2010. "There is a consensus that the main source of future growth is the country's hydropower potential utilization and improvements in the field of energy management."
Tajikistan urged a compromise with Uzbekistan that announced a pullout from the CA unified power grid. "We must sit down at the negotiation table with our Uzbek colleagues and find a compromise," said Alexei Silantyev, deputy head of Barqi Tojik.
A temporary restricted electricity supply schedule introduced for Khorog and nearby districts last week was lifted. Cause of
the provision was malfunction on Unit 3 of the Pamir-1 HPP. The plant specialists had removed the malfunction and
reintroduced the unit into operation.
With an average monthly salary of about $80, not every Tajik is happy about the prospect of having to donate money to Roghun. Often heard response to the government call is "I couldn't care less about what happens in five years, I have more immediate problems to take care of."
Tajik leaders called on citizens to help fund Roghun dam by donating theirs monthly salary. Even if each and every "public spirited and worthy citizen" (as the president calls Tajiks these days) donated the asked money, it would still be less than 5% of the whole amount needed for construction.
TJ government has introduced a new decree obliging journalists to pay for information obtained from officials. Journalists must pay 25 somoni ($4.50) for each page of printed text provided by an official institution or state agency. As of January 1, the cost will increase to 35 somoni/page.
4 of the 5 CA countries have muddled along with an often unsatisfactory, yet workable, shared electricity system that was devised after the break-up of the Soviet Union. This year, however, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have been provoked into announcing their withdrawal from the shared grid.
[Summary - BNE.eu]
Tajik parliament Majlisi Milli called on Tajik people to acquire shares in Roghun HPP in order to attract investments for
construction of the station. Employees of federally funded organizations, top managers of TALCO and even World War II
veterans responded to the appeal.
[Examples of response]
55% of construction operations at the site for construction of Iranian built HPP Sangtuda-2 has been completed. According to Iranian ambassador Ali-Asghar Sherdoust, all the hard work on implementation of the project is behind and inauguration can be expected in 2010 already.
[AsiaPlus] [Vakhsh's HPPs]
30 families were relocated from eastern Rasht valley to Danghara, because theirs former houses were situated in dangerous zones that flooded every year. Each relocated family will receive $800 from the government to construct new homes, which are likely to cost much more though.
China pledged $10 billion in soft loans to members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Tajikistan, a member of SCO, has prepared 10 investment projects to build hydroelectric power stations and roads worth a total of $3 billion to be financed by these Chinese banks' loans.
Tajik aluminum smelter TALCO consumed more than 4.7 bln kWh of electricity during period Jan-Sep 2009, while all Tajik power plants together have generated 10.9 billion kWh of electrical power and 0.7 bln kWh has been imported from Turkmenistan over the same period of time.
CA government officials and international and financial organizations pledged to work together in strengthening regional
economic cooperation in order to diminish the consequences of the global economic crisis and to reduce the vulnerability to
fluctuations in energy and commodity prices.
[Press release][UNESCAP web]
A study "The Politics of Water Institutional Reform in Neopatrimonial States - A Comparative Analysis of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan" presents detailed look into CA key political actors in water governance, perceptions of related problems and water institutional reforms and policies objectives.
Tajik Met Service developed set of maps with projected degradation of Tajik glaciers by 2050. With speeding climate changes, there is a catastrophic potential that most of the smaller glaciers will disappear and that size of the larger ones will reduce dramatically.
[Projected degradation] [Quaternary glaciation]
The Khujand Water Supply Improvement Project, Phase II has been launched in Sughd's capital. Total cost of the project is €6 million and is financed by EBRD and SECO. After completion in 2011, residents of Khujand's apartment buildings will not have drinking water supply problems.
Presentation of Oxfam's new project - "Tajikistan Water Supply and Sanitation" - is scheduled to take place at the Kokhi
Vahdat complex in Dushanbe on November 12. The main goal of the presentation is to inform the participants about the objectives and components of the project.
“TJ is forced to use its water reserves to produce additional energy due to a deficit of electricity. This can lead to a water deficit in UZ, because in the summer we will fill our reservoirs with water”, says Mirzosharif Islomiddinov, the head of TJ’s parliament energy committee.
24 specialists from KG, KZ, TJ and UZ attended an ICETT's training course to improve the deteriorating state of CA's water supply. Various water issues were discussed, helping the participants to implement the newly found knowledge back in their own countries.
Tajikistan has 4.4 gigawatts (GWe) of potential power generating capacity, about 90% of which is hydroelectric.
Well organized transparent map shows that there is a greater hydroelectric power capacity in Tajikistan than in any other country in Central Asia.
United Nations aid agencies warn that young children in rural Tajikistan are increasingly likely to be malnourished because of a lack of food, poor water quality and high prices for many basic products, causing many children to be at greater risk of contracting infectious diseases.
The cotton sector in Tajikistan appears being caught in a downward spiral, although it still accounts for 11% of Tajik GDP. Lower amount of available water and soil for growing, forced child labor and antiquated infrastructure are just few examples of the future possible insecurity causes.
“Neighboring countries have not yet started electricity deliveries to Tajikistan that has forced us to cut off electricity to some districts of the country at certain time of day” a spokesman for Barqi Tojik said. According to him, this measure does not mean though that electricity rationing has been introduced...
Tajik Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi met with Japanese Ambassador Tsutomu Hiraoka. The two discussed issues related to bilateral cooperation and Zarifi called on the Japanese side to take part in construction of hydropower plants and power transmission lines in Tajikistan.
Under a Tajik-Afghan agreement, a 220 kilovolt double circuit transmission line that will link the Sangtuda-1 on Tajik Vakhsh river to the Afghan border town of Sherkan Bandar, then to Kunduz, Pul-e-Khumri and, ultimately Kabul is expected to be put into operation in May 2010.
Water remains a source of conflict in central Asia. Agriculture, and in particular crops like cotton and rice that require large amounts of water, has increased the water requirements in the region. Those who have water try to keep hold of it and use it to bargain with their neighbors.
[YouTube 1][YouTube 2]
A new electricity line connecting Tajikistan's northern regions with the south started operating on November 1. While the new 500-kilovolt power line will add to Tajikistan's energy security, the new power supply system is not enough to reduce the region's dependence on imported energy.
Tajikistan’s open joint-stock company (OJSC) Roghun-HPP and Ukraine’s OJSC Turboatom have singed an agreement on a long-term cooperation. Turboatom is expected to deliver hydraulic turbines for hydroelectric power stations as well as other needed energy equipment.
Kyrgyzstan will use $100 million of a recent $300-million state loan provided by Russia to build the Kambarata-2 HPP. The HPP forms part of the Naryn River cascade of such facilities. The construction of the Kambarata-2 station was launched in 1986, then suspended and resumed in 2007.
Expert from Institute of International Studies of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Moscow State Institute of the International Relations Leonid Gusev says that to solve the energy problems in Central Asia, the countries in the region need to compromise and involve regional organizations in discussions.
Among members of Ukrainian dignified delegation arriving to Dushanbe today is Turboatom's director general Viktor Subbotin, who will meet with top managers of Barqi Tojik and the Norak HPP to discuss cooperation issues. Turboatom is expected to manufacture equipment for the Norak HPP.
According to the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company, Kazakh energy system switched from the CA power grid over to isolated work. Kazak power specialist explained the step by Tajikistan’s constant illegal takeoff of energy from the united system that leads to its failures.
Tajik president visited the Roghun HPP construction site, quoting that "Tajikistan is constructing dams and power plants not in order to restrict neighbors’ water supply; on contrary it takes into account their interests when constructing the hydropower facilities."
Tajikistan’s national budget for 2010 earmarks 650 million somoni ($148 million) for the Roghun hydroelectricity project. This amount equals to about 10% of the 2010’ whole national budget draft and is about 65% from the amount enhanced for the country’s energy sector.
Russia plans to build three small hydropower plants in Tajikistan and hopes to obtain a controlling stake in the project. The Russian energy minister Sergei Shmatko told journalists: "We count on a controlling stake in these plants and hope for the Tajik side's understanding".
According to RFE/RL's Tajik Service, recent talks of Tajik president with his Russian counterpart produced no significant results. While both parties confirmed their interest in hydropower projects in Tajikistan, other Central Asian countries' interests has to be taken into account.
“In all, we have to relocate 40 villages, totaling 4,700 families, from the area for the Roghun reservoir to other districts of the country,” says the Tajik Minister of Labor and Social Protection Shukurjon Zuhurov. “More than 3,000 other families will be relocated to the Nourobod district.”
Sergey Shmatko, Russian Minister of Energy told reporters that Russia has never refused to participate in construction of the Roghun HPP (potentially highest dam in the world), but “there are no yet specific formulations of participation of Russia in construction of this facility.”
A seminar "Mutually Beneficial Multilateral Water Agreements: opportunities to add value and share benefits in the energy, agriculture and water sectors in Central Asia through increased regional cooperation", organized by UNRCCA just finished in Dushanbe.
5 months after mudslides destroyed many houses in Uyali village (Khuroson district), most of the 135 brand new
government-built houses there has no toilet. The absence of any planning to provide families with access to safe latrines will expose people moving into new homes to high risks of diseases.
While the debate about Tajikistan's transition to energy-saving lamps is still in process, the authorities are introducing new lamps with voluntary, coercive and sometimes very curious measures. Well-known journal Deutsche Welle brings in an interesting perspective on the ongoing issue.
As water supply in Central Asia drops, demand for it rises. A series of Soviet-designed canals and dams turned the CA arid region into a patchwork of paddy and cotton fields. "Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the system hasn't worked," says Giovanni Munoz, FAO's land and water officer.
Uzbekistan has notified the neighboring countries that it was going to leave the common power grid in Central Asia from Oct. 15, 2009. Experts believe that there is a risk that interconnection of the power grid could become another serious problem, close in meaning to the water, in the region.
Prestigious The Wall Street Journal published an opinion about one of the current major energy/water Tajik issues - replacement of cheap incandescent bulbs with expensive "green" ones - and states that "instead of finding ways to generate more power, the government is forcing consumers to use less".
[The Wall Street Journal]
Micheline Calmy-Rey, head of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said after finishing her 5-days visit in Central Asia that "Switzerland is ready to assist the region in organizing discussions and dialogs between the involved parties" and "to raise effectiveness of water distribution and use."
Several experts express theirs opinions on what stands behind the proposal of Turkmen president on monetary compensation to Tajikistan, where Tajikistan would receive subsidies from its neighbors to solve its energy problems and the neighbors in return enough drinking and irrigation water.
A 82-ton water wheel for the Norak hydroelectric power station produced in Sumy, Ukraine was delivered to Dushanbe today. Barqi Tojik’s transportation service will move the wheel to Norak and after its installation, an increase in HPP's capacity by 160 megawatts is expected.
[AsiaPlus][Sumy Frunze web]
Tajikistan suffers from acute energy shortages every winter. Critics have poured scorn on a new government plan to solve the chronic energy shortages by banning conventional light bulbs. Despite an extensive government media campaign, there has been little public enthusiasm for the initiative.
According to Murod Jumayev, the head of Main Directorate for Safe Industrial and Mining Activities Supervision, all hydropower plants in Tajikistan have been inspected and none is in disrepair. Since 1991, there have been 2 accidents -
at the Kairakum and the Pamir-1 HPPs.
German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) launched a seminar on sustainable use of natural resources in Central Asia.
Organizations that could provide technical and financial assistance to the agencies making decisions on sustainable use of natural resources in the region are being sought.
3 years after a ribbon-cutting ceremony for opening the Anzob tunnel, water still makes passing through it difficult. A random visitor probably wouldn't agree to the official Tajik statement that "despite some shortcomings, all the construction work had been carried out on high professional level."
Swiss NGO Caritas has improved access of 37 households in Khanatrosh village (Khatlon province) to safe drinking water. To prevent the newly installed storage tank being emptied practically immediately, water meters were installed in all the houses to assure rational and economic use of water.
"I believe the water-energy problem of Central Asia is a myth. But it requires dialogs, cooperation and strong political will", says Ilias Davydov, Kyrgyz Minister of Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources. Let's hope that the Central Asia region passes through the coming winter without any mythical losses.
Five months after the spring floods in Khatlon province, affected communities are still struggling to rebuild their homes, livelihoods and infrastructure, living in tents. Lack of access to safe drinking water and water for agricultural purposes is, among many other challenges, acute.
OSCE officials provided support during a meeting of Kazakh and Kyrgyz govt. officials aimed towards water sharing issues. Transparent and efficient management of trans-boundary water resources is a tool to eliminate potential tensions among CA states.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) intends to provide almost $17 million for a rehabilitation project of water supply systems, infrastructure and distribution network in the cities of Qairoqqum, Chkalovsk, Isfara, Konibodom and Taboshar in Sughd province.
A delegation of Tajik water engineers is visiting Boulder, Colorado to learn how the Dushanbe's sister city manages its water resources, promotes conservation, harnesses hydroelectric power and collaborates with its neighbors. The delegation is sponsored by the Open World Program.
[Daily Camera][Open World web]
What is a position of Moscow in the ongoing Tajik-Uzbek dispute over drinking and irrigation water? "In my opinion, Tashkent is very difficult and
often unpredictable partner for Moscow, but to have it as an opponent is much more problematic than Dushanbe," says Russian expert on Central Asia, Arkadiy Dubnov.
Turkmenistan has called on Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to pay Tajikistan joint subvention for common solution of the CA energy problems and in exchange expect keeping the current volumes of discharge water in the trans-border rivers, so the downstream region receives enough water.
The Central Asia countries have been unable to take any serious steps or reach any water-sharing agreement. Experts say that as a result, “relations among the former Soviet republics in Central Asia are so tense that they with great probability will lead to war rather than to peace.”
Tajik government approved 10% increase in the price of water for apartment buildings as a response to recommendations of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. In Dushanbe, the highest price of water for apartments reaches now 2.74 somoni ($0.65) per each member of family per month.
Uzbekistan has halted natural gas supplies to Tajikistan due to an $18-million debt, leaving all Tajik households without gas. The two countries are at odds over a number of issues, including energy and water resources, so a gas shutdown is just another powerful argument used in the ongoing dispute.
A roundtable meeting “Dialogue for Coordination of Drinking Water Supply to Rural Areas”, organized by UNDP and SDC opened today. It considers rural water supply issues and the draft law on safe drinking water that is being developed by Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Resources.
[TimesCA][UNDP web][SDC web]
Newly built HPP Sangtuda-1, another new 35 small hydropower plants and enough water volume in the Nurek HPP should prevent extreme power cutoffs that were introduced to Tajikistan last winter. Regardless of this effort, this coming winter electricity rationing should be again expected.
Rotary District 2430 Governor Mr. Hasan Akduman paid a visit to the Rotary Clubs of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Among other projects, he also visited Kyrgyz village of Tokmak, around where Rotarians brought over the past eight years fresh water to more than 30,000 people.
Uzbek representatives warned during the 64th UN General Assembly of looming water shortages and characterized Tajik dam
construction projects as serious environmental threats in Central Asia. Uzbekistan insists on independent experts guided by the relevant UN conventions.
[Uzbek statement] [More background]
During the 64th session of the UN General Assembly in NYC, Tajik president mentioned significant role of the UN in an efforts to meet the MDG. He also noted the need of Tajik hydropower development for better socio-economic balance in the entire CA region.
[TimesCA] [Tajik statement][General Assembly web]
Almost 10% of Tajik population faces severe food shortages due to both its chronic vulnerability and the impact of this spring’s floods that damaged large parts of Khatlon province. While this year's good harvest prevented the situation from deteriorating even further, it still remains critical.
During the UN Climate Change Summit in NYC, the Tajik president stressed that better development of water resources would allow not only for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, but also for generating ecologically pure and cheap electrical power.
[TimesCA][Summit web][Tajik statement]
Although Tajikistan has several major hydroelectric schemes and thus a potential for huge hydroelectric over-supply, in the country there still exist almost constant shortage of energy. Authorities are being urged by green groups to accelerate introduction of energy-saving plans and measures.
Development organizations support locally-led village organizations (VOs). VOs are one of the means of how to improve living standards, learn to understand what a civil society is, bring positive changes and also fight constant challenges, which include access to safe drinking water.
Electrical power, in absolute majority hydro-power generated, accounted for 4.9% of Tajikistan’s external trade
turnover in the period Jan-Aug 2009. The good overall trade balance was negative, mostly due to the economical crisis, and decreased by almost 30% comparing to the same period in 2008.
The EU is getting keen to play a role in helping the CA countries resolve, among many other serious problems, theirs chronic tensions over access to water. Some of the CA countries insist on respecting the "UN convention on international water use" though, so there is still a long way to go.
[AsiaPlus][UN water convention]
"Water: From plenty to drought. Every last drop of fresh water is precious in the little village of Dara, ten-minute drive from Dushanbe. So precious that its a major pre-occupation for its 1,700 inhabitants..." Watch this five-minute video, shot for UNICEF by Peter George.
Residents of 30 Kyrgyz villages will step out today to take part in the „Clean Issyk-Kul“ campaign and collect litter. The campaign is initiated by international organizations’ activists for the second time there. Similar campaigns could and should be organized in Tajikistan as well.
Recent hydroelectric power plant accident in Russia has increased concerns about safety of the large hydropower plants in Central Asia, all built in Soviet era. Accident of similar scale could cause extreme regional disasters and therefore technical inspections have been already launched.
Qurghonteppa, southern Tajikistan’s biggest urban centre, comes up with ambitious growth plans. However, the plan has one, but major, weak point - where will the needed funding come from? Even basic management of current water and other facilities experiences serious difficulties.
Report "Revitalizing Asia’s Irrigation to sustainably meet tomorrow’s food needs" released recently by IWMI and FAO
estimates that the demand for food and animal feed will double over the next 50 years and much more needs to be done to upgrade existing irrigation systems.
[IRINnews] [Full report][IMWI web]
Environmental finance is one of the industries that has maintained development regardless of the current global economical crisis. Tajikistan's electric energy sector is tackled in the Environmental Finance Handbook 2009/10 as one of the huge opportunities arising in the environmental finance arena.
Jia Jinsheng, president of International Commission on Large Dams (ICOLD) means that it is necessary to construct large dams in Tajikistan. Although theirs construction impacts ecology to certain extent, a part of theirs generated profit should be used for environmental protection.
Heavily damaged irrigation canal in Kalininobod Jamoat has been repaired under the Grant Assistance of Grassroots Human Security Project of the Government of Japan. The strengthened irrigation system will assist mitigation of damage from natural disaster as well as poverty reduction.
[TimesCA] [GGP guidelines]
Dushanbe Water Supply project ($22 mil. World Bank sponsored project) reached new phase, with another part of the city having clean drinking water. The project objective is to improve safety, reliability, efficiency, and financial viability of the water supply services in Dushanbe.
Tajikistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry confirmed that one of the five largest state-owned Chinese power generation enterprises - China HuaNeng Group - is getting ready to invest in construction of large hydroelectric power plants in Tajikistan.
Risks and potential economic prospects of lake Sarez were disucssed at the international conference held in Nurek. A set of recommendations on the conduct of further scientific research and feasibility studies on investment opportunities was developed.
Tajik president presented his country's position on one of the most critical environmental problems of these days - climate change - at the World Climate Conference and addressed this issue as the key factors in the further development of water resources.
An international conference on security at water reservoirs has opened in Dushanbe. Attendees are expected to discuss safety at reservoirs, including Lake Sarez - a vital, but potentialy dangerous source of water for Tajikistan.
Tajikistan has installed hydro-electric power capacity of 4,400 MW currently and there is a potential for extracting about additional 80,000 MW. India, new player in the New Great Game, shows its potential interest for large investments.
[Press Trust of India]
MissionEast has started a new health and sanitation project in the Zerafshan valley in early 2009. Intelligentsia's intern Cornelius Stiefenhofer visited Anara Doolotova and her team in Penjikent to get familiar with their work and their approach to development assistance.
[Article on MissionEast]
Sangtuda 1 hydroelectric power plant is located on Vakhsh River. The Soviet construction was halted in 1990s; an agreement with Russia in 2005 allowed restarting the project. On July 31, 2009, the plant was officially commissioned, with participation of D. Medvedev and E. Rahmon.
[Information on Sangtuda 1]
A recent visit to development assistance projects of German Agro Action (WeltHungerHilfe) and Mission East in Penjikent allows us to provide you with an exclusive insight in their current development projects. This is the first of a series of articles with focus on the Zerafshan valley.
TajikWater.net launched a new online photo gallery. Please view and rate our pictures, showing many aspects of water issues in Tajikistan. If you want to see your pictures being published at our website, don’t hesitate to contact us. Enjoy our pictures and feel free to send us your your feedback.
The tents set up in Khuroson, in south-east Tajikistan, are full of life as villagers struggle to recover after their homes were buried under a thick layer of mud. Some 4,000 people in Tajikistan lost their homes, property and livestock. Every year, Tajikistan experiences up to 50 natural disasters.
[Recovery progress article]
Tajik Water resources minister Said Yoqubzod said, that for the first time the downstream countries of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have agreed to share the costs of strengthening riverbanks and managing rivers that originate in the upstream countries of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
State Unitary Enterprise "Housing and communal services" has developed a project "Restoration of systems of water supply in southern cities of Tajikistan" with direct support of the Government and investments of the Euroasian Bank.
The International technical conference about current situation, safety concerns and prospects of lake Sarez, organized by the Government of Tajikistan, will be held on September 2-4, 2009 in the Nurek city.
UNRCCA organizes on July 16, 2009 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan a ministerial meeting on issues related to implementation of agreements reached during the Central Asian summit on the Aral Sea problems that was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan in the spring of 2008.
Heavy rainfalls of this spring brought a lot of damage to Tajikistan. Various parts of the country were affected, with the worst disruption in south districts. Tajik authorities reported 20 deaths, many houses and farms were completely destroyed.
[Full Story ]
Intelligentsia International conducted in Tajik village Dahana a Rotary-funded project to supply more than 4500 people with potable water. Intelligentsia's intern C. Stiefenhofer visited the site one year after the project successful completion to evaluate the long-term results of Rotary's commitment.
Watch a short video document, showing a UNDP project providing financing and technical assistance for small irrigation rehabilitation and water supply projects in the Vaksh Valley, southwest Tajikistan.
Chinese giant company Sinohydro was to invest into another hydro-power station on the Zarafshan River with capacity of 150 megawatt. However, after neighboring Uzbekistan expressed concerns over ecology and possible future lack of water for irrigation, China quit the project.
Constructive negotiations can help to prevent water and energy crisis in CA region, recommends Vadim Sokolov, Deputy Director of Scientific and Information Centre for Water Management at the Interstate Committee for Water Management in Central Asia.
The current water crisis in Central Asia could have been avoided, had the region?s governments agreed upon water management procedures beforehand. The key stumbling block remains the conflicting interests of those states along the streams of the main trans-border rivers.
Professor Tashmukhammedov from Uzbek Academy of Sciences suggests technical solutions to ensure increased showers in dry regions of Uzbekistan. Is it a new great idea or just another way to avoid seeking water management compromises with Uzbekistan neighbors and partners?
In on of his scientific papers, Professor Viktor A. Dukhovny, director at Scientific-Information Center of Interstate Coordination Water Commission Aral Sea basin, describes the influence of globalism/globalization trends on the water sector throughout the Central Asian countries.
Tajikistan's largest natural reservoir, Qarakul (Kara-Kul) lake is located in the east Pamirs, about 3,900 m above sea level. It covers about 380 sq. km, with a maximum depth of 238 m. It is 33 km long and 23 km wide. The lake has become a major tourist attraction lately.
"...CA Water related issues require an international effort, since the water deficit constitutes a conflict potential which may create problems on the interstate and interregional levels mainly due to poor coordination of action on its neutralisation..." Bolat Nurgaliev, SCO Secretary-General.
A tripartite loan and financing agreement of 25 million euros for the Rehabilitation Project of 220 kV Switchyards of Nurek Hydroelectric Power Station was signed by the German Development Bank, Tajikistan's Ministry of Finance, and Barqi Tojik power holding in Dushanbe on July 25.
The population of Amudarya river basin is continuously growing and the demand for fresh water, local food production, and more employment opportunities is gradually increasing. Kyoto University (Japan) is proposing a critical long-term resolution to achieve this aim.
Initiative "Gender and Water in Central Asia" was created in order to improve gender awareness among the water sector stakeholders at various levels and to strengthen theirs capacity for incorporating gender issues into the decision-making processes.
Aral Sea degradation is one of the major anthropogenic disasters of our times. It has lost 75 percent of its original surface area since 1960's. Tajikistan's mountains are the main source of inflow into the Aral Sea and is therefore one of the members of International Fund for saving the Aral Sea.
www.cawater-info.net - an information portal for water and environmental issues in Central Asia. The Portal was created within the framework of the Central Asia Regional Water Information Base project and is funded by the Swiss Agency for the Development and Cooperation.
Johannes F. Linn - a former World Bank vice president for Europe and Central Asia believes that given the global climate trends, an expert assessment of the Central Asian water resources degradation is needed immediately, otherwise an impending water crisis is inevitable.
In 2008, Tajikistan and four other countries in the Central Asia and Caucasus region ? Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan ? were accredited by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) Headquarters in Stockholm as an official Country Water Partnership.
In 1992, Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries signed an agreement about cooperation in joint management of interstate water use and protection. According to this agreement, the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) was established.
Improving the efficiency of legal framework of the water relations among the Central Asian countries is presently a key issue and requires new approaches to water use. Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia proposes the following:
[Strategy] [Full Report]
Tajikistan's hydro-power dreams depend on the renewable snow-glacial rivers. However, the global climate change has posed an imminent stress on the glacial ecosystem. Some believe that by 2060 the hydropower potential will be minimized dramatically.
[ICWC] [ICWC 2] [Degradation Map]
Sabina Dzalaeva, of the Dushanbe Rotary club visited the village of Dahana to inspect progress on the last of a series of 12 villages and more than 10,000 people provided water for drinking and irrigation with the help of Rotary clubs in Tajikistan and the USA.
[Sabina Dzalaeva][Photo Gallery][Rotary Water]
How about water export given the aboundant water resources? Lakes like Sarez - a natural wonder of Tajikistan, containing about 17 cubic km of drinking water, could become a source for export as Tajik leaders are now searching for ways to unlock the lake?s economic potential.
Urban drinking water in Tajikistan is chlorinated in order to minimize the risk of waterborne diseases. However, it is still a challenge to maintain the minimum concentration of chlorine in the drinking water supply due to the current financial limitations.
"...Water resources are a factor of security, cooperation, and development in the Central Asian region..." Mr. Hamidov Masaid - the Minister of Melioration and Water Resources of Tajikistan, Member of the Central Asia Intergovernmental Water Commisson.
The partial drought in CA infused a sense of urgency into a recent international conference on water management issues in Dushanbe. Representatives from over 40 nations and 30 international organizations were building consensus for a stronger regional water management framework.
The Water Code of the Republic of Tajikistan is aimed at regulating water relations in order to ensure rational use of water for the needs of the population, branches of economy and the natural environment, protection of water from pollution, damage and exhaustion, preventing...
The three-year project, operating in the Ferghana Valley to benefit the territories of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, aims to reduce inter-ethnic and trans-border water conflicts and disputes through a combination of social and infrastructure initiatives.
Back in 2006, one of the largest American energy companies, AES Corporation, actually planned to invest $1 billion for realization of power supply project that would have exported hydro-electric power from Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan & Afghanistan.
The Kulob branch of the Tajik bank - Tojiksodirotbonk (TSB) has allocated a loan to the local fishing farming unit named after S. Nazarov. The bank has provided 10,000 somonis (US$2,923.98) for the initial phase of the project and intends to provide continuous support.
The year 2008 has brought a new challenge to Central Asia - drought, where stability strongly depends on the scarcest and most precious commodity - water. Photo: Under a scorching sun, a Tajik woman looks at a drying trickle of irrigation water running across her cotton?field.
Staff from the Riverside Technology, Inc. have assisted in the establishment and development of 26 Water User Associations (WUAs) covering 95,000 hectares of irrigated land in Tajikistan. Such WUAs are designed to revitalize the rural sector.
[Read more] [WUAs]
Irrigation service fees are often introduced in agricultural water usage, although not always with great success. Jenniver Sehring describes the reasons of their failure in the Republic of Tajikistan, where they were introduced in 1996 by Presidential decree.
As an innovative project, initiated by UNDP and the European Commission's ?ECHO' Program, it encourages Tajik migrant workers to earmark some of the money that they earn abroad for the installation of drinking water facilities for their families back home.
Miscommunication almost caused a transboundary water clash. The canal at the center of the dispute was dammed as a temporary measure, as part of a 300,000 US dollar project financed by the World Bank to clear and refurbish the waterway in Kyrgyzstan.
[Institute of War & Peace]
The unique hydrographic system of Tajikistan is a network of more than 25,000 rivers & streams with a total length of 69,000 km. Of these, 947 have lengths from 10 to 100 km; 16 rivers are from 100 to 500 km; and 4 rivers are longer than 500 km.
Much of Tajikistan's progress on water issues in recent years can be traced back to Dec 20, 2000 when 149 members of the United Nations General Assembly voted to adopt the Tajikistan proposal declaring 2003 as the International Year of Freshwater.
[WiserEarth.org][Official Website ]
Leonid Papirin - a professional hydro-geologocal researcher, has been to every single corner of Tajikistan during his 27 years of work and life in the country. His research on lake Sarez (where he had spent 10 summers and 2 winters) is considered the best of its kind.
Low water levels in the Syr Darya river have led to the native fish not being able to reproduce. Similar trends had been spotted in some parts of the Kayrokum reservoir in northern Tajikistan. Due to the low levels of water the salinity and pollution concentrations have also increased.
"..I have gradually come to realize the complex and crucial role of water for poverty reduction and development. It is obvious, especially when I see the challenges of providing access to drinking water in Tajikistan..". Karl Nillson, UNDP Tajikistan.
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are the poorest countries in Central Asia. Neither country has oil or natural gas, as do their neighbors. But both countries have a more precious "card" in the economic hand - water, which was the topic of the recent meeting at a presidential level.
Perhaps the most devastating natural disaster in Tajikistan are the landslides. Usually in early spring, after heavy rains or excessive snowmelt, landslides occasionally wipe out entire villages. Predominately composed of mud and water, landslides bring a lot of damage.
Lilyana Spasic-Gril is a renowned dam and geo-technical specialist living in England. In 2000 she joined a team of equally adventurous scientists including a hydrologist, geologist and seismologist and set off to gather data at the Usoy Dam, located in the Pamir Mountains of southwest Tajikistan.
93% of Tajikistan's territory is snow-covered mountains; and avalanches are very common and harmful. Every winter they destroy roads, bridges, houses, and occasionally take away lives. A tragic incident happened on Dec 2007, when 16 people were killed in a highway avalanche.
Water pollution is one of the chief problems in Tajikistan. The major rivers of the country, such as Amy Darya, Sir Darya and Varzob, which are the main source of drinking water, are being polluted as the results of industries? wastes, throw of garbage, animal waste and many other human activities.
Tajikistan is prone to frequent natural disasters because of its terrain and climate. Floods are particularly severe disaster risks because of the mountainous nature of the country. They pose a threat particularly to highways and agricultural fields due to their common proximity to rivers.
Tajik government needs creative investment to build the Rogun dam - one of the most ambitious hydropower projects in Central Asia. While asking for foreign investment, the government recently asked the public to donate to the project to raise tha almost $10 million needed for completion.
Although urban drinking water has improved over the last five years, in general the urban drinking water quality in Tajikistan, especially in Dushanbe is still considered unsafe. On occassion, tap water looks more like a coffee rather than potable water.
[Read more] [2003 Tragedy]
The institutional and legislative frameworks of Tajikistan are struggling to meet the management challenges of coordinating complex water policy, the multi-sectoral nature of water, and the relationships between water and the environment.
[UN Capacity Building Project]
The Khujand water supply project began in mid-2004 and will be completed by June 2008. Funded primarily by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the projects habilitates the critical infrastructure of the Khujand Water Company.
[Summary by SDC]
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Tajikistan is implementing an Irrigation Rehabilitation Project which aims to repair selected irrigation and drainage facilities in Tajikistan. Also, the project provides technical support to farmers to maximise the productivity of their land.
Tajikistan has long held taxes on power & water to low levels recognizing the socio-economic situation in the country and of the people. However, recently taxes were almost doubled because the existing rates were unreasonably low and no longer sufficient to support the system.
Ranking usually above 100th place in most aspects, Tajikistan is proud to have the highest dam in the world. At 300?m (984?ft), Nurek Dam is in fact the tallest dam in the world as of 2008. The dam was built on Vakhsh River during the Soviet era in order to build the Nurek hydro-power plant.
The governments of Tajikistan and Afghanistan in cooperation with the Aga Khan Dev. Network & other donors, have built a number of bridges over the Pyanj River that had been dividing the neighbors for centuries, hampering social & economic exchange.
[State Dept] [CACIAnalyst.org]
Part of the national energy agenda is to develop and install small hydropower systems in remote rural areas. Small stations are usually less costly and can provide a number of households with 24/7 electricity, thereby reducing the burden on major hydropower stations.
Tajik winters have become a nightmare since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Sub-zero cold does not allow hydro-power stations to work at full capacity. Suburban popilations are well adapted to such hardships, while the urban population counts the days to spring.
[UNDP Article] [Eurasia Daily]
The Ministry of Irrigation & Water Management of Tajikistan with UNDP Tajikistan and the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, have developed a "Water sector development strategy" report.
Despite 13,000 m3 annual water flow per capita, the water supply & sanitation facilities in Tajikistan are neither safe nor adequate. Tajiks have the worst access to drinking water in the CIS and outbreaks of waterborne illnesses pose a serious risk to public health.
[UN Report] [Full version]
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has made a significant contribution to irrigation infrastructure in Tajikistan. Primary cooperation is the rehabilitation of water pumps and field training of water management and irrigation personnel
Implemented by World Bank, the Ferghana Valley Water Resources Management Project seeks to (a) improve irrigation efficiency and agricultural productivity in the Ferghana Valley & (b) improve safety and regulation of the Kayrakum Dam and Reservoir.
[World Bank Tajikistan]
Energy politics is becoming a major element of Central Asian politics. With Tajikistan seeking to become a leading power exporter, energy politics can cause tensions between neighboring countries. Given the geopolitical & economic situation, consensus is usually hard to achieve.
Fedchenko is the world's largest glacier outside the polar regions, situated in the eastern part of Tajikstan. Like other Pamir Mountains glaciers, Fedchenko is shrinking due to climate change. It is estimated that in the long-term, a catastrophic reduction in river flows may occur.
Tajikistan has perhaps more abundant water resources than any other former Soviet republic. The potential for electric power is extrordinatry. Unfortunately, Tajikistan is excessively dependent on foreign investments to tap the economic possibilities of its ample water resources.
Lake Sarez formed in 1911 from an earthquake. It now strains to hold back 17 km3 of water at 3,263 meters elevation, constituting a flood threat to an estimated 5 million people. As one of the world's largest drinking water reservoirs, it's failure would be a tragedy.
Central Asian nations share rivers and a need for the waters they carry. Upstream nations of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan need water to generate power in the winter while downstream nations of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan need irrigation water in the summer.
[Eurasia.net] [Business Week]