The people’s dam, but what price for energy security?
Editor’s note: Officials of
The Roghun hydroelectric dam was a long-term Soviet industry
project, developed in
It should be
noted that, according to intergovernmental agreements, the Russian company
RUSAL was supposed to have finished construction on the dam; however, three
It was unclear
even then how a poor country with a high level of corruption could handle a $3 bn project. Recent figures cite $1.3 bln
– the number needed to activate the first part of the dam (two out of six
assembly units). Under the most favorable conditions, this will take at least 4
years. But then
The people’s dam
It marked the beginning of a massive pressure campaign. The country’s leadership has been using various methods, including the tried and true, such as brainwashing using television. Day and night, state media broadcast images of ordinary people “overjoyed” by their purchases. Yet they look grim and sound like they are reading a prepared text. Pensioners obediently enunciate memorized sentences, asking the rest of the population to follow their example and allocate parts of their salaries towards the construction project or buy stocks. Religious figures have been preaching that it is the duty of every faithful Muslim to help his fatherland, so everyone must invest in the dam.
Some media have
reported that there is a certain list of Tajik organizations with mandatory
donation sums listed next to each of their names. Experts believe it will
negatively affect businesses, particularly the banking sector, the internet and
mobile communications. On
Yet, officials on all levels have been foaming at the mouth at press conferences pronouncing the absolute freedom of citizens not to buy stocks or donate. The entire population, they say, has experienced a surge of patriotism and is willingly giving all it can despite the crisis. Time will tell.