Tajikistan

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Tadjikistan

Province de Khatlon – Tadkistan- montagnes érodées près du lac Nurek © Yann Arthus-Bertrand

In this central Asia country, counting more than 7 million inhabitants, located in an active seismic zone, the Supreme Soviet of Tajikistan set a ministry of environment protection as soon as 1992. Even though it has many hydroelectric resources, it’s one of the poorest territory of the region, where tap water – if there’s any at all – is often brown and rarely safe to drink. The country is still devastated from the 6 years civil war (50,000 deaths between 1992 and 1997)

Issues

Energy: 70km east of Dushanbe (the capital), in Nurek, is the highest dam in the world, its 300 meters sealing the Vakhsh valley, towering the major hydroelectric plant. Originally designed to supply an aluminium production plant – Tadaz – and cotton fields, it was called “Brejnev” during it’s construction in 1959. Today, it struggles to supply for the whole country.

Pollution: near the Uzbekistan border, there still is the Taboshar open-air uranium mine, abandoned since 1973. 10km away from the city of Kohdjand are dumps from uranium processing, which means 20 million tons of waste (solid and liquid) that “rest” in the open-air.

The large-scaled use of pesticides (DDT, arsenates and phosphorus) still leaves its mark on the country. On the Kanibadam site, exploited from 1973 to 1989, 3,000 tons of products are said to be buried without any kind of appropriate protection. The ground waters supplying the city with drinking water is risking contamination too because of the frequent landslides.

Natural disasters: the country records not only 50,000 landslides but also 5,000 earth tremors and earthquakes (World Bank)

tadjikistan carte
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