• KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01172 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09391 0%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 7 - 12 of 146

Children Among Nine Killed in Mudflows in Kyrgyzstan

Mudflows caused by heavy rains have killed at least nine people, including four Kazakh children, in an area of southwestern Kyrgyzstan that is popular among tourists for its natural scenery. Search operations were continuing on Sunday. Kyrgyz authorities declared a state of emergency in the Nookat district of the Osh region after the downpours on Friday. Roads, bridges and power lines were damaged and several hundred emergency responders, including police and military personnel, were deployed to help with searches and evacuations. Photos and video posted on Telegram by Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Emergency Situations showed rescuers, some in military uniforms, escorting people alongside a fast-flowing river in a ravine. Some carried young children and held onto a rope fixed alongside the ravine wall as they walked. Citing Kyrgyz officials, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the bodies of four Kazakh children had been found and that its diplomats are helping relatives of the victims. The bodies of the children will be returned to Kazakhstan in “the near future,” the ministry said on Telegram. Akylbek Japarov, chairman of Kyrgyzstan´s Cabinet of Ministers, flew over Nookat district on Sunday to assess the damage and said the government will provide “all-round support” to help those affected, the official Kabar news agency reported. Nookat is popular among trekkers and hikers who enjoy its mountain and forest scenery, particularly in the summer months.

Will Kumtor’s ‘Tails’ Benefit or Harm Kyrgyzstan?

The Finnish company Metso is set to  develop a tailings pond at Kyrgyzstan's Kumtor goldmine but local environmentalists are sceptical, claiming that recycling the waste will bring more damage to the environment than economic benefits. "Tailings" are liquid and solid metal (pulp) remnants of ore processing and according to various estimates, Kumtor's tailings pond contains 70 to 130 tons of gold that could not be mined at the plant.  The remnants of precious metal with harmful waste are mothballed, making secondary mining extremely difficult. The Kyrgyz government however, believes that cooperation with the Finns could provide the state with an annual revenue of some $3.5 billion. Isakbek Torgoev, head of the geo-environmental monitoring laboratory at the Institute of Geomechanics and Subsoil Development of Kyrgyzstan and a candidate of technical sciences, told the Times of Central Asia that the Kumtor tailings pond, grandiose in volume, has over a hundred million tailings. "Throughout the entire phase of the mine -over 30 years - ores were taken from different parts of the Kumtor deposit. At times, ores containing 1.8 grams of gold per ton were dumped in the tailings pond. By comparison, at the Boruu gold mine in Mongolia, that amount of gold is contained in the mined rock, but here it is in the tailings. This is a lot," notes Torgoev. The scientific institute believes that dangerous chemical processes occur in the abandoned ores. "Frankly speaking, I am sceptical about such a development, given that very few successful examples exist worldwide. Especially at Kumtor, with its difficult climatic conditions and frigid winters. Theoretically, the work can be carried out, but practically, we'll see," commented the scientist. According to Torgoev, the price of gold may fall, and because of unprofitability, the Finnish company could refuse to process tailings. Moreover, the reclamation of tailings is a very complicated technological process. In addition to constructing water drains, a layer of a meter thick soil is required to cover them. Otherwise, the waste will go into the rivers and soil, harming the environment. The former owners of Kumtor, the Canadian company Centerra Gold, accumulated about $60 million for the reclamation of the tailings pond after the mine was depleted (tentatively in 2027). However, after the nationalization of the mine, the fate of these funds remains unknown. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Kyrgyzstan, there are 92 burial sites for toxic and radioactive substances in the country. Of these, 23 tailings contain uranium elements, while the rest are buried with radioactive rock residues, heavy metals, and cyanide.

Kazakhstan to Invest $1 Billion in Repairing Water Management Infrastructure

Kazakhstan's minister of national economy, Nurlan Baibazarov, has announced that the country is to repair its water management system following recent severe floods. "The floods that took place in the spring showed the underdeveloped infrastructure of the country's water management system. We have identified 16 projects that require investments of more than 500 billion tenge [over $1 billion]," Baibazarov said. According to the minister, preferential financing will come from from the Saudi Islamic Development Bank. Funds are provided for an extended period at a very low rate, enabling the resolution of long-standing issues in this sector. The renovation of the water management system will include the construction of reservoirs and irrigation canals and the fortification of the technical infrastructure for all services. "First of all, according to the instructions of the head of state, we will carry out a complete renewal of equipment and facilities in the Ministry of Emergency Situations system. In the water sector, we will also equip the Kazvodkhoz system with the necessary equipment," Baibazarov added.

Border Dispute No More: Are Bishkek and Dushanbe Ready to Make Peace?

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have long been restless neighbors from Tashkent and Astana's point of view. In many respects, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan forced the current rapprochement of the Central Asian republics, as expressed on the outer perimeter in the C5+1 format, where the region strives to put forward a consolidated position. After all, investment does not come to problematic areas. The problem border The main sticking point in relations between Bishkek and Dushanbe stretches for almost a thousand kilometers - the border between the two states - the demarcation of which, following the collapse of the USSR, neither the government of Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan was concerned about. There were enough problems to deal with: falling living standards, civil war in Tajikistan, and endless revolutions in Kyrgyzstan. To date, the border has still not been fully demarcated, causing problems for residents of both states over access to water, pastures, and roads. Disputed territories accounted for about 30% of the border between the two countries. The first alarm bells sounded back in 2014 - in January and May of that year there were armed incidents on the border between northern Tajikistan's in Sughd Province and Kyrgyzstan's Batken Province. Tajiks and Kyrgyz have lived compactly in this densely populated area for centuries. Tajik villages neighbor Kyrgyz villages, there are exclaves such as Vorukh, and the border can crisscross roads, presenting difficulties for traveling. "In Soviet times, people moved around quietly when the borders were conditional. Residents on both sides had free access to pastures and arable land. There were no problems along the watershed. If lands were given by the republics to each other for some purpose, local authorities knew where and whose land was located. With the collapse of the Union, the whole system ceased to function. And the problems of open unmarked borders became more acute," political observer Negmatullo Mirsaidov explained in a commentary for the BBC Russian Service after the January 2014 clash. Time passed, but the situation did not change, and a new aggravation occurred in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, clashes were repeated with depressing regularity, and in 2022 came a military incursion by Tajik soldiers into a Kyrgyz border village with the seizure of administrative buildings. Armed clashes broke out all along the border and Russia intervened, forcing the parties to negotiate. Central Asia then picked up the baton, trying to melt the ice of hostility between the skirmishing neighbors. In early February, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon met with Kyrgyz Foreign Minister, Jeenbek Kulubayev, in Dushanbe. According to the press service of the head of Tajikistan, "Over the past four months, the parties have agreed on the design and working description of about 196 kilometers of the state border and to date have determined about 90% of the line of its passage." Considering that the Tajik-Kyrgyz border is about 980 kilometers long, about 100 kilometers remain to be agreed upon. Before the clash in 2022, more than 300 kilometers of the border were considered disputed....

Testing Limits: Marathoners Head For the Shrinking Aral Sea to Run in the Desert

The dry bed of the Aral Sea, a symbol of ecological disaster in Central Asia, will host one of the world’s more extreme marathons on Sunday. Supported by aid stations and medical staff, a small band of athletes will run on sand, gravel and stones, inhaling salty air in scorching temperatures and bracing themselves against strong winds. The Aral Sea Eco Marathon is being held in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan and planners aim to draw attention to what was once the fourth biggest saltwater lake and is now about 10 percent of its original size. Race promoters also want to highlight the need for sustainable use of water. The marathon roughly coincides with the United Nations-designated day to combat desertification and drought, which falls on June 17.  Andrey Kulikov, founder of the ProRun running school in Uzbekistan, ran a marathon distance in the area last year with American ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes in 4:51:18. Kulikov planned this year’s event with the help of Aziz Abdukhakimov, Uzbekistan’s minister of ecology, environmental protection and climate change. A limit of 100 runners was set, though far fewer signed up. Still, Kulikov said participants are from countries including Japan, China, France, Pakistan, Kenya, Togo and the Philippines. He hopes to expand the event next year. Uzbek participant Denis Mambetov said in a text interview on Telegram that he is taking part because of “a passion for adventure, for something new and unusual, to test one’s strength, and, of course, to draw the attention of others to an environmental problem of global proportions.” The Aral Sea, which lies between northern Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan, began shrinking significantly in the 1960s when water from the rivers that fed it was rerouted for Soviet-led agricultural irrigation. The subsequent emergency of the Aralkum Desert and the sand and dust storms arising from the world’s newest desert have polluted the environment and severely affected health in local communities. There are regional and international efforts to restore the Aral Sea ecosystem, including seed-planting and the implementation of water-saving technologies. The five Central Asian countries - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – formed a group three decades ago, soon after independence from Soviet rule, to address the problem. The gap between goals and results is wide, though the countries are recognizing the wider threat of water scarcity as the planet becomes hotter.  “Colleagues are well aware that the problem of water shortage in Central Asia has become acute and irreversible and will only worsen in the future,” Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said at a regional meeting on the Aral Sea last year. “Experts believe that in some regions of Central Asia pressure on water resources will increase three times by 2040. Economic damage could eventually reach 11 percent of regional gross product.” Nurbek Khusanov, who will run the marathon on Sunday,  works at SQB, a top bank in Uzbekistan, and is a leader of its efforts to promote “green” policies that aid the environment. The marathon will “attract more people to the Aral...

Threat of Cholera Prompts Tajikistan to Test Its Water

Due to reported cholera cases in Afghanistan, Tajikistan's health ministry has taken strict control of water quality in the border areas of the Panj River and some districts of the Khatlon region. The deputy head of Tajikistan's sanitary surveillance service, Navruz Jafarov, said that a large-scale inspection of open water sources in the border areas of Khatlon region has been underway since June 3rd. Specialists are taking water samples and conducting tests to prevent the possible spread of infection. The main reason for the inspections is the cholera outbreak in Afghanistan, which reached dangerous levels last year. "The disease has spread to the districts of Balkh, Kunduz, Tahor, and Badakhshon, as well as areas bordering Tajikistan. In this regard, the water in the Panj River in the border areas is under strict control of specialists of the Republican Center for Quarantine Disease Control of the Ministry of Health," Jafarov said. He said five rivers in Tajikistan cross the border with Afghanistan. The disease may come to Tajikistan if floods or sewage from Afghan villages enter the rivers.