• KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09234 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09234 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09234 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09234 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09234 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09234 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09234 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01134 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09234 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 7 - 12 of 117

Kazakhstan Repurposing Floodwater

In a strategic response to the unprecedented spring flooding this year, Kazakhstan is channeling its efforts towards harnessing the disastrous floods to its advantage. The Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation in Kazakhstan has embarked on a program to utilize the massive floodwaters for future irrigation and environmental sustainability. In the Atyrau region, which has faced significant flooding, the ministry’s subdivision has taken the initiative of digging 14.5 kilometers of new canals. These aim to redirect the surplus water from the Zhaiyk (Ural) River directly to the Caspian Sea, thereby mitigating the risk of damage in the city of Atyrau. This redirection not only safeguards the city, but also conserves water. According to estimates, up to a quarter of the Caspian Sea – an area the size of Portugal – could be set to disappear by the end of the century. In the West Kazakhstan region, discharge from the Ural-Kushum irrigation system into the Kamysh-Samar lakes, which have been dry for two decades, has been reported, marking a significant step towards reviving these reserves. Meanwhile, the Tobol River has recorded high water levels for the first time since 2000. The reservoirs of the Tobol River cascade have managed the floodwaters and are now 92% full - a record in recent times. The Astana Reservoir, meanwhile, is being filled with floodwater with the aim of securing drinking water supplies for the capital for the forthcoming year. In 2023, a shortfall necessitated additional costly water supplies to be redirected from the Satpayev Canal. In the Akmola region, having been filled with floodwater, irrigation systems such as Alva and Kenbidike are now at full capacity. Rivers in the Tselinograd region have also been replenished, directing a substantial volume of 1.5 billion cubic meters of water towards Lake Tengiz. Furthermore, the Karaganda region's reservoirs are now brimming, ensuring the region's needs are covered for the next year. Water from the Kengir Reservoir in the Ulytau region has also been discharged into the Sarysa River, flowing into the Kyzylorda region’s lake system and enhancing its agricultural prospects. The Almaty region has also benefited from an increased flow from the trans-boundary Ili River into the Kapchagay Reservoir, adding approximately 2.3 cubic kilometers of water into environmentally-threatened Lake Balkhash.

Mudslides in Kyrgyzstan Flood Over 200 Homes

Kyrgyzstan's emergencies ministry has formed an operational headquarters to deal with recent flooding in the south of the country. Rescuers report that hundreds of local residents have been evacuated to safety. Flooding due to heavy rains began last week in Kyrgyzstan's southern Osh region, prompting the region to declare a state of emergency. More than 500 people, including local volunteers, are currently working to clear up the damage caused. "At about 22:00 (April 22), information was received that flood waters inundated houses and roads due to heavy rain in Mady, Besh-Moinok, Kyrgyz-Chek, Asan-Chek villages of the Kara-Suu district of Osh region," the emergency ministry has commented. Unstable weather and heavy rains have already caused mountain mudslides in four regions of Kyrgyzstan. In total more than 30 mudslides have been recorded in recent days, inundating more than 200 homes. Rescuers quickly cleared some villages and districts; however, meteorologists warn that avalanches and flooding may continue until April 26, as the water level in rivers will rise.

U.S. Government Discusses Data From Air Quality Monitor at Tashkent Embassy

On April 22, a press conference was held at the U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan with American air quality specialist and researcher Jay Turner speaking to media representatives about the air quality monitoring device installed at the embassy in Tashkent in 2018. According to Turner, the device monitors the concentration of air particles every hour: data is taken every 53 minutes, the remaining seven minutes are spent analyzing it, and the results are compared to the previous hour. Devices recently installed by Uzhydromet also monitor air quality hourly, and their data is roughly similar to that recorded at the U.S. Embassy. However, there are aspects that should be taken into account when comparing the results, says Turner. “It is required to follow certain protocols during the monitoring process. The equipment at the embassy follows these protocols, which I have checked myself. If we assume that Uzhydromet follows these protocols and submits its reports, it can be said that it will be the same as our data,” he said. Turner mentioned that work is currently underway to determine the differences between the monitoring devices. “To find an answer to this question, the U.S. State Department has allocated grant funds to Duke University and plans to install inexpensive air quality monitoring sensors throughout Tashkent. A portion of them has already been installed,” he stated.

Central Asian Countries Set 2024 Quotas for Amu Darya, Syr Darya River Water Usage

Last week in Kazakhstan, delegates came together for the 87th meeting of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) of Central Asia, where they discussed the potential and limitations of regional water reservoirs ahead of the 2023-2024 agricultural growing season. According to the ICWC, some of the more pressing questions focused on confirming limits of water usage for the 2024 growing season for the Syr Darya and Amu Darya river basins and the prognosis for water release from the reservoirs in those basins. There's still no information on how much water will be sent to the Aral Sea basin. In accordance with the quota, the draw on water from the Amu Darya watershed will be 56 billion cubic meters for the year, with about 40 billion cubic meters to be used in the April-to-October growing season. As stated in the ICWC agreement, Uzbekistan will receive 16 billion cubic meters, Turkmenistan 15.5 billion cubic meters, and Tajikistan will get 6.9 billion cubic meters. The Syr Darya's water use quota for this year's growing season is around 11.9 billion cubic meters, with 8.8 billion cubic meters going to Uzbekistan, 1.9 billion cubic meters for Tajikistan, 920 million cubic meters for Kazakhstan, and 270 million cubic meters for Kyrgyzstan. According to the ICWC, the totals for irrigated lands by Central Asian country are 4.3 million hectares in Uzbekistan, 2.5 million hectares in Kazakhstan, 1.9 million hectares in Turkmenistan, 1 million hectares in Kyrgyzstan, and 680,000 in Tajikistan.

Kazakhstan: Floods Still a Threat, but Some Residents Returning Home as Waters Ebb

For weeks, it’s been a frantic grind of evacuations, pumping water and shoring up dams as Kazakhstan battles widespread floods. While the threat remains, water levels are declining in some areas and the country is working to help disaster victims in the long term. Some 22,700 people who fled their homes to escape floodwaters have returned, and the flood situation has stabilized in some hard-hit places such as Aktobe, according to the government. Still, thousands, many of them children, remain in evacuation centers, whilst others are in temporary housing. More than 100,000 people have been evacuated over the course of the crisis, which began in March as snow melted in the warmer weather. There is uncertainty about when Kazakhstan can fully shift from an emergency response to rebuilding. Water levels continue to be monitored closely, including on the Zhaiyk River, also known as the Ural. Television and radio reports are providing updates every few hours. The river’s water level has been described as exceeding a “critical level,” though authorities believe there is no danger to the adjacent city of Uralsk. The city is in West Kazakhstan and on the border with Russia, also hit by floods. In East Kazakhstan, the flood situation is considered stable. Providing hot meals and leisure activities for children are among the daily tasks for teams taking care of evacuated residents. But a volunteer network is looking ahead, launching a campaign to offer free legal services for flood victims. Some people are filing claims for financial compensation for their losses. Many are farmers who lost livestock. Transportation links were cut and truckers couldn’t reach their destinations. Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Industry and Construction has been developing a plan to help people affected by the floods, and it’s already being implemented in some areas. If a damaged house cannot be restored, its owner can choose – with state support - between building a new house or buying completed real estate. The building of houses has already begun in the Aktobe area. Apartments for 27 victims were bought in the city of Arkalyk, in the Kostanay region. New housing has also been provided in several other regions. “This work will continue until every victim is provided with housing,” said Minister of Industry and Construction, Kanat Sharlapaev. For all the efforts of the government and society right now, Kazakhstan could experience more seasons of catastrophic flooding. Some scientists suggest climate change intensified this year’s disaster. According to one analyst, uncontrolled construction and other official negligence have only exacerbated the threat.

No Lessons Being Learned From Kazakh Floods, Says Political Analyst

Kazakhstan has been prone to flooding before, but the 2024 Kazakh floods have added a catastrophic page to the chronicles. Political analyst Marat Shibutov tells The Times of Central Asia that only extremely tough measures can motivate ministers and akims (local government executive) to actually work on flood prevention.   The Floods Have Not Yet Peaked Areas and homes in many regions of Kazakhstan -- Atyrau, West Kazakhstan, Aktobe, Akmola, Kostanay, East Kazakhstan, North Kazakhstan and Pavlodar -- remain flooded. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, more than 113,000 people have been evacuated from the various disaster zones. The threat of another destructive wave of surface water still remains for major cities, even high-rise buildings are battling high in water in Atyrau, Petropavlovsk and Kostanay. Kazakh president Kasym-Jomart Tokayev has already visited the affected regions several times. According to local reports, people are now concerned not with punishing those responsible, but with paying fair compensation for lost housing, farms and livestock, and, most importantly, with creating an effective flood control system. In particular, residents of dacha (detached suburban) houses in Uralsk blocked the highway, demanding that the akim of the city include them in the list of those to be paid. If more floods occur it will be impossible to live in flood-prone areas. The only alternative is a radical revision of the requirements for residential zoning protective measures. Tokayev spoke about the responsibility for breached and unfinished dams and dikes, as well as the overlooked forecasts made by meteorologists about increased snowmelt and the threat of flooding not only from rivers, but also from the steppes in late March. For the lack of timely flood control measures, he announced a harsh reprimand to First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Nurzhan Nurzhigitov. Local administrators weren't spared either, with harsh reprimands and warnings for incomplete official compliance to the akims of Aktobe, Kostanay and West Kazakhstan regions -- and a harsh reprimand to the akims of Atyrau, Akmola, Almaty, Pavlodar and Abay regions. According to official data from the Ministry of Emergency Situations, in 2024 to date seven billion tenge ($15.5 million) have been allocated just to local executive bodies for flood mitigation activities. In March 2024, 66 billion tenge ($147 million) was allocated to carry out work relating to combating emergency situations. From 2019 to 2023, the Emergency Situations Ministry's expenditures increased almost fourfold, to 264 billion tenge ($588 million). Over the past five years, over 762 billion tenge ($1.7 billion) has been allocated from the national budget. What exactly those funds were towards remains an open question -- possibly as part of ongoing criminal cases.   Disasters of the Past It's not the first time that high water has caused irreparable damage in Kazakhstan. In Uralsk they still talk about a serious flood in 1942. In early May, the water level in the Urals reached 943 centimeters, and a 9-point storm raged on the river. Over 500 families were evacuated from...

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