• KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01126 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00225 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09196 0.77%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 104

USAID Aids Access to Safe Drinking Water in Tajikistan

A new water supply system to provide safe drinking water for more than 3,000 people across 455 households has been inaugurated in the village of Rohati in Tajikistan’s Rudaki District. Supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), it is but one of the 12 communities now furnished with rehabilitated water supply systems through public-private partnerships. To ensure the project’s sustainability, USAID helped Rohati’s private water operator develop a sound business plan for its water system, introduced electronic billing, and assisted with the installation of water meters in households. Speaking at the opening ceremony on April 12, USAID Tajikistan Mission Director Peter Riley stated, “The U.S. Government believes that everyone has the right to safe drinking water. USAID strives to increase access to safe drinking water across all regions of Tajikistan. Access to safe drinking water is of critical importance to protecting public health, dignity, equity, and our environment and USAID is committed to that goal.” In the last five years, USAID has rehabilitated and constructed 30 drinking water supply systems throughout Tajikistan, providing more than 100,000 people with safe drinking water.

Major Kazakh Oil Company Fined Over Fire that Wasn’t Extinguished for 200 Days

The Buzachi Oil Company has been fined 350 million tenge ($777,536) over a fire at the Karaturun field that burned for 200 days. As a result of a large methane leak at the field in June 2023, natural gas ignited at well number 303.  The fire was finally extinguished on December 25th. Consequently, representatives from a regional Department of Ecology office conducted an unscheduled inspection of Buzachi Oil LLP, and according to the data gathered, the maximum permissible concentration (MPC) of methane in the air in the vicinity of the field was 480-times higher than normal. Furthermore, the concentration of petroleum products in the soil was 168.13 mg/kg higher than the permissible limit. According to a since deleted post on petrocouncil.kz, the fire started on June 9th when a gas-water mixture was released during the lifting of the drilling tool and ignited. Members of Parliament subsequently called on the government to terminate the contract with Buzachi Neft and return the field to the state. It transpired that the well had been drilled a year earlier than it should have been - not in 2024, as indicated in the permit, but in May 2023. "Based on the results of the inspection, the enterprise was issued a prescription on the need to develop a remediation program to eliminate the environmental damage caused, as well as compliance with the norms of emissions into the environment. Four administrative protocols were drawn up. According to preliminary calculations, the fine will amount to more than 350 million tenge," the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources said. Experts estimate the volume of methane leakage at the field in Mangistau region amounted to 127,000 tons. If these estimates are correct, the methane leak at Karaturun may be the second largest in the history of observed leaks. Speaking to The Times of Central Asia, environmentalist Timur Yeleusizov said that Kazakhstan needs to open a full-scale inspection of multiple enterprises, hold them accountable, and fine them. Yeleusizov claims that multi-million dollar fines are imposed in theory, but it's not known how many of them have been levied in practice. "This is not the first such case. Last year Kazzinc dumped cement dust, then the Ulba River was colored white, and now it is green," Yeleusizov told TCA. "How long will this continue and how long will our state inactivity last? Recently, there have been frequent cases of waste discharged into water bodies and rivers from which people drink. This problem concerns all the enterprises of Kazakhstan, because the issue of waste processing has not been solved so far. Moreover, companies can [afford to] pay these multi-million dollar fines without harming themselves." Yeleusizov also emphasized that the areas where hotels and resorts are located are in great danger, as none of them meet environmental standards. "I've repeatedly raised this issue with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. We are now developing ecological tourism - glamping and camping in specially protected areas. Nevertheless, not a single mountain resort in Kazakhstan meets...

Eco-Activists Tackle Dust Storms on Karakalpakstan’s Aral Sea

Forestry workers and ecological activists in Uzbekistan’s northwestern Karakalpakstan region have begun planting desert plants on dried up sections of the Aral Sea.  Salt and dust carried in the wind cause significant damage to areas adjacent to the Aral Sea and their inhabitants. Every year more than 100 million tons of salt, dust and sand are blown from the bottom of the former Aral Sea and mix into the air.  Up until the late-1990s, the land surrounding the Aral Sea was still cotton fields; today, it’s largely an expanse of salinized grey emptiness. The desiccation of the landscape has led to these vast toxic dust-storms that ravage around 1.5 million square kilometers. Spreading nitrates and carcinogens, these storms - visible from space - used to occur once every five years, but now strike ten times a year. Once a thriving agricultural center, Karakalpakstan, home to the remaining section of the so-called Large Aral Sea, is now one of the sickest places on Earth. Respiratory illness, typhoid, tuberculosis and cancers are rife, and the region has the highest infant mortality rate in the former USSR. “This year we plan to create green plantations in the most vulnerable places, where the winds with salt and sand come from,” said Zinovy Novitsky, a project manager from the Research Institute of the State Forestry Committee. “We plan to plant trees on 150-200,000 hectares. The country is introducing an effective policy to combat this problem.”  Between 2018 and 2023, 1.7 million hectares of forests were planted on the bottom of what used to be the Aral Sea. To date, forestry enterprises have collected and prepared for sowing 192 tons of desert plant seeds, including 71 tons of saxaul seeds. Similar plans are being undertaken across the border in Kazakhstan, where, according to the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the so called “Green Aral Sea” being created will make a massive contribution to the process of achieving carbon neutrality. “One saxaul retains up to 4 tons of sand, 1 hectare of four-year-old saxaul absorbs 1,158.2 kg of carbon dioxide and releases 835.4 kg of oxygen per year, [whilst] the shrubby plant, salsola richteri kar absorbs 1,547.8 kg of carbon dioxide and releases 1,116.4 kg of oxygen per hectare. Accordingly, 1.1 million hectares will consume about 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide.”

Uzbekistan’s senators amend legislation to improve environmental safety

During a meeting on January 20th, the Senate of the Oliy Majlis introduced amendments to legislation aimed at improving environmental safety. The amendments are aimed at reducing the negative impact on the environment. They will also contribute to increasing the responsibility of state bodies. The amendments establish clear mechanisms and procedures for responding to threats to the life and health of the population. According to the senators, the increase in construction, production and urbanization leads to increased emissions of pollutants into the environment. Urbanization is often accompanied by the expansion of production capacity, construction of factories, enterprises and infrastructure, which leads to an increase in emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere. In Uzbekistan this takes place due to the active development of industry, construction of new infrastructure facilities, increase in motor traffic, and poor quality of waste treatment systems. In accordance with the proposed amendments, the legislation now provides for the possibility of limiting and temporarily suspending the operation of facilities that have a negative impact on the environment for a period of up to 10 working days, in order to prevent possible emergencies, epidemics and other threats to people’s health. According to the senators, these changes contribute to improving the environmental situation and protecting enterprises, as well as fighting corruption and increasing the responsibility of government agencies. However, Senate chairwoman Tanzila Narbayeva expressed doubts and noted that environmental laws should not contain ambiguous norms that can be interpreted and applied differently. "In practice, such a situation can cause various problems, misunderstandings, discontent and, worst of all, cases of corruption. From this point of view, these amendments are very important. Because the level of industrialization in our country is growing every year. Under such conditions, the scale of environmental impact will increase. Especially today, in our big cities, such as Tashkent, such clear legal norms are very important for prevention of exceeding the level of air pollution." Due to this, additional changes are possible in the future, which will more precisely justify the laws "On Nature Protection", "On Atmospheric Air Protection" and "On Environmental Control".

Ministry Looks to Tackle Air Pollution in Tashkent Amid Flash Mob Protest

Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, has long been ranked among the worst cities in the world with the highest levels of air pollution by the international service, IQAir. In 2022, the portal ranked Tashkent as the worst in the world in terms of air pollution based on data from Uzhydromet (State Hydrometeorological Service). Tashkent is particularly prone to fine particles of PM-2.5, which is the most dangerous indicator for health, according to the World Health Organization. On January 12th, the Ministry of Ecology, Environmental Protection and Climate Change of Uzbekistan stated that increasing levels of air pollution in Tashkent are caused by emissions from coal-burning heat and power plants, and from motor vehicles. The levels of air pollution are also due to the illegal felling of 49,000 trees and construction work being carried out without planning permission. Another contributing factor is an increase in the amount of pollutants being emitted by vehicles, the number of which is growing rapidly. In 2021, there were 3.14 million cars, but by 2023 there were 4.6 million, an increase of 32%. On average, 730,000 vehicles are on the move in Tashkent every day, with between 160,000 to 300,000 entering the capital from the regions. Cars using A-80 gasoline, which does not meet international standards, emit more harmful substances into the atmosphere. The burning of coal to generate electricity is also on the rise. In 2019, 3.9 million tons of coal were used; by 2022, this had increased to 5.3 million tons, and by the end of 2023 it was 6.7 million tons, the ministry stated. The levels of air pollution are also due to the fact that Tashkent is located is surrounded by mountains, meaning the wind cannot circulate, and the polluted air is not blown away. In order to reduce air pollution in Tashkent, the ministry proposed the following measures: – a ban on motor fuel below the Euro-4 standard (AI-80 gasoline); – a restriction on the movement of cargo vehicles in Tashkent weighing more than 3.5- and 12-tons during rush hour (from 07:00 to 10:00 and from 17:00 to 20:00); – a ban on vehicles manufactured before 2010; - providing preferential treatment and subsidies to owners of electric vehicles; – a scheme to reduce congestion wherein vehicles with odd number plates are allowed to drive on odd days, and those with even numbers on even days; – pedestrianized zones in the center of the city; – the transfer of public transport to the use of electric and gas-cylinder fuel; – a moratorium on construction except for facilities of social and state significance; – a ban in the Tashkent region on the use of coal for industrial purposes; – the creation of a “green belt” around the city. Meanwhile, on the same day, activists in Tashkent staged a flash mob to protest about the state of affairs. Among those fighting for the right to life and health were eco-blogger, Mutabar Khushvaktova (Urikguli), the singer, Konsta, stand-up comedian, Mirshakar Faizullaev, bloggers Umid Gafurov and Mirzayor Erkinov,...

Bishkek in Top Ten Cities with Highest Level of Air Pollution

On January 3rd at 18:00, Bishkek entered the top ten cities globally with the highest levels of air pollution, clocking in at number seven according data compiled by AirNow, which reports air quality using the official U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI). According to the website, at this time the city was marked as "unhealthy", with an aAQI of 158. An air quality monitoring station has been installed on the territory of the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, which updates information every hour. The Air Quality Index is divided into six categories reflecting the level of health hazards. An AQI value above 300 is considered dangerous, whilst a value below 50 is considered good.

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