In many countries of the world, pesticides classified by the Stockholm Convention as a group of persistent organic pollutants are prohibited. The ban on the use of introduced in Tajikistan. The prohibited pesticides include 12 of the most persistent organic pollutants, whose reserves are being seized and destroyed everywhere. Banned pesticides were used in Tajikistan until the mid-90s, then their use was partially reduced, and the remains of obsolete and forbidden pesticides, calculated in tons, were buried at landfill sites.
On the territory of Tajikistan there are two burial grounds (landfills) for the burial and destruction of pesticides. These are the Vakhsh burial ground, which is in the south of the country, and Kanibadam, located in the north of the republic, bordering Uzbekistan. It should be noted that the last burial ground is located in the Syrdarya river basin, the largest water artery of the Central Asian region. And, according to experts, if through groundwater overdue toxic chemicals fall into this river, then a global environmental catastrophe in the region cannot be avoided.
According to the coordinator of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, an employee of the State Committee for Environmental Protection and Forestry of the Republic of Tajikistan, Abdusalim Juraev, both burial grounds are in a deplorable state today. They are completely looted, previously specially protected objects, are currently not controlled by anyone. Not only are the cemeteries not fenced and not marked with identification marks, they are not guarded. Many pesticides are obsolete, the packaging material in which they are stored is destroyed by the action of time, with concentrated poisons entering the environment through the soil and groundwater.
“Access to landfills for the local population is free. People do not disdain to “profit” the contents of the burial grounds, digging up pesticides manually, and even with the help of special equipment, such as excavators. Obsolete and forbidden pesticides are used for the second time in agriculture, containers (bags, barrels, jerry cans) in which pesticides are stored, adapt to the storage of vegetables and fruits, in it sell agricultural products in the markets. On the landfills where in some places the grass is soaked with poison, livestock grazes, children play carefree. The entire contents of the burial grounds, if they have not already fallen, will fall into the groundwater through the soil, and go straight to open reservoirs, ”says Juraev.
According to the State Committee for Environmental Protection and Forestry of the Republic of Tajikistan, the seeds of various crops imported from abroad in the 1990s were vulnerable to diseases. To protect the plants had to use a significant amount of pesticides, including banned. The multiplicity of treatments on average throughout the country ranged from 3 to 15 times or more.
In the 60s and 70s, the supply of pesticides amounted to more than 2500 tons, especially DDT (used in medicine to combat malaria) and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs) containing pesticides. In 2000, the volume of pesticides entering the republic decreased to 200 tons.
Every year, from 100 to 300 and more tons of banned and obsolete pesticides, not only from the warehouses of Tajikistan, but also from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, were sent to the burial grounds in the 70-80s. Pesticides entering the burial grounds were disposed of by incineration and burial.
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, Tajikistan, a predominantly agrarian country, was assigned one of the leading places on the use of pesticides in a number of republics of Central Asia. In the recent past, the republic used more than a hundred different types of pesticides in the agricultural and medical sectors.
The republic itself did not produce pesticides, since production was not cheap. They were imported from abroad, mainly from Germany. Currently, in Tajikistan agriculture pesticides are practically not used. Their use, either prohibited or not, but according to experts, the legislation does not have clear wording about it. In addition, environmentalists claim that there is no State program in this area in the country. If in the public sector of agriculture, the use of pesticides is indeed not observed, due to their high cost, in the private sector, the peasants still use these toxic chemicals.
The source of the Plant Protection Institute at the Ministry of Agriculture of Tajikistan, who wished to remain anonymous, said that Tajikistan used and will use pesticides in agriculture until improved, high-quality methods of pest control, such as biological methods, are introduced.
“It is possible to reduce the use of dangerous pesticides by introducing resistant crop varieties, as the whole progressive world does. But for this the state should allocate funds from the budget. Due to the economic situation of the country, in the coming years this is not realistic. And therefore, in Tajikistan, pesticides, unfortunately, will be used for a long time ”.
In addition, in Tajikistan there is no law “On Plant Protection”, they are working on it and it is not known whether it will be accepted at all. As long as there is no law, pesticides will flow into the republic and no one can control the process.