According to the estimates of international organizations, today 4.4 billion people in the world suffer from a lack of clean drinking water. It would seem that having an enviable supply of fresh water, Kyrgyzstanis should rejoice in the quality and abundance of moisture. The real picture, however, suggests otherwise.
If in the recent past water was consumed from taps without boiling, today a sip of raw water for a resident of the southern region of the republic can turn out to be a terrible outbreak, as it happened seven years ago in the city of Osh.
The cause of the disease with typhoid fever 600 citizens became the dumping of industrial waste into the canal. Three years ago, 21 villagers from the Jalal-Abad region were hospitalized with a similar diagnosis, where water from a sewage treatment plant flowed into the local Mailuu-Suu river.
And the latest data: last summer, 30 residents of another southern region, Batken, joined the list of victims of drinking water and people who picked up typhoid fever.
Chief Specialist of the State Department of Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance of the Republic Nina Vashneva does not hide concern: the epidemiological background in the region is rather alarming and drinking water is one of the sources of infectious diseases. Soon there will be no one to monitor its quality, since the underfunding of this service is 40% and a reduction in the volume of analysis and drinking water is planned.
Than this may affect the residents of the republic, where the issues of water supply and protection of water resources from pollution are topical ...
Experts see a direct relationship between the quality of water consumed and the health of the population, worsening every year. High maternal and infant mortality, reduced birth rates and reduced life expectancy, a “bunch” of diseases in preschool and adolescent children - all this is caused by a combination of negative environmental factors, among which drinking water contaminated with various chemical and biological substances plays an important role. Today, 600 thousand inhabitants of the south who do not have access to clean drinking water use open reservoirs and streams, without cleaning, an ever-increasing volume of dangerous polluted waste water containing nitrates, chlorides, chromium, sulfates, heavy metals, oil and oil products .
The UN Economic and Social Commission pointed to yet another danger of pollution of water sources in the republic: numerous uranium burial grounds and industrial dumps, most of which are located near rivers. And since the state of burials is often emergency, a threat is created not only for Kyrgyzstan, but also for the entire Central Asian region.
The problem of the quality of life-giving moisture is aggravated today by the state of the cleaning stations, which have ceased to perform their functions due to outdated equipment and a shortage of raw materials and resources.
- We download water from the only river in the city of Ak-Buura, the water turbidity in which after precipitation exceeds the permissible limit values. But for its cleaning there are not enough reagents that were previously purchased in neighboring countries - Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Funds for the purchase of disinfectants are not enough, so you have to keep the water in the sump and, after a certain time, serve it to the population, admitted Oleg Pesochin, head of the municipal enterprise Oshgorvodokanal. - Three years ago, within the framework of the project “Water supply of the city of Osh”, our specialists in tandem with Austrian experts analyzed the activities of 5 water intakes supplying the city with drinking water and household water. As a result, a development concept was developed, providing for the construction of additional facilities necessary for the normal functioning of water intakes. The implementation of this program would help to provide the population of the regional center with a sufficient amount of water of impeccable quality. However, the implementation of the project rests on the perennial problem - in finance, which is nowhere to take.
The purity of water is influenced not only by where it is taken from, but also by the safety of water mains. Their deterioration in the republic is 60% -70%. In Osh and Jalal-Abad, two large cities in the south, the first branches of the water network were laid in the middle of the last century, which in some places were subjected only to "cosmetic repairs." Local governments are seeking funds only to “patch up” the water pipes; any serious accident threatens to leave thousands of consumers without drinking water.
However, Southerners are no strangers to this. In summer, when water is used for irrigation, the pressure in the taps is so weak that people have to carry water in buckets. It is more difficult for residents of multi-storey buildings.
The lack of quality drinking water does not pass without a trace. According to doctors, in the Osh region last year, 60% of infectious diseases were caused by the consumption of dirty water, 24% by the lack of the necessary amount of water for washing dishes and 16% by the consumption of contaminated food.
In rural areas, the situation is worse. The local authorities, on whose balance the water pipes were transferred, could not save them. The reason is simple: people had nothing to pay for water. In many villages, inactive pipelines were simply looted.
In more than two hundred villages of the republic today the construction of water supply networks is in full swing. They will not solve the problem of shortage of drinking water, since about 40% of the population of the republic does not have access to the desired moisture. And while officials break their heads, how, where, for what means or grants to hold water pipes, residents of remote villages in the southern regions continue to use water for cooking from open reservoirs and even irrigation systems.