Tajikistan is a country of eternal glaciers, of the cleanest mountain lakes, of many turbulent mountain rivers; it is ranked 2nd in the CIS and 8th in the world in terms of water resources. Alas, this, however, does not mean the presence of the same water in the homes of residents, not only in the countryside, but also in the cities, including the capital.
According to UNICEF and WHO, Tajikistan continues to occupy the last place in the world in terms of access to drinking water, and this fact is cited in the government’s report on the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for 2004. Only a third of consumers have access to chlorinated tap water, 29% use water from sources, and the rest from reservoirs and aryks. 40% of the water consumed is not potable, and 41% of the population uses water of dubious quality. As a result, the country has an increased incidence of acute intestinal infections (AII) of aquatic origin.
In Dushanbe, the water purification system has been destroyed for more than ten years, and the water supply network is morally and physically obsolete. In the rainy season, brown water flows from the taps, in which a huge amount of sand, silt, worms and garbage float. This water can not be used even in technical needs, and residents are forced to defend it in numerous containers, and then boil for a long time before use.
The authorities have been promising to put things in order for many years and repeatedly report on projects funded by foreign donors for restoring pools for upholding and water disinfection systems. So, for example, 7 years ago, an agreement was concluded with the Government of Germany on the restoration of a water purification system, which assumed all costs. However, these plans were not realized, and now no one remembers them. Now for this purpose loans from the Islamic Development Bank ($ 9.2 million) and the World Bank ($ 17 million) have been received. The next date of pure water supply is 2007.
Only 24% of rural residents have access to clean drinking water. Meanwhile, the rural population prevails in the country, accounting for more than 73% of the population, or about 4.5 million people.
“Most of the rural water supply networks were built back in the 1960s – 1970s of the last century,” said Gul Sharifov, chief engineer of the Tajikislekhozvodoprovodstroy design and construction enterprise. Currently, their wear is about 80%, in essence, they should have been changed a long time ago. But since the end of the 1990s, such work has hardly been conducted. ”
Last summer, an outbreak of an unknown disease was observed in the Gissar district, located 20 km away. east of the capital. The infection mowed people with whole families, the hospitals were overcrowded, there were deaths. All the data talked about the appearance of cholera, but officials denied this.
In the south of Tajikistan, near the Tajik-Afghan border, is the Vose district, which the locals dubbed the "valley of death." For a long time, a hotbed of tuberculosis has existed here, which was liquidated during the Soviet era by many sanitary and medical measures, including the construction of a centralized water supply system 12 km long. In the late 90s, a powerful mudflow blew 5 km. pipeline, and so far the funds for its restoration in the country was not found. The living conditions here turned out to be simply critical, and the rural people, usually so patient, in the spring of 2005 filed a complaint to the parliament, to their deputy Gaybullo Afzalov. “We have limited electricity supply, there is no telephone connection, a bath, a club, there is no medical examination, but most importantly, we don’t have water. We have to consume muddy water from the canals where cattle and birds are bathing. In hot weather, children are forced to drink this water, because Aryk flows near the school. But the main source of infections is arych water. Even before we die, we cannot take a bath, and she often comes to our homes, ”write 24 residents of the farm“ Abu Ali Ibn Sino ”.
As usual, the complaint bypassed the high government circles and came to the Design and Construction Enterprise "Tajikselkhozvodoprovodstroy".
“To restore the former water supply, 2 million 860 thousand somoni ($ 883 thousand) are needed,” says Gul Sharifov, “we prepared the project, we also have a specialized unit ready to fulfill this task. But we have not received public funds. With the money of the international organization OXFAM, they conducted water to the only village - Pushheni Bolo, creating a temporary water supply system. Meanwhile, about 10 thousand people are still waiting for water and suffer from its absence. ”
The situation of the inhabitants in the Beshkent district in the south-west of the country is no better. Here, as a result of irrational use of water, groundwater rose, and as a result, the soil turned out to be so saline that even saline does not grow. People left these places, emptied entire villages built in Soviet times. Almost a decade later, by the decision of the authorities, people from the Gorno-Badakhshan region were resettled here, who have nowhere to live and nothing to do in the tiny mountain valleys.
The main problem of immigrants is water supply. “Our organization has a water intake where three wells have been drilled,” says Gul Vakhobov. “But the line has not been used since the 80s due to the departure of the population, and was clogged. All this can be restored, but this requires materials and equipment that we do not have. ”
Scientists of the Tajik State Medical University (TSMU) have been sounding the alarm for a long time. The state of the water supply, according to their conviction, is characterized by a high degree of potential epidemiological danger, and many regions of the country, including Dushanbe, suffered massive aquatic epidemics of intestinal diseases - OKZ, typhoid fever, jaundice, dysentery, and leptospirosis.
Hamdam Rafiyev, head of the epidemiology department at the TSMU, says: “The epidemic of typhoid fever in Tajikistan has dragged on for many years. In 1997, this figure was the highest in the world. The malaria epidemic does not stop, the incidence of tuberculosis is growing, which threatens to become a catastrophe for the population. In recent years, the death rate from tuberculosis has tripled, and every year it increases by 25-30%. ”
According to research scientists, the most polluted rivers are Kafirnigan, Syr-Darya, Vakhsh and Varzob. Moreover, the water, crystal clear in the sources of rivers, becomes deadly, bypassing residential settlements in which the river bed is used instead of sewage.
“The Varzob River, which supplies the capital, is polluted by 74 objects, including industrial enterprises, sanatoriums, settlements without sewage systems, numerous restaurants and people resting on its banks. As a result, the indicator of water purity (coli index), which normally should be about 3, is a million in our water. This is very dangerous for people, ”says Hamdam Rafiev.
Meanwhile, over the course of 15 years, construction and reconstruction of water pipelines is almost not carried out, especially in rural areas. Most of the water supply systems ceased to function. At the same time, open water bodies used for household and drinking needs are massively polluted from the overloaded sewers of the country's cities, from the numerous runoffs and discharges of agriculture, especially in the warm period of time.