Why would the international community care about the crisis in Tajikistan?
[inspic=26,leftclear,fullscreen,460] Photo from World Bank Photo Collection.
This is the question that I have been thinking about since the time when the Tajik government officially admitted its impotence to cope with the energy crisis that we have in our country and appealed to international community for help to survive the coldest winter in five decades (by BBC). But, why should the international community correct the mistakes of our government? The help of other countries means a temporary cure for Tajikistan but not the full treatment. When they give assistance to the population they give assistance to the government which itself does not care about its people. By appealing to the international community the government wants to put its burden on someone else.
Here is another question that makes me wonder: why the humanitarian aid from other countries is considered as a right thing but when it comes to promotion of democracy (or anything like that) it is considered as interference in internal affairs?
The supply of electricity is decreasing day after day as the water in Nurek dam decreases and it has almost reached the critical point when the Nurek hydropower station will work only on the inflow of Vakhsh River. In that situation the hydropower station will produce only 15 million kilowatts/day. To make a comparison today the aluminum plant Talco uses 16 million kilowatts/day.
In present time, most of the population in the rural areas is supplied with electricity only 1,5 hour per day. In Dushanbe the population is supplied with electricity from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the morning and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the evening. The rest of the time people dont have electricity and it also means no cooking, no heating etc. Most of the enterprises have been closed down and the employees were forced to go to unscheduled and unpaid vacations.
Students have thirty-minute classes and sit in the classrooms with their coats and hats on. And the Ministry of Education still does not want to postpone classes till the warmer times. People who live in building apartments make fires in the streets to cook food and get warm. Some of them also do not have water in their apartments because the water-pipes got frozen. Yesterday running water was cut off for reconstruction almost in the the whole city of Dushanbe for three days.
48% of hospitals and other medical centers in the country are not supplied with electricity and dont have water. There is little data about the deaths of adult people but we know that many newly-born children died during this cold period in the maternity hospitals. According to media reports, 303 babies and 12 young women have died as a result of this situation over the last month.
Things will get even worse in the spring. The energy crisis will turn into food crisis. We are already experiencing it (by BBC).
Today the farmers cannot save the crop which was harvested last year and they try to sell it for cheaper prices as soon as they can. These products mostly fruits and vegetables – are supposed to be sold in the spring. Because of the cold winter we lost most of the crop planted in fall. We lost most of the grape gardens and some other fruit gardens that could not survive because of the abnormal cold. Also, according to the official statistics Tajikistan lost more than seven hundred hectares of potato fields. Taking into consideration that more than 93% of Tajikistan is mountains, this is a substantial amount.
We already buy one non (round bread) for two somonis (almost 60 cents). Last week it cost 1 somoni and one year ago it cost 20 dirams (1 somoni = 100 dirams).
The most interesting thing is that, we blame everyone for our problems Uzbeks who dont give us gas, Kyrgyz who dont give us electricity, Afghans who use our electricity etc. but we dont blame ourselves. If we will not understand that it is only us who can change the situation we will live in such terrible conditions forever.
I am not against the humanitarian aid, but this can not endure forever. The sad thing about the whole situation is that, the warmer period will come and people will forget about this crisis. Today is really warm outside and I’m sure that half of the population has forgotten about the crisis. Tajiks are such people by nature that they go to see a doctor only when they are with one leg in grave. They behave in such way in regards to all other problems that they have throughout their life.