Tajikistan: The ice age. Now

Despite the fact that the long-awaited hydropower station Sangtuda-1 in Tajikistan has been launched, the population still does not feel the changes. It is worth of mentioning that only the first (out of four) turbines was launched and the other three will be on till the end of this year. Despite the promises of local meteorologist, who forecasted that the cold weather will leave Tajikistan in several days, the temperature is still 16-20 degrees below the zero (Celsius).

More than that, the energy crisis is still here and gets even worse day after day, says kellyinthemountains. Apartments, schools, offices are still cold and dark. Low temperatures have forced people to wear outer clothing inside their offices and homes:

Temperatures in Tajikistan and elsewhere in Central Asia have dropped below -20 Celsius in some areas. Heavy snowfalls and avalanches have disrupted public transport in many cities and villages. Some bus drivers who are brave enough to go on the icy roads have been charging passengers twice the price for tickets.

Additionally, absence of central heating the cities and poor supply of electricity makes almost impossible to have classes in secondary schools — they were cut down from 45 to 30 minutes. Teachers and students are sitting in the classrooms in coats and scarves.

As winter does not seem to get milder, the situation does not get better, neweurasia reports:

In addition to current energy crisis, prices for the scarce electricity was increased by 20 percent and for the gas almost by 50 percent. It is happening during the winter time when the population is experiencing a great shortage of energy to heat houses and cook food. The announcement about the sharp rise in prices of electricity and gas was recently made by the local monopolist energy companies TojikGaz (natural gas) and Barqi Tojik (electricity).

Although it is legislatively prohibited to cut-off electricity at such places as hospitals, this law is violated everyday and has tragic consequences. Recently, six newly-born children died in the hospitals of Dushanbe. Local media outlets report that the main reason of these deaths were electricity cut-offs in maternity hospitals.

The electricity generated in the country is not enough even for street lights. Khurshed says that dark streets make drivers get into car accidents more often [ru].

Street lights in Dushanbe are off almost for almost a week and the number of traffic accidents has noticeably increased.

Today, Tajik news agencies reported that the government ordered to close down all plants, factories and other enterprises till the end of January in order to save energy. Yesterday, the head of major energy company “Barki Tojik” (electricity) reported that the level of water in Nurek reservoir is rapidly becoming less. This reservoir provides water for the major hydropower station Nurek, which generates more than 80 per cent of electricity in the country. “Barki Tojik” says that if the use of electricity is not going to decrease, the water in the reservoir will be not enough till mid-February to generate electricity.

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