Tajikistan

Tajikistan Prepares for Winter Power Cuts

 

Despite the numerous hydroelectric schemes in operation or under construction, Tajikistan is facing up to the prospect of another winter blighted by power cuts.

From the beginning of November, residents of rural, often mountain areas were told they would get electricity ten or 12 hours a day. Villagers are laying in kerosene lamps, candles and firewood. If climatic conditions are worse, increasing the demand for power, availability is likely to be further curtailed.

The state power company Barq-i Tojik has traditionally covered the winter shortages by buying in electricity from neighbouring states.

But Uzbekistan is now prepared to let the Tajiks have only a limited amount, and charges a high price for it. Turkmenistan would be willing to supply power, but that has been obstructed by Uzbekistan’s unwillingness to allow the power to pass through its own national grid, which lies between the two countries.

This audio programme, in Russian and Tajik, went out on national radio stations in Tajikistan, as part of IWPR project work funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.