Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Cutting-Edge Business in Kyrgyz South

At the Batken market in southern Kyrgyzstan, the old trade of sharpening tools is in particular demand this winter.
People bring in their knives, axes and other tools to have a new edge put on them by the professional sharpeners who set up their grinders in the open air.

This winter, the trade is being kept especially busy as people from rural areas are cutting a lot of firewood, so tools become blunted much more quickly. They use the wood to heat their homes because the mains electricity supply is plagued with blackouts.

There is always a danger their trip will be wasted, because nowadays the traditional knife-sharpeners run their grinders on electricity as well.

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