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

Power Crisis Gets Worse

The electricity supply has deteriorated to a point where people in remote parts of Tajikistan are only getting an hour a day.
Even the capital Dushanbe is experiencing power cuts.

The reason for this sudden deterioration is that Uzbekistan stopped allowing electricity which the Tajiks buy from Turkmenistan to transit its national grid at the beginning of January.

Reporter Ismattulla Azizzoda visited the Varzob district, a mountainous area not far from the capital Dushanbe, where local man Zioddin Kasimov has gone a long way to solving his village’s problems with a home-made hydroelectric power station.

Kasimov was well qualified for the project, as he is a mechanic at the Sangtuda hydroelectric power station, which was handy when he needed technical advice.

The 40 kilowatt unit cost him just 5,000 US dollars to make, although initially he faced numerous objections from residents of neighbouring villages who feared their water supply would be obstructed, and also from neighbours and even his wife Fatima.

“I used to tell him off… he would ask me to give him some more money for it but I would say no,” recalled Fatima. “Now I’m really glad they built the power station… we have electricity and so do the neighbours.”

Kasimov’s next project is building a series of small power stations along a nearby river to provide electricity for other villages, free of charge.

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