Resettled Villagers Say Life Unbearable

People who moved down from the mountains of eastern Tajikistan following landslides several years ago say life in their new homes is so tough that they want to go back.

Resettled Villagers Say Life Unbearable

People who moved down from the mountains of eastern Tajikistan following landslides several years ago say life in their new homes is so tough that they want to go back.

Friday, 22 May, 2009
Seven years ago, the government resettled 1,500 people from Badakhshan and Kulyab to flatter land in the southwest of the country after their homes were destroyed in landslides.



But as reporter Jamoliddin Sayfiddinov discovered in a village called Bahor, most of the settlers have gone back because the promised levels of state assistance were not forthcoming.



Of the 104 families in Bahor, who came originally from Ishkashim in Badakhshan, only 14 remain because conditions are so poor. Their village in the Nosiri Khisrav district is located on land saturated with subsoil waters.



“We live practically on top of water, but there’s none that’s drinkable anywhere,” said Tajibek Bekarorov, one of those who stayed. “We have to walk four kilometres to get it. It’s impossible to live here – it’s damp everywhere.”



Another man, Qurbon Matkholov, said, “We very much regret moving here. We want to go back. I get up in the morning and spend all day dragging water five kilometres in this wheelbarrow. The cart broke.”



There is a local school, but there are not enough teachers, so the children attend erratically, spending perhaps two hours a day in class. The rest of the time they do manual work to help their families.

Tajikistan
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