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Central Asia is experiencing its worst drought in 13 years


Large parts of Central Asian countries are experiencing the worst drought in 13 years, while studies indicate shifts in rainfall patterns in the Tian Shan Mountains, which provide Central Asia with much of its fresh water for irrigation and pastures. Which in turn causes the destruction of a lot of agricultural land, as well as the death of large numbers of livestock.


And the "Baltic News Network" reported, in a report - that in two provinces of Kazakhstan, more than 2,000 head of livestock died due to lack of water and fodder, and farmers in Kyrgyzstan organized multiple protests in the northern Chui region due to the lack of water needed to irrigate their crops, especially as they They are about to lose this season's crop if the authorities do not provide them with water.


Besides, water shortages in Uzbekistan led to crop losses and high prices for seasonal vegetables, while drought in Samarkand region of Uzbekistan disrupted drinking water supplies; This prompted the Uzbek authorities to impose water rationing in the city of Samarkand.. In Turkmenistan, drought caused a drop in pasture yields and a decrease in livestock fodder.


The network quoted Ben Orlov, the chief research scientist at the Earth Institute of the College of Climate in Columbia, as saying that recent studies indicate shifts in rainfall patterns in the Tian Shan Mountains, which provide Central Asia with much of its fresh water for irrigation and pastures, noting that - with the high temperature Climate heat - pastures, crops and livestock require more water to survive, just as water is becoming scarcer.


A 2017 report funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation stated that despite a general commitment to cooperation in Central Asian countries, water policies in the region are mostly driven by uncoordinated national strategies.


The combination of low water efficiency, negative externalities caused by unilateral actions and competing national priorities has led to disagreements that have contributed to strengthening political and diplomatic differences between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.


The report warned that the cost of failing to improve water management in Central Asia could reach $4.5 billion each year.


According to the Baltic News Network, researchers and experts believe that Central Asian governments still have options to mitigate extreme weather events in the region. There are many options available to governments, as they can support water-saving technologies and expand crop and livestock insurance (linked to seasonal and annual weather forecasts). , and thus support producers in making decisions that conserve water resources and promote land use practices that conserve soil moisture, especially since such programs are more effective when implemented in full cooperation with local organizations and communities.

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