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July 2011

UZBEK ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT OPPOSES TAJIK POWER PLANT

Source: The Times of Central Asia, 1.07.2011

On June 23, the Environmental Movement of Uzbekistan sent a letter to the speaker of the European Parliament to complain about an MEP who favored the construction of the Rogun hydroelectric plant in Tajikistan.

The movement complained to Speaker Jerzy Buzek about Struan Stevenson, who apparently made the controversial statements in favor of the Rogum project. Environmentalists claim that the ill-considered Soviet-era policy to control the natural flow of Central Asia's Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers by building gigantic hydroelectric plants in the 1970-80s is the reason for the drying up of the Aral Sea.

The movement said people living in the Aral Sea region are worried about the construction of the Rogun plant because this project would sharply reduce the supply of drinking water from the Amu Darya, affecting 18 million people living along the river.

The movement also warned the European Parliament that the plant is to be built in an area of significant seismic activity, where strong earthquakes may fracture the dam, resulting in "12 billion cubic meters of water inflicting irreparable damage to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan".

TAJIKS IN DAM RESETTLEMENT COMPLAIN OF COMPENSATION PROBLEMS

Source: The Times of Central Asia, 1.07.2011

The coordinator of the Ta-jic program of resettlement of thousands of people from the area around the Roghun Dam says that there are problems with the compensation for the villagers. Without full compensation for their homes, villagers refuse to leave. Tahmina Juraeva, who works in the Tajik Human Rights Office, said the villagers' compensation for leaving their homes is not enough to build new houses in the places where they are being relocated.

Davlatoy Dahmardaeva, who lives in the Sicharogh village in the Nurobod district, reported on June 24 that they are ready to move into their new homes because they understand the importance of the Roghun Dam and the hydropower plant it will supply. Nevertheless, he said they do not want it to be built without them being properly compensated for the loss of their homes and communities.

Dodarjon Jobirov, an official from the Nurobod district located about 110 kilometers east of Dushanbe, told RFE/RL that every family is to receive between 130,000-200,000 somonis ($28,500-$44,000) to reimburse them for their homes and to build a new house.