IWPR Tajikistan: Village Resettlement Plan Fails in Tajikistan
Most settlers have gone back to their mountain village after landing in a desert region.
www.iwpr.net By Nasima Muborokshoeva
Members of a community resettled from a mountainous part of Tajikistan 13 years ago have been trickling back home after finding life untenable in their new homes.
After a 2002 mudslip killed 24 people and devastated the village of Dasht in Badakhshan, a high-altitude region in southeast Tajikistan, residents were offered homes in Nosiri Khisraw district in the far southwest.
When they got there, they found that little in the way of infrastructure had been put in place, and it was almost impossible to grow crops in the arid flatlands. With no source of water for irrigation and household use, many of the settlers fell ill.
“We collected money and bought young plants, prepared the soil, and paid for tractor drivers and diesel,” Daler Chorshambiev recalls. “But for four months in a row, there was no water, no rain. Nothing grew on that land. How were we supposed to go on living there?”
Very few of the settlers remain in Nosiri Khisraw now. Only 14 of the original 60-plus families have stayed on. The authorities in Roshkala have built 20 homes for the returning settlers, although the damage done by the natural disaster 13 years ago has not been cleared up and there is every chance of further landslides.
Nasima Muborokshoeva is an IWPR contributor in Tajikistan. This audio programme went out in Russian and Tajik on national radio stations in Tajikistan. It was produced under two IWPR projects: Empowering Media and Civil Society Activists to Support Democratic Reforms in Tajikistan, funded by the European Union, and Strengthening Capacities, Bridging Divides in Central Asia, funded by the Foreign Ministry of Norway. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of IWPR and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of either the European Union or the Norwegian foreign ministry.