News / Asia

Tajikistan Plans to Build World's Tallest Hydro Dam

A propaganda poster for the Rogun dam project outside of Dushanbe features Tajikistan's president and builder in chief Emomalii Rahmon, October 1, 2011.
A propaganda poster for the Rogun dam project outside of Dushanbe features Tajikistan's president and builder in chief Emomalii Rahmon, October 1, 2011.
James Brooke

With high mountains covering half of the nation, landlocked Tajikistan would like to become the Switzerland of Central Asia, exporting hydroelectricity to its neighbors.  But first it has to generate enough power to avoid more winters of electricity rationing at home.

Wearing a hard hat in publicity photos, Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon wants to be his nation’s builder-in-chief.

In September, he inaugurated the world’s tallest flagpole.  Next year, he wants to start building the world’s tallest dam. Called Rogun, it would rise almost as high as the Empire State Building.

Designed to be the biggest hydroelectric plant in Central Asia, this $2 billion project could end power shortages at home, and export excess electricity around Central Asia, to Afghanistan and on to Pakistan.

Muhiddin Kabiri, who leads Tajikistan’s opposition Islamic Revival Party, says after the government sold $200 million worth of dam construction bonds to people in this poor country last year, dam-building has to start soon or the government will lose face.

Daily Life in Tajikistan


Water is the lifeblood for Central Asia, a region where the population has doubled since the Soviet Union collapsed 20 years ago.  Tajik cotton fields and fruit orchards will be guaranteed irrigation water.

But downstream from the dam, Uzbekistan fears for its crops.  It wants to stop Rogun.

Izzatmand Salomov, a Tajik journalist, dismisses worries about water wars.  Salomov calls Uzbekistan’s ecological complaints "fairy tales."  Salomov adds that Uzbekistan fears losing money from selling electricity to Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

Last April, after yet another winter of electricity rationing in Tajikistan, Zafar Abdullayev used Facebook to organize a protest against Tajikistan’s state power company.

Abdullayev says that Rogun is essential for Tajikistan to develop and that Uzbekistan’s worries are unfounded.

Rogun was first designed 35 years ago, in the Soviet era.  With Tajikistan now entering another winter of power rationing, Tajiks say the time has come to stop studying, and to start building.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid