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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid