One of the biggest problems in Kyrgyzstan’s provinces, particularly Naryn, is a lack of cemeteries and waste disposal sites – with predictable results.
Kochkor district is a gateway to Naryn, a major administrative centre with a growing population of up to 25,000, but it is claimed that local authorities have consistently failed to acquire any of the surrounding farming land to deal with an equally growing problem of burials and waste disposal.
The farmers of Kochkor district are among the largest suppliers of food products to the cities, villages and regions of Naryn and Bishkek, and most of their land is owned privately and used for crop planting and cattle grazing.
With neighboring administrations refusing to sell vacant land, local people and businesses find themselves unable to bury their dead and dispose of waste appropriately, and are making use of anywhere they can, on land and in rivers which are used to irrigate crops.
The environmental hazards of these dumps and burials lie in the fact that they gradually affect all parts of the environment
Designating land for use as cemeteries and landfill has proved doubly challenging for local authorities, which are regularly fined up to 35,000 som by central government for this failure of adequate provision.
However, the Initiative for Local Cooperation and Transparency, run by the Business Law Foundation and the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia, is aimed at improving the quality of local government services, and has since recommended reporting its findings to Parliament, and the creation of a state commission.
Taalaibek Duisheev, a local resident, said: “I find it difficult to describe our municipal services. They don’t allocate the land for garbage to betaken to. There is a real stench where this waste has been thrown out, like from dead bodies of dogs and livestock. There isn’t enough equipment, or containers.”
Indira Zhakipova, Editor of environmental information service EKOIS, said: “Illegal garbage dumps are very common – and in most cases are left alone, but that doesn’t mean they are any less dangerous. The environmental hazards of these dumps and burials lie in the fact that they gradually affect all parts of the environment. In addition, a characteristic feature of this source of pollution is its constantly changing nature.”
AbdyvazimCholponkadyrov, head of the village Kochkor, said: “We don’t have designated places for graves and rubbish dumps. These problems have continued for the last five years, and three heads of district administrations have not been able to resolve them.”
By Begimai Sataeva