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Pamiri women and the melting glaciers of Tajikistan

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Tajikistan's Pamir Mountain glaciers supply over fifty percent of all the water resources of the Aral S ea Basin. Western Pamir, Khuf Valley My name is Kurbonbegim This is Khuf village I am seventy five If there is more snow on the mountains, then there is more grass for livestock. More snow, means more water for agricultural irrigation. The glaciers are useful for us. We need water for everything. We need water for drinking, irrigation, for livestock and for the mill. Our life is connected with water. Without water, what do we do? No, peole wouldn't live here, and would leave. They would go to find a better place to live. Before this, there were more Ibex. Now, you don't see them. This year, there were many wolves that killed a lot of livestock. Apples and mulberries are now growing in our village and fruit trees are now growing in Parjuug (village downstream). Trees don't grow near our place because it is cold. Our place is too close under the mountain. but it will be better in the future. Now, its better... its good for us. The warmer weather is better than the cold. Its useful for the people, and for the land... for everything. We don't like the cold. Now it's good. Global temperature rise is causing continental glaciers like in Khuf valley to melt rapidly. Since 1960, the water volume of the glaciers has decreased by 25%. Eastern Pamir, Bulunkul Lake My name is Bakhtibegim Nebieva. I am fourty nine. Our community's life is connected with fishing and livestock. These are our main activities. I help my husband run the Meteorology station. I change the instruments graph paper and generally help him out. This year, it was very cold. Last year, there was a very large amount of snow. It was harmful for us, and more livestock died. The road was closed. Transport and supply machines couldn't get through. When its minus fifty or sixty degrees, its difficult for our livestock. The weather is unstable, sometimes cold sometimes warm. This is not good for our health. Because of this year's extreme weather, all the people were sick. All people have rhemautism. sore legs, sore hands. The lake is shrinking... smaller and smaller. Bulunkul is disappearing, its evaporating. It is having a very strong impact. There is not enough grass for our livestock. Its is harmful for the birds. They'll all die. I remember about 15 years ago, the lake (Tuz Kul) was big. In recent years, it has basically disappeared. Toz Kul has disappeared and turned into salt. The salt is picked up by the wind and is bad for our health. If the lake disappeared completely, we will die. Die. Over the last 20 years, 6 Pamiri glacial lakes almost completed dried up. Recent unstable weather patterns affecting natural cycles and human health. Western Pamir, Khorog city My name is Madina. I am seventeen, and am beginning eleventh grade. I live in Khorog Khorog is one of the most beautiful cities in Tajikistan. There are many interesting places here. For example. we have a botanical garden. We have fresh water, high mountains and in the mountains there are big glaciers and when they melt they form springs and big rivers. In Khorog, life is good but there is not much to do. Life is good because in the village the jobs are harder. However, in the village there is fresh air. My grandmother is seventy years old She has a lot of experience. I learn a lot of knowledge from her. For example, I learnt about tradtional hairstyles from her, and other knowledge. There are many cars in the city, its good for us. It allows us to get around quickly and work faster. On the other hand, more cars are not so good. Cars contaminate the environment and its bad for our health. My friends and I never talk about it (climate change). We don't know enough about it. Adults don't talk about it either. If the water disappears, we will be facing many big problems. If the water disaapears, then life will also disappear. Decreasing glaciers and river water volumes, will continue to impact urban communities downstream in other regions and countries. More than 30 million people rely on this water .

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 8 seconds
Country: Tajikistan
Language: English
Producer: United Nations University/Institute for Zoology and Parisitology Tajikistan
Director: Ivan Golovnev
Views: 139
Posted by: unuchannel on Dec 29, 2009

The glaciers of the Pamir mountains, which provide over 50% of Central Asia's water resources, are rapidly melting at a rate similar to Greenland's continental glacier. Three generations of of Pamiri women share the impacts of the melt and decreasing water levels.

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