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STATEMENT: Concerning emergency situation of water and heat supply in Western Turkmenistan

To Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov,

The President of Turkmenistan Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

STATEMENT

concerning emergency situation of water and heat supply in Western Turkmenistan

Dear Mr. President!

We would like to draw your attention to the emergency situation of water and heat supply in Western Turkmenistan and Caspian settlements in particular.

In the past summer, some districts of the city of Turkmenbashi (Krasnovodsk) and other settlements experienced ten to fifteen days waterless periods. The situation is extremely tense in Karabogaz (Bekdash) and Khazar (Cheleken), other major Caspian cities. The lack of drinking water for several days has become commonplace. The situation is more distressful in Guvly Mayak, Kiyanly and other smaller Caspian settlements.

It should be noted that the situation of inadequate water supply has become critical not only this past summer but is maintaining for the past ten years. Moreover, the situation deteriorates.

No less urgent is the situation of heat supply in settlements in Western Turkmenistan. Fourteen out of fifteen schools in the city of Turkmenbashi do not get heated at all. More than ten kindergartens and hospitals as well as residential houses are cut from the central heating system. The situation of the lack of heating in social and educational institutions as well as health facilities is similarly tense in other settlements in Western Turkmenistan.

Inadequate provision of water and heat (and their absence) has led to the fact that many hospitals cannot work to the utmost and carry out treatment at a decent level. Those who suffer in the first place are the most vulnerable members of our society – sick people and children.

Medical facilities are trying to get out of this situation on their own. For example, when hospitalized to the Turkmenbashi city hospital, the patient should come with a canister of water and his own electric stove. Similar requirements are made in labor departments and children 's wards in local hospitals.

We believe that the cause of emergency situation of water and heat supply in Western Turkmenistan consists of several key aspects that require immediate solutions:

  1. Niyazov's reforms to nationalization production sector personnel have led to the exodus of specialists who are not ethnic Turkmen. Thousands and thousands of specialists experienced in management as well as realizing the most complicated technical tasks were fired;
  2. Niyazov's reform to close vocational technical schools and training colleges have led to the severe shortage of skilled workers and middle managers;
  3. Active involvement of foreign companies, in particular Turkish ones to reform Turkmenistan's industrial potential has led to the destruction of the national construction industry and maintenance companies. Dozens of multicorporate enterprises, building-and-construction departments as well as production divisions were closed including those that were directly in charge of development and operation of water and heat supply systems;
  4. A fear of reprisals the cities executives, settlement administrations and heads of industrial enterprises have as well as the prohibition against critics have led to a systematic cover-up of the true scale of disaster in water and heat supply system in Western Turkmenistan as well as the whole country;
  5. The lack of a single strategic plan for water and heat supply systems development has led to the loss of state control over the vital sphere of life;
  6. The colossal expenditures on prestigious construction of hotels, palaces, international tourist Avaza zone and extremely costly state institutions have led to a chronic, long-term underfunding of entire industries and public utilities citizens well-being depends of.

We urge you Mr. President, to immediately address these issues and being the guarantor of the constitutional rights of citizens to exert maximum efforts to reconstruct and develop water and heat supply systems in Western Turkmenistan as well as the whole country.

Vyacheslav Mamedov, Head of Civil Democratic Union of Turkmenistan

Source: TIHR