Kazaly district of Kyzylorda region is located in the lower stream of Syrdarya River. Kazaly district is home to about 80 thousand people. The majority of the population lives in Aiteke Bi, a small town established around the railroad station. The railroad plays a major role in the local economy. The main livelihood of the rural population is rice cultivation, livestock breeding, fishing, reed harvesting, and melon gardens.Continue reading
Khujand is the city in the north of Tajikistan and the administrative center of the Sughd region. It is the second largest city in Tajikistan in terms of population after its capital city – Dushanbe. According to the census data, as of the 1st of January 2019 181, 600 people resided in Khujand city. Khujand is one of the most ancient cities in Central Asia. Just like many other ancient cities it was founded by the river – the great river of Syrdarya.Continue reading
Traditional water managers in Central Asia used to be called “Mirabs.” The profession of “mirab” has disappeared in its traditional understanding from the Central Asian region. The closest parallel today are municipal workers who perform the duties of “mirabs” these days. Traditionally, “mirabs” controlled the flow of water through irrigation canals and ditches, making sure that crops and green areas/pasture were watered on time. Canals running through the village also cooled down the area during hot summers. Mirabs also monitored the timely cleaning of the irrigation canals and sustainable use of water. Skills for this vocation and position were passed down through generations in some families…
The video consists of archival footage of real-life mirabs and interviews with contemporary irrigation specialists
Over the course of a thousand years, the population living along the Syr Darya River has accumulated a rich body of ecological knowledge. This includes traditional knowledge of water, related to local livelihoods dependent on irrigated agriculture. However, the riparian ecosystems have been degrading over the last hundred years.Continue reading
Shamaldy-Sai settlement by the Naryn River (KYRGYZSTAN)
Most cities in the world developed along rivers, since these play an important role in urban life. Water is a vital substance not only in the ecological sense, but also in the social sense. This is especially evident in people’s interactions with rivers, which are the most populated water bodies in the world. When people interact with water, it ceases to be simply a molecule of H2O and takes on other social elements. This page will give you some insights into the life of the Shamaldy-Sai settlement on the Naryn River. The social anthropologist and exhibition coordinator Gulzat Baialieva herself was born and grew up in what is simply known as “poselok Shamaldy-Sai”.Continue reading
Naryn the Glorious, Naryn the Deadly, Naryn our Future Wealth?
The mountains of Kyrgyzstan are often described as a ‘water tower’ for the agricultural oases of Central Asia. But while cutting through the valley for several hundred kilometres, the topographic relief of the Naryn allows for little direct use of the river for irrigation or extracting drinking water. The Naryn has dug out a steep bed in an otherwise quite level valley, often between forbidding cliffs and escarpments. Sometimes, you can hardly see the river hiding in its steep river bed – as on the picture below.