Energy ambitions fuel Central Asian rivalry

Construction on new hydroelectric dam stirs Tajik-Uzbek tensions in dispute over shared natural resources.

    Tajikistan has accused neighbouring Uzbekistan of imposing an economic blockade in a dispute over shared natural resources between the former Soviet states.

    This blockade includes ending all freight at the border with Uzbekistan and a cut-off of vital gas supplies by Uzbekistan to the Tajik nation.

    The mountainous state wants to ramp up construction of hyrdroelectric plants and store water from the nation's 25,000 rivers to power them, but downstream, Uzbekistan says the plans by Tajikistan would cut off a water supply they rely on for irrigation.

    As part of the Soviet Union the neighbouring republics freely shared their resources, but since independence in 1991 both nations have pursued individual energy programs.

    The construction of the Roghun hydroelectric dam in Tajikistan - at a projected 13b kWh of electricity per year, officials say it could one day make Tajikistan an energy exporter in the region - has raised fears that the blocking of Vakhsh River would greatly reduce water supplies to farms in Uzbekistan.

    Al Jazeera's Robin Forestier-Walker reports from inside the Nurek hydroelectric station on Tajikistan's ambitions of energy independence.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Inside the world of Chinese bitcoin mining

    Inside the world of Chinese bitcoin mining

    China is one of the main exchange markets and hosts some of the biggest bitcoin 'mining pools' in the world.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.