The Aral Sea is bringing new wealth to fishing villages in Kazakhstan, but their neighbours on the opposite shore in Uzbekistan are suffering a very different fate. For a young Madi Zhasekenov, summertime on the shoreline of the Aral Sea was an idyllic affair. His three-month school holidays were spent at the port near his home in Aralsk, south-western Kazakhstan, interacting with fishermen hauling in their daily catch.
The blog discusses how development shaped the shrinking of Aral sea. Debates around development, particularly socio-economic implication of it and disasters are in the forefront of many global discussions. While the issue of disaster risk reduction is evident in the agenda for international development, it can be argued that the same development can cause a number of socio-environmental disasters in the first place.
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In the north-east of Kenya, one of Africa's biggest lakes is shrinking. Lake Turkana is being described as the "Aral Sea of east Africa" after the inland a sea in central Asian that has almost completely disappeared. As Lake Turkana shrinks, the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Kenyans are at risk. Benedict Moran reports.
The name roughly translates as "Sea of Islands", referring to over 1, islands that had dotted its waters; in the Turkic languages aral means "island, archipelago". The shrinking of the Aral Sea has been called "one of the planet's worst environmental disasters". The water from the diverted Syr Darya river is used to irrigate about two million hectares 5, acres of farmland in the Ferghana Valley.
It straddles the boundary between Kazakhstan to the north and Uzbekistan to the south. The remnants of it nestle in the climatically inhospitable heart of Central Asia, to the east of the Caspian Sea. The Aral Sea and its demise are of great interest and increasing concern to scientists because of the remarkable shrinkage of its area and volume that began in the second half of the 20th century—when the region was part of the Soviet Union —and continued into the 21st.
E-mail: erik. Access to safe water and food is linked to global, regional and local climate changes. In some areas swift changes have entailed serious health-related consequences.
MUYNAK, Uzbekistan — The fierce windstorm that walloped this small defunct port in late spring stunned even a local ecologist long resigned to the devastation wrought by the disappearance of the once ample Aral Sea. A thick, stinging haze greeted the ecologist, Gileyboi Zhyemuratov, as he stepped outside that day in May. Zhyemuratov, 57, a descendant of generations of fishermen in a place where there are no longer any fish. It blotted out the sky and left the residents of the former port, Muynak, in western Uzbekistan, chewing salty grit.
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A new study using data from NASA satellite missions finds that, although the long-term water picture for the Aral Sea watershed in Central Asia remains bleak, short-term prospects are better than previously thought. Once the fourth largest inland sea in the world, the Aral Sea has lost 90 percent of its water volume over the last 50 years. Its watershed -- the enormous closed basin around the sea -- encompasses Uzbekistan and parts of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.