Natural resources, energy and environment
Tajikistan's most important natural resource
is the vast water resources, with stray rivers flowing
from the many glaciers. The country is estimated to have
close to one-twentieth of the world's hydropower
resources. Only a fraction is utilized but an expansion
is ongoing. There are also quite a lot of minerals, but
the rock terrain in many cases makes the extraction
Several large dam and power plant projects are in
progress, mainly in the river Vachsj. The Nurek dam was
completed already in 1980. With its 304 fall meters
long, it was the world's highest dam (a pond in China is
now 305 meters). Nurek accounts for three quarters of
the electricity produced in the country.
Major exports by Tajikistan with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Other huge dust projects were also initiated during
the Soviet era (1920–1991) but stopped during the 1990s.
They were later resumed. Two power plants, Sangtuda-1
and Sangtuda-2, have been financed by Russia and Iran
respectively and were inaugurated in 2009 and 2011.
The ongoing construction of the huge Rogund dam has
sparked sharp protests. In neighboring Uzbekistan,
people were worried for a long time about their water
supply (see Foreign Policy and Defense) and the dam is
also estimated to cause around 42,000 people in
Tajikistan to leave their homes. Some have already
moved. If the Rogund dam is built completely clear
according to the plans, it will be the highest in the
world, with a 335 meter fall height.
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Energy is imported
Despite the good water supply, there is a lack of
energy in Tajikistan. A majority of residents suffer
from electricity shortages during the winter. They
suffer from cold and unhealthy indoor air due to coal
burning. One problem is the outdated Soviet-built
electricity grid, which mainly runs in an east-west
direction, while the country needs the most transfers
from north to south. This applies not least to
increasing sales of electricity to Afghanistan and
Extractions of crude oil and natural gas exist, which
foreign companies are exploiting for future extraction.
There are also coal reserves. A Chinese-owned coal power
plant was inaugurated in Dushanbe in 2014 and will in
the long term provide for almost half of the capital's
electricity and heating needs.
So far, large parts of the fuel needs are covered by
imports. Since 2017, natural gas has been purchased from
Uzbekistan, which, due to a conflict with Tajikistan,
ceased supplies in 2012. Gas sales to Tajikistan were
resumed following a regime change in the neighboring
country (see Foreign Policy and Defense).
Gold, silver, lead, zinc, mercury, antimony, coal,
salt and strontium are extracted. The mountainous
terrain is often an obstacle to increased production.
Tajikistan is also rich in uranium, which was
extracted by primitive methods during the Soviet era. As
a result, around 50 million tonnes of radioactive waste
is found mainly in the northern part of the country.
Often, the waste has been left completely without
action, making it a threat to the environment and human
health. In some vulnerable areas, cancer is more than
three times as common as elsewhere.
Like its neighboring countries, Tajikistan has also
been affected by environmental degradation as a result
of unilateral cotton cultivation. The result is salting
and poisoning of both soil and water, problems that were
exacerbated during the civil war in the 1990s when the
management of irrigation systems was neglected.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
338 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
1492 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
5 189 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
0.6 ton (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
44.7 percent (2015)
Long prison sentence for opposition politicians
Opposition politician Zaid Sajdov is sentenced to 26 years in prison (see May
The government is being reformed
Several government members are replaced after the election. Oqil Oqilov, who
has been Prime Minister since 1999, is replaced by Qohir Rasulzoda.
The President re-elected
Rahmon wins the presidential election with 84 percent of the vote, according
to official data. The turnout is stated to be 86.6 percent.
Opposition Allians boycott presidential elections
Ojnihol Bobonazarova withdraws from the presidential election on the grounds
that she has been harassed and has been unable to present the 210,000 signatures
required. The parties behind her candidacy decide to boycott the election.
The Russian agreement clearly
Parliament ratifies the agreement with Russia that the Russian military may
remain in the country until 2042 (see August 2012).
Presidential elections are announced
Decides that presidential elections will be held on 6 November; An opposition
coalition with the Islamic Renewal Party and the Social Democratic Party
nominates Ojnihol Bobonazarova as its candidate in the election.
Prison for support for opposition politicians
Opposition politician Zaid Sajdov's family members and supporters are
sentenced to short prison sentences after demonstrating with demands that he be
released from detention (see May 2013).
"Russian military left until 2042"
Following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Rahmon
declares that the Tajik Parliament will ratify an agreement during the year to
extend Russia's military presence in Tajikistan to 2042. The agreement was
concluded in October 2012, but the Tajik Parliament has delayed ratification.
Russia has over 6,000 soldiers in the country.
Prison for suspected Islamists
Two men accused of membership in the militant Islamist group Jundallah are
sentenced to prison for 20 and 15 years respectively. The men, both of whom are
Tajik citizens, must have been members of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
(IMU) in the past. Jundallah has been mainly active in southeastern Iran and
operates from bases in Pakistan.
Many accusations against opposition politicians
Opposition politician Zaid Saidov (see April 2013) is arrested and accused of
corruption, rape and polygamy. He is deprived of his parliamentary immunity and
is not granted freedom of bail. Saidov denies the allegations and claims that
they are politically motivated.
Clashes in Tajik exclave
Twelve people are injured when Tajiks attack Kyrgyz road workers in Voruch, a
Tajik exclave inside Kyrgyzstan. The Tajiks accuse Kyrgyzstan of annexing land
to build a road around Voruch.
Called for ex-minister still free
Ukraine announces that the former Prime Minister Abdullojonov (see February
2013) called for by Tajikistan should not be extradited, as he has been living
in the US for many years. Abdullojonov is then released.
Opposition members form a new party
Opposition politician Zaid Saidov and a number of other entrepreneurs
announce that they will form a new political party, New Tajikistan
(Tojikiston Nav). They criticize the government for widespread corruption and
Suspected drug abuse in prison
A police investigator is sentenced to two years in prison since a man
suspected of theft died in custody. According to the deceased's relatives, the
man was tortured to admit crimes he had not committed. The lawyer appeals
against the sentence. Amnesty has called on President Rahmon to intervene on
torture and other abuses in prisons and prisons.
Assassination attempt on fugitive journalist
An exile journalist, Bachtijor Sattori, survives a murder trial in Moscow.
Opposition activists in exile claim that Sattori was exposed because of his ties
to Quvvatov (see December 2012) and attempts to create international pressure to
prevent his extradition.
The former prime minister is arrested
Former Prime Minister Abdumalik Abdullojonov is arrested in Ukraine, at the
request of Tajikistan. Abdullojonov was head of government from 1992 to 1993 and
from the beginning allied with Rahmon. However, he comes from Chudzhand and thus
belongs to the rival political camp in northern Tajikistan.
Tighter Internet control
The Rahmon regime once again blocks web pages on the Internet and refers to a
law that prohibits the dissemination of information that can harm the honor and
dignity of individuals.