Kyrgyzstan: Winter energy crisis OCHA situation report - 19 Feb 2009



- The appeal has been revised to take into account changing needs as the winter progresses. The appeal now seeks USD 14.7 million (down from USD 20.6 million) of which USD 6.7 million (48%) has been funded.

- The Ministry of Health has reported a deterioration of the health status of school children related to micronutrient deficits.

- Heavy snowfalls in February have aggravated energy shortages and caused avalanches.


1. Scheduled power cuts are continuing around the country leaving hospitals and other critical institutions outside provincial centres without power for several hours a day. Preliminary results of a survey of medical institutions carried out for WHO by the Ministry of Health highlight some consequences of the power outrage including, disruption of laboratory tests and the cold chain, postponement of surgery to adjust to blackout schedules, delayed diagnose and irregular water supply.

2. The Institute for War and Peace Reporting informs that many residents of high-rise buildings in provincial cities are now using coal or wood burning stoves to make up for a loss of central electrically-provided heating. An increase in the incidence of burns and carbon monoxide poisoning has been reported. In addition, the State Agency for Natural Resources and Forestry stated that the energy crisis has led to a 6.8% increase in illegal wood cutting.

3. As of 17 February the volume of Toktogul Reservoir was 7.16 billion cubic metres, 88% of the volume at the same time last year. Energy Minister, Ilyas Davydov, gave assurances that by 1 April the volume would be not less than 6.15 billion cubic metres, just below last year's volume. In order to increase levels, however, this would still likely necessitate scheduled power cuts over the summer.

4. Heavy snowfalls at the beginning of February led to additional large-scale power outages in many parts of the country. In addition, there were avalanches and roadblocks in Toktogul, Togoz Toro and Alabuka districts of Jalalabat Province, leading to the closure of the main road between the north and south of the country. On 9 February a 5,000 m=B3 landslides in Uzgen District of Osh Province left 100 households without access to drinking water.

5. On 6 February, the Ministry of Health reported a deterioration of the health status of schoolchildren. According to this study, 20-25 percent of children leave school with chronic diseases, of which thyroid gland diseases and anaemia are particularly significant. Both affections are largely connected to a deficit of micronutrients in the diet.

6. On 30 January, the Ministry of Agriculture reported that anthrax had been registered at 1219 sites around the country. On 9 February the Ministry of Health reported that 46 cases have been reported among humans since May 2008, of which more than half occurred in Jalalabat Province. Causes include the high level of residual anthrax among livestock and pastureland in southern Kyrgyzstan, the lack of veterinary medicines, the lack of veterinary controls over sale and the lack of a compensation mechanism for diseased animals.


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