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Digital Sketches

digital citizen media, ict with a focus on Central Asia and the Middle East.

Tag Archives: central asia

A general frustration in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are the fast increasing prices for food and oil. But also water – and therefore electricity – is becoming a huge problem in the region. During July and August Kazakh farmers had to slaughter parts of their cattle, as continuously dry weather poses serious threat of losing the entire livestock. The winter of 2008 promises to be the hardest in decades as Kyrgyzstan is getting prepared to massive energy cuts in autumn and cold winter. Low river and reservoir levels and the need to save energy forced the government to introduce energy cuts in August and prohibit using electricity for heating.

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Water could lead to fire, Radio Free Europe

No more Kyrgyz electricity to Ferghana Valley, NewEurasia

Kyrgyzstan denies using regional water resources,


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After his return froma three-week long trip through Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan Ben Paarmann – co founder and editor of the blogging network NewEurasia – found the scariest part the road between Bishkek and Balykchy ashore the Issyk Kul. (…) : ‘The recipe seems simple: Too many cars, police too sparse on the ground or too corrupt to enforce speed limits, and of course absolutely reckless driving.’ Unfortunately he is so right, I experienced during my last visit in July.

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Although I did not visit Osh this year I can report a short follow up to the story on Solomon’s throne, published July 2007.

Last year the mayor of Osh planned to build a lift on Solomon’s Rock. A lift could bring more people to the top in a more comfortable way. There were several protests against the plan: it is said Central Asian muslims consider visiting this rock three times, equal to the hadj to Mecca. Also there was a lively rumour the rock was on the Unesco World Heritage list. It was of course pretty easy to find it was NOT on this list. Altogether I was convinced the last word had not been said about this.

Last week, during my dutytrip for Hivos, I met reporters from the youth portal Kloop. After some fact checking, amongst others anaylzing Unesco’s criteria, they found the rock was on the Unesco nomination list. Definitely the mayor will have to redefine his plans because a lift will be out of the question.

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On You Tube you can find several short scenes for example of the opening of Barcamp Bishkek, photo’s and reports of bloggers.

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