Kyrgyzstan (pop. 5 million) is small mountainous country located in Central Asia between China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
While Kyrgyzstan is rich in natural resources, – it has a high potential for hydropower and large gold deposits, – 40% of the population live below the poverty line. 70% of the poor live in rural areas. There has been a massive emigration of (young) men looking for a job, especially to neighbouring countries like Russia, and many rural communities count mostly women, children and elderly. 55% of the population works in the agricultural sector.
Like many Central Asian countries Kyrgyzstan’s citizens, especially in the rural areas, face acute water supply problems such as contamination and lack of access. Piped water supply has decreased compared to the year 2000. Water-borne diseases are common, increasing the poor health of the population. In rural areas, only 12% of the population has access to improved sanitation. Rural communities also face energy problems, gas prices have quadrupled leading to increase fuel wood use and thus deforestation and erosion. Lack of energy also leads to deterioration of public health and to poverty in general. This is exacerbated by climate change and the harsh winters. Some mountain areas are isolated for months from the rest of the country, with temperatures sinking to 50 degrees Celsius below zero.
Kyrgyzstan has up till recently been one of the most stable democratic countries in Central Asia. However, recently the young republic has experienced many political shocks. In a short period of time, there have been two coups and bloody ethnic clashes that weakened the economy and political structures. After the peaceful ‘Tulip Revolution’ that removed first Kyrgyz president Akaev in 2005, a second revolution took place in April 2010, when public upheaval lead to the fall down of the government and the escape of the president. A new temporary government came in place but was not prepared to deal with large scale provoked violence, leading to ethnic clashes in the South of the country. Thousands of people suffered and died. Officials say up to 2.000 civilians may have been killed during the riots in a one-month period. Many women and girls suffered from sexual abuse. Infrastructure was destroyed and many refugees needed shelter.
In 2011, WECF worked with seven partner organizations in Kyrgyzstan; on poverty reduction, gender equality, health and improving basic living standards. Project activities included constructing and testing renewable energy and energy efficiency measures such as domestic solar collectors, insulation of houses, water supply and sanitation for schools and rural households, as well as capacity building, awareness raising and policy advocacy.
Asbestos in Kyrgyzstan
Increasing awareness on asbestos in Kyrgyzstan to strenghten and support Civil Society
07.04.2011 | WICF Project
Kyrgyzstan: Home Comforts - Creating local capacity for improved rural living standards via sustainable energy and sanitation
Reduce poverty via sustainable development, specifically through improved access to basic resources such as energy and safe sanitation
15.02.2011 | WECF Project
Support of climate protection via sustainable energy by training and capacity building of local partner NGOs in Caucasus and Central Asia and networking between them
„Förderung des Klimaschutzes durch nachhaltige Energie mittels Training, Kapazitätsausbau und Vernetzung lokaler NRO-Partner im Kaukasus und in Zentralasien“
Kyrgyzstan - Decentralised and Sustainable Wastewater Management
Consulting and supporting NGOs in Kyrgyzstan to develop ecolocial sanitation and wastewater management in rural areas
19.04.2010 | WECF Project
Empowerment & Local Action (ELA)
Building the capacity of poor local communities in rural areas
Empowerment & Local Action (ELA) Kyrgyzstan
Building the capacity of poor local communities in rural areas in Kyrgyzstan