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Tajikistan: Climate Change Imperils Mountain Dwellers

A flash flood carrying tons of mud and debris tore down this valley, washing away the homes and belongings of around 80 families in the Tajik village of Barsem. Abnormal weather patterns, possibly due to climate change, and the dangerous consequences are highlighting how many rural communities are ill-equipped to deal with the climate chaos. (Photo: EurasiaNet)

One day in mid-July, Nazim brought a truckload of clothes and food to his home in Barsem, a village in the Pamir Mountains of east Tajikistan, in preparation for his wedding later in the summer.
 
The following afternoon, on July 16, a flash flood sent mud and debris tearing through Barsem, carrying away Nazim’s home along with those of around 80 other families.
 
“We sent a whole Kamaz [truck] full of things for the wedding. We even had some money there,” said Nazim, lying on his side on the floor of a tent in a camp created to house former residents of Barsem. “Everything was washed away.”
 
Extensive flooding across Tajikistan this summer has highlighted a need to implement measures that can better protect at-risk communities. Many mountain villages are ill-equipped to deal with the climate chaos that scientists believe is awaiting as temperatures rise and glaciers in Central Asia melt.
 

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Tajikistan: Climate Change Imperils Mountain Dwellers

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