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3 Historical Background There are 21 settlements within the Kashkadarya region that were established by Arabs. Among them are Arabaul, Arabon, Arabkhona, Arabsoy, etc. 50 km to the West of Karshi, the capital of the Kashkadarya region, on the territory of Usman Yusupov administrative district. One of these settlements is the Djeynau shirkat. In Arabic, zhina means we came. In 758-780, Arabs actively resettled on the territory of Central Asia; they saw their mission as bringing the Word of the Prophet to the region. From that time and up to the early 20 th century, Arabs, including those who settled in Djeynau village, have mainly dealt with religious education, worshipping, livestock and crop raising.

4 Historical Background In the late 19 th - early 20 th centuries, when there was a transition from Arabic writing to Latin, and than to Cyrillic, many Djeynau inhabitants could not learn new writing. By the Soviet standard they were considered to be illiterate (even though they could fluently read the Koran). Only in the middle of the 20 th century the population reached the middle of the national level of literacy. As old-aged people recall, in school they spoke and studied in Uzbek, but at home they spoke Arabic. During the Soviet period, most of Arabs (probably representing many other nationalities) changed their nationality to the titular one - Uzbek.

5 Administration,population and agriculture 559 families lived in Djeynau, and its population was 2518 people - 1339 men and 1179 women. About 55 families were Uzbek. In 1934, Djeynau became a kolkhoz. In 1964, the Kasan and Besharyk districts were united into the Kasan district. 6 kolkhozes including Djeynau were united into the separate Karshi district. The population of the “Djeynau” kishlak board was at that time 1,038 households (8,600 people). Since 1971, with the arrival of irrigation, the district began cultivation of cotton and the total harvest for the district was 89,620 tons. Specialist builders came to the village; some of them remained in Djeynau. The population of Djeynau in 1971 increased to 13,442 people (1,601 households). According to experts, in 1972 the cropping conditions improved and the harvest was plentiful.

6 Historical background of water use Prior to the construction of irrigation system, the population of Djeynau concentrated on livestock and crop raising. Crops of grain, cotton and melon were less important and were located in zones of natural irrigation, which received humidity during the spring high water. Bulls were the major labor force: bulls were used for ploughing land, and sowing was done by hand. There were no reservoirs on the territory of the district then. From December to April rainwater, melt-water and torrential water ran by gravity to fields along the riverbed of the Kashkadarya River and small rivulets.

7 Historical background of water use The lack of a reliable system of water supply resulted in huge losses for dehkans. During droughts in 1956-57 there were almost no precipitation at all. The Djeynau farmers suffered huge losses: 12,533 ha of wheat was lost in the district. In the early 1960s, the weather sharply worsened again: cold winters and hot summers did much harm to the village. In 1961 alone, 5,898 sheep, 91 pigs, 51 goats, 27 goats, and 7,961 hens died. Also, 214 ha of corn and 73 ha of hop-clover were lost to drought. In 1961-62, no cotton was grown at all in the farm.

8 Historical background of water use In summertime, to allocate the water of the Kashkadarya river, the population applied the system of social contract with kishlak dwellers living upstream. Village mirab agreed that on certain days, the upstream inhabited locations would not take water and the Djeynau fields would receive their allocation of water, sufficient for irrigation. This technique of increasing the dose of watering based on a social contract is characteristic not only Djeynau, but for all the region and is called “avandoz”. As such, the tradition of equitable water distribution existed and served as the basis of an informal water user association.

9 Historical background of water use The shortage of potable water and water for other domestic needs has always been a very serious problem. It appears that the shortage and low quality of domestic water have seriously affected the living standard of the kishlak population: morbidity was very high, every year many children using water from open sources died of gastrointestinal infections more than of any other cause.

10 Land reclamation and construction of the Karshi Cascade In summertime, to allocate the water of the Kashkadarya river, the population applied the system of social contract with kishlak dwellers living upstream. Village mirab agreed that on certain days, the upstream inhabited locations would not take water and the Djeynau fielIn spite of the fact that a powerful organization ‘Karshistroy’ was established for steppes reclamation, old people of Djeynau remember that they had to do many types of work by hand, especially at the outset. Before that time, social and water infrastructures on the territory of Djeynau were embryonic; fields were naturally irrigated during the periods of high water. ‘The Karshistroy is the culture of our region. Everything we received, everything we achieved is due to the Karshistroy, due to the land reclamation. But for it, we would have walked barefoot’ ". (A dweller of Djeynau)

11 Unexpected problems The state policy with regard to land reclamation and harvesting cotton from these lands resulted in numerous technological [abuses problem when constructing the drainage system]: Many of the planned measures on drainage were not fulfilled, and the control of the quality of the drainage system construction was very low. “Builders, trying to bring lands into operation quickly, often constructed only control wells of the drainage system in the fields and did not put in drainage pipes. The commission came, looked, checked on the beginning and the end of the drainage system, and then signed the acceptance documents. But there was nothing in the middle!» (A shirkat member)

12 Unexpected problems The consequences of this strategic mistake became evident 15 years after the beginning of system operation. Since 1985-1986, the ground-water level began to significantly increase, and the situation with water supply worsened. The former head of shirkat recalls: "We ourselves killed the land… Instead of 1200 m 3 /ha, we irrigated land with 5-6,000 m 3 /ha. Three pumps conveyed water from the Mirishkor canal only for our sovkhoz and there was great water replenishment from rivers, and now we have only 2 operating pumps. We were given as much water as we asked, not as much as was stipulated in standards. We used to say: “Give us water and we will increase the productivity of cotton…”

13 Unexpected problems The deterioration of the Amudarya water quality has also aggravated the situation. The people of Djeynay remember that during the first years of their arrival one could safely drink Amudarya water. Development of agriculture and industry upstream of the Amudarya river (on the territory of the Vahsh and Surkhandarya valleys) increased water salinity and then, soil salinity.

14 Unexpected problems People say that non-governmental organizations are quite capable of coping with cleaning drainage system. And if private enterprises providing services on drainage system cleaning should emerge, their services will always be in great demand. However, these enterprises must have the necessary machinery and specialists; otherwise, it will not be possible to maintain the drainage systems.

15 Unexpected problems The second relevant problem is the need for urgent rehabilitation of the irrigation system and reduction of seepage loss. The situation is that even concrete canals, which are 160 km in length in Djeynau, are affected by salt attacks and are already collapsing. The farm cannot afford purchasing and installing new canals at its own expense as just one ton of metal costs about 500,000 sums.

16 Unexpected problems Illegal connections to irrigation systems negatively affect the whole farm: when a leakage or an illegal connection is detected, a water engineer disconnects the water until losses are eliminated. But during planting, every single day of watering is vital, and thus social problems are acute.

17 Tomorka (house plot) For many years, a tomorka was the major source of income and food. In this community almost 1,020 ha of land are under tomorkas (the total area for crop raising is 5,200 ha). As such they require substantial amounts of water. Despite the illegality, people sometimes open the water in tomorka canals, but such attempts are almost immediately restrained. In this connection, there have been repeated conflicts in the last two years.

18 Tomorka (house plot) "There is not enough water for watering cotton, so how can we give it for watering tomorka? Cotton is a basis of our economy, that is why we deny giving water for personal plots. The shirkat spends the money all have earned: builds hospitals, gas pipeline, etc. And no profit was left for an individual? He will water his 7 sotkas (1 sotka = 10 m 2 ), but all he grows goes for his personal need. That is why the shirkat must receive water first". (The Chairman of Shirkat)

19 Potable Water "We demand people to pay for water, but they refuse to pay because water is supplied extremely rarely: once every 2-3 days and for very a very brief time". (The Chairman of Shirkat) "Problems with potable water in Djeynau began 5-6 years ago; before that we could turn on the tap and water would run". (A housewife)

20 Lessons learned Principles of water use formed on the territory of the Karshi steppe are the result of a traditional forms of cooperation. Since the main task of people living on this territory was surviving in conditions of insufficient water, following the established rules was and still remains obligatory for all independent of their ethnic origins, be they Uzbeks or Arabs. In spite of the fact that the existing system of water resource administration is intrinsically administrative and extremely dependent on decisions of many officials operating at different levels, in practice, people try to keep centuries-old principles. Certainly, nowadays they do not have to negotiate when and how much water a downstream kishlak will receive: this is the prerogative of the rayvodkhoz. Nevertheless, the system of administration may not cover every single person, and here traditional systems of cooperation and control are applied. It is noteworthy that recent drought, along with insufficient state financing, in many instances provoked a return to an earlier time and traditions when people felt keenly the preciousness of water and this led them to rely on themselves and on local level cooperation.

21 Lessons learned Undoubtedly, the system of administration of water distribution in Djeynau (as well as in the whole steppe) needs to be changed. And the centuries-old experience of water use can teach one of the most important lessons, which consists of a very simple dependence on the idea of local control. It does not matter to whom water formally belongs, whether it is ample or insufficient in any year, whether its supply to fields is paid fully by agricultural operators or by the state, one can rationally use water without any conflicts only by taking collective decisions at the level of ordinary users as it was done on this land from time immemorial.


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