23 апреля 2014 19:09

Village turns into island in Kazakh steppe


Photo © Turar Kazangapov Photo © Turar Kazangapov

Talapker village near Astana has turned into an island in the middle of the steppes as a result of flooding, Tengrinews reports.

Talapker village near Astana has turned into an island in the middle of the steppes as a result of flooding, Tengrinews reports.

Villagers cannot reach their houses because of the water. They have to leave their cars near the village, put on high rubber boots and make or even swim their way home.

“Yesterday at around 10 p.m. the land was dry but when we can back home at around 12 a.m. it was impossible to pass here,” a villager Beknur Ilyasov told the reports on April 17 and graciously took the Tengrinews team in his car around the village.

Ilyasov lives in the new part of the village that has around 50 houses. All of them were cut off from the “big land”. He said that the villagers face floods every spring but this year it is worse than ever.

“We were warned earlier that we might have to leave our houses for a week or two. Some villagers have left their houses and are renting apartments in the city because it is impossible to get to the village,” Ilyasov said.

Another villager Timur Tasybayev, who took a role of an activist, told the reporter that yesterday some local official promised that all works to construct a small dam to protect the village from the water would be done beforehand. But the construction started only today (April 17) after lunchtime.

“Deputy Akim (Deputy Mayor) explained that they were sluicing a dam at a nearby water reservoir and all this water was flowing down here. Our children have not been to school for a week. We told him to give us a bus that would take children to school,” Tasybayev said.

“Our Akim has not been around for a month, he just disappeared. I have lived here for 4 years and last year everything was great. But that is probably because there was not that much snow,” Tasybayev added.

In the village, men in high rubber boots are walking around houses in confusion. The flooding became a nasty surprise for many locals. Villagers came back from work and could not enter their houses. Now they are thinking what to do next.

The Tengrinews team went to the Akimat (Municipal Authorities) of Talapker with the villagers. But the Akim was out of his office. The head of the Tselinograd District Emergency Situations Department Sabit Kenzhebekov answered the questions of the villagers.

“The water comes from the spring-flood irrigation system that is near Kurgaldzhin highway. Three rivers originate from that system and fall into the Ishim river. These small rivers have exceeded their usual water level,” Kenzhebekov explained.

The villagers argued that although small floodings happen every spring there were no such problems last year.

“This year the flood was of a larger scale because snow melted faster than last year,” Kenzhebekov said pointed out that warming was sharp and caused heavy melting of snow.

At the moment, specialized vehicles are working in the village erecting land dams and pumping the water back to the Ishim river.

Neither Tengrinews no the local residents could contact the Akim of Talapker village.

In the meantime while adults are trying to find solutions, a young fellow put on a bold face on and went fishing in a newly formed pond.

Reporting by Renat Tashkinbayev, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova

Photos by Turar Kazangapov©

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