Country Report 2

"Disaster Management in Tajikistan"

General Information

Map of TajikistanNinety-three percent of Tajikistan's territory is mountainous, and the mountain glaciers are the source of its rivers. Tajikistan is an earthquake-prone area. The republic is bounded by China in the east, Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to the west and north. The central Asian republic also includes the Gorno-Badakh Shan Autonomous region.

The Tajiks, whose language is nearly identical with Persian, were part of the ancient Persian Empire that was ruled by Darius.

Ismoil Somoni the great Tajik Emperor, the founded of the first Tajik State

In the 7th and 8th centuries, Arabs conquered the region and brought Islam. The Tajiks were successively ruled by Uzbeks and then Afghans until claimed by Russia in the 1860s. In 1924, Tajikistan was consolidated into a newly formed Tajik Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which was administratively part of the Uzbek SSR until the Tajik ASSR gained full-fledged republic status in 1929.

The history of the Tajiks extends well over a 1000 year into the past, though there was never a formal state called Tajikistan until 9 September 1991. Having gained its independence in 1991, Tajikistan experienced a five-year civil war and several changes in government between 1992-1997.

The signature of the "General Agreement of the Establishment of Peace and National Accord" through a process of successful negotiations conducted under UN auspices, put an end to the fighting. Since that time, Tajikistan has come a long way in consolidating peace and stability. The process of its implementation has opened a new page in the development of the country. Despite numerous obstacles, Tajikistan has demonstrated a firm commitment to stability and has made substantial progress in peace building. Adopted in 1994, the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan received amendments following a Peoples・Referendum to ensure the implementation of the General Agreement. In 1999 Tajiks marked the 1100 anniversary of Samanid Empire, which became a symbol of cohesion for public and political forces. In September 2001, Tajikistan marked 10 years of independence with celebrations, concerts, national conferences, and speeches from political leaders in Dushanbe and throughout the country.

S. A. Nuri Opposition leader signed Peace Memorandum in Moscow
Total: 143,100 sq km; water: 400 sq km; land: 142,700 sq km
Land boundaries:
Total: 3,651 km; border countries: Afghanistan 1,206 km, China 414 km, Kyrgyzstan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,161 km
Population (2003 est.):
6,863,752 (growth rate: 2.4%); birth rate: 32.8/1000; infant mortality rate: 113.4/1000; density per sq mi: 124 Dushanbe, 817,100 (metro. area), 590,300 (city proper) Khodzhent (Leninabad), 156,500
Tajik 64.9%, Uzbek 25%, Russian 3.5% (declining because of emigration), other 6.6%
Sunni Muslim 85%
Economic summary: GDP/PPP
(2001 est.): $7.5 billion; per capita $1,140
Real growth rate:
Arable land:
5%. Agriculture: cotton, grain, fruits, grapes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats.
Labor force:
3.187 million (2000); agriculture 67%, industry 8%, services 25% (2000 est.)
aluminum, zinc, lead, chemicals and fertilizers, cement, vegetable oil, metal-cutting machine tools, refrigerators and freezers.
Natural resources:
hydropower, some petroleum, uranium, mercury, brown coal, lead, zinc, antimony, tungsten, silver, gold
$640 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.): aluminum, electricity, cotton, fruits, vegetable oil, textiles
$700 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.): electricity, petroleum products, aluminum oxide, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs
Major trading partners:
Europe, Russia, Uzbekistan

Major Ethnic Groups in Tajikistan


main lines in use: 363,000 (1997); mobile cellular: 2,500 (1997).
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 8, FM 7, shortwave 2 (2001).
1.291 million (1991).
Television broadcast stations:
13 (2001).
820,000 (1997).
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
5 (2001).
Internet users:
2,000 (2000).


total: 482 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines (2001).
total: 29,900 km; paved: 21,400 km (these roads are said to be hard-surfaced, meaning that some are paved and some are all-weather gravel surfaced); unpaved: 8,500 km (1990).
Ports and harbors:
53 (2001).
International disputes:
the undemarcated northern and western border with Uzbekistan is mined in many sections; continues to maintain a territorial dispute with Kyrgyzstan in Isfara Valley area; ongoing talks with China have failed to resolve the longstanding dispute over the indefinite boundary; Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan wrestle with sharing limited water resources and the regional environmental degradation caused by the shrinking of the Aral Sea.
Administratively the country is divided into four regions: Gorno-adakhshan Autonomous Oblast in the east, Khatlon Oblast in the south, Leninabad Oblast in the north and the Regions of Republican Subordination in the centre. The capital of Tajikistan is Dushanbe with over 600,000 habitants.
Modelled on the Presidential form of governance, Tajikistan has three branches of state power: legislative, executive and judicial.
The legislative body is made up of a two-chambered Majlisi Oli (Parliament), which consists of the Majlisi Namoyandagon, a professional chamber, which functions on a regular basis, and the Majlisi Milli, which meets less frequently and functions on a convening basis.
The present parliament formed after elections in February-March 2000, marking the first multiparty elections since the end of civil war and helped to further consolidate the peace process. The next Parliamentary elections are scheduled for the 2005.
The following five political parties are registered and represented in the Majlisi Namoyandagon and Majlisi Milli: People's Democratic Party, Communist Party, Islamic Renaissance Party, the Socialist Party and Democratic Party.
President Emomali Rakhmonov heads the executive branch of power and was first elected in 1994, and again re-elected in 1999 for a seven-year term. The president appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister and other heads of the government ministries, chairmen and deputies of the National Bank, judges of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Prosecutor General, signs laws, formulates foreign policy and signs international treaties.
The constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Higher Economic Court and regional courts represent the judicial branch of power.
Secondary school education is compulsory in the country and the completion rate is above 90 percent.
The average number of enrolled for all levels (age between 6-23) is 62.1 percent. Estimated adult literacy rate is 99.5 percent. Although the government boasts an average literacy rate of nearly 100 percent, Tajikistan's education system has suffered greatly since independence. Thus, Tajikistan ranked 112 out of 173 countries on the UN Development Program's Human Development Index for 2002.


Tajikistan's main public holidays are as follows:

January 1     New Year's Day
March 8      International Women's Day
March 21     Navruz (Persian New Year)
May 1        International Labour Day
May 9        Victory Day
September 9  Independence Day
November 6   Constitution Day
November 9   National Reconciliation Day

The two Islamic holidays Eid-i-Ramazon (Ramadan or Eid Al Fitr) and Eid-i-Kurbon (Eid Al Adha) are celebrated annually and, as these holidays follow the lunar calendar, the dates move back ten days every year.


In general, Tajikistan's climate is continental, subtropical, and semiarid, with some desert areas. However, the climate changes drastically according to elevation. Tajikistan's subtropical southwestern corner experiences some of the highest temperatures in the country, on average 35°C to 42°C in the summer. At Tajikistan's lower elevations, the average temperature range is 25°C to 30°C in July and -1 °C to 3°C in January. Although rainfall can be sporadic, as the drought of 1999-2001 has shown, most precipitation occurs in the winter and spring.

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