ASTANA – Kazakh Minister for Internal Affairs Kalmukhanbet Kassymov and First Vice Minister for Agriculture Kairat Aituganov reported on flood prevention and mitigation measures undertaken by the government during the Nov. 7 government meeting.
Different factors may cause floods; in Kazakhstan, however, they come primarily when snow starts to melt fast in late winter and spring, incurring extensive damage to regions, including Astana. Though it happens every year, the nation’s departments are not always ready to handle the consequences.
Flood prevention and mitigation activities are envisioned in the nation’s 2017-2020 roadmap that includes 862 measures meant to prevent and eliminate flood danger, including ensuring security of territories from adverse impact of floods, repairing hydro technical facilities and developing and modernising national hydro meteorological service.
Kassymov noted the government and local authorities embarked on the implementation of 264 measures in 2017 and are set to complete 96 by the end of this year.
“This includes construction of 17 protective dams, repair of 67 hydro technical facilities and 12 damaged roads, including renovation of culverts,” the minister explained.
The ministry is responsible for the installation of berms to prevent the Yessil River from flooding the nation’s capital city, according to Kassymov.
“The works to install berms on two sites of the 2.5-kilometre dam have kicked off Sept. 10 in line with the plan. The works are nearly 80 percent complete,” reported Kassymov to the government.
Kassymov also pointed out stagnation in settling the financing of the projects meant to develop hydro meteorological services. The document, therefore, envisions allocation of transport with increased capacity to allow conducting assessment in hard-to-reach areas in spring and winter, among other measures.
Aituganov noted the nation’s agriculture ministry is also involved in the flood prevention and mitigation activities.
To that objective, the ministry set up a special commission that will cooperate with the competent bodies, developed a duty schedule at all national water reservoirs and instructed inspections to complete the examination of state-owned hydro technical facilities to determine their vulnerability to flooding, said Aituganov.
At present, the capacity of water reservoirs meant to accumulate flooding water equals to 6.9 billion cubic metres, according to the vice minister, and the national agriculture development programme envisions the construction of 22 more water reservoirs in seven regions until 2021 with an estimated volume of 1.9 billion cubic metres.