President Tokayev Addresses Nation as Floods Leave Hundreds Homeless

ASTANA – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addressed the nation on April 6 amid the devastating floods that wreaked havoc across the country’s regions, leaving hundreds homeless, reported the Akorda press service.

President Tokayev. Photo credit:

“Perhaps it is the biggest disaster in terms of its scale and consequences for the last 80 years,” he said in his nearly 15-minute address. 

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Emergency Situations, since the beginning of the floods last week, 3,171 private residential houses and 179 residential areas remain flooded in six regions. At least 46,755 people, including 14,589 children, were rescued and evacuated, and 60,000 farm animals were driven away to safe areas. 

At the same time, 2,602 people were evacuated by air, including 759 children. Temporary accommodation centers host 12,541 people, including 6,439 children. 

A state of emergency is declared in 10 regions of Kazakhstan, said Tokayev. 

“Following my criticism, the government has ramped up efforts to mitigate the impacts of flooding and took appropriate measures,” said the Kazakh President. 

He highlighted the measures undertaken, including the special national headquarters led by Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov. 

“Both the head of the government [referring to Olzhas Bektenov], his deputies and the Minister for Emergency Situations [referring to Shyngys Arinov] are visiting the affected regions. All rescue work on the ground is under my personal control,” said Tokayev. 

He also added that all resources of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Guard, the Armed Forces and the National Security Committee have been mobilized to address the calamity. 

“Akimats [administrations] of the affected regions are working around the clock, and several tens of thousands of volunteers are helping them on the ground,” said the President. 

Tokayev reiterated the main task is to prevent human casualties, while pledging full support to those affected. 

“Addressing the citizens affected by the flood, I want to declare: none of you will be left without the state’s attention. Financial and other necessary assistance will be provided to all of you, and all your material losses will be compensated,” he said. 

President Tokayev tasked the Ministry of Defense with sending additional military units to address the disaster and the government with unsealing the state material reserve to assist those affected. 

Financial aid should also be provided, said Tokayev. 

“The government must also quickly develop an effective mechanism for compensating damage and explain it to all the affected. The amounts should be proportional to the damage incurred,” he noted. 

Deputy prime ministers will remain in the affected regions until the situation normalizes.

Recognizing the broader implications of the floods, the President touched on the need for enhanced national preparedness against extreme weather events. 

We must learn all the lessons from these massive floods. There are many, starting from the shortcomings in the organizational measures to prevent natural disasters, the shortage of skilled personnel in water management, and ending with our negligent attitude towards nature,” said Tokayev. 

The address concluded with a message of hope. “I express my gratitude to rescuers, police officers, volunteers and all concerned citizens involved in the fight against the disaster. In this difficult moment for the country, the unity and cohesion of our society are more important than ever,” he said. 

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!