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The North Aral Sea

 

The North Aral Sea preservation

For saving the Aral Sea the idea on preservation of its North part had appeared. If this idea be implemented the river Syr-Daria natural flow would be kept. Besides majority of population are living along the North Aral Sea in the Kazakhstani part of the Aral Sea Region.

The first attempt was made in 1992. Dike «Karateren-Kokaral» constructed by the construction organisations of the Aralsk rayon stood for 9 months: in spring, 1993 the dike was washed off due to the Sea level rise. The construction work had been made using money raised by the people of the Aral Sea Region. Certainly, collected money were not enough for building permanent & strengthened dike. At this period only sand as a local building material had been used. But the construction of Dike showed to the people of Aral Sea Region the hope in saving Sea and demonstrated that the joint efforts of people would allow to have expected result. The people of Aral started believing in their good future.

Photo - J. Arthaud Bertrand.
In September, 1996
the new attempt to preserve the North (Small) Aral Sea was taken. The Construction was mostly finished in spring, 1997. The local building material sand had been used for construction purposes. Money needed for construction purposes were arisen with the help of local population. The Dike length was 14 km; width was about 30 m. There were special sluices for giving water to the Large Aral Sea in case of much water in the Syr-Daria River. This construction stayed for 1997 and 1998. But it was obviously that the Dike Kokaral needed to be strengthened by concrete plates. The water from the river Syr-Daria is being brought into the North (Small) Aral Sea. The changes in environment are being noticed. Raining becomes often, grass appeared, the Sea salinity slightly decreased. In 1998 the Kazakhstan branch of the Internationa Aral Sea Fund (IFAS) financed the Dike strengthening construction work. But these amounts of money were not enough. The construction being started in autumn in 1998 finished in the sad way: in spring, 1999 the Dike was again washed off by increased water flow of Syr-Daria river. The Dike was washed off partly: distance of 3-5 km. Water went to the Large Aral Sea decreasing the level of the North Aral Sea. In some places seashore want away for the distance of 200-300 m. It was very sad event for all people of the Aral Sea Region but mostly for fishermen who had hope for future employment with the North Aral Sea preservation. At the present time (September, 1999) there is search for financial assistance in order to re-construct Dike Kokaral.

The people of Aral Sea Region are sure that the Dike Kokaral is their hope for deserving future. They were witnesses of the positive changes in regional climate and their life’s work.



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