Best traditional Practices on Climate Changes in the Villages of Central Asia.
Table of contents
Application of the Practice
The Benefits of the Practice
Based on the results of the call for proposals announced by the Alliance of Central Asian Mountain Communities (AGOCA).
For centuries, the villagers of mountainous regions are trying to deal with the challenges that climate change throws at them. This happens due to irrational water distribution in the mountains of Tian Shan, Pamirs and Alai, which is characterized by reduction of water resources in one region because of its excess in another. The recent rapid melting of glaciers serves as an early indicator of climate change.
Therefore, the existing needs in adaptation and capacity building exceed the level of opportunities that local communities possess. This publication aims on setting up the question on effectiveness of the traditional adaptation practices in changing conditions and gives recommendations to governments, development agencies and all the stakeholders to invest technological changes in order to provide the access of local communities to financial resources for adaptation goals.
Get acquainted with best traditional practices on adaptation, which have been chosen within a joint initiative of AGOCA and Central Asian Mountain Hub (CAMH) on creation of the regional network of Central Asian villages on climate changes.
Alliance of Central Asian Mountain Communities
Traditional practice №1: “Murab”.
Application area: Kyrgyzstan, Batken oblast, Leylek region, Korgon village.
Murab – form tajik word “mirob”, “mir” – owner, “ob” – water.
In the countries of Central Asia the name varies depending on the source language: in Kyrgyzstan – murab, kok bashi; in Kazakhstan – mirab; in Tajikistan – mirob; in Turkmenistan – murap; in Uzbekistan – mirab.
One of the first references to murab date back to the beginning of 18th century, in historical facts about Central Asia. During the dry season due to the shortage of water, clashes occurred between the water users of neighboring villages, which made the leaders to establish a post of the water distributor – murab. Insistence and fairness in distributing of water resources were the main qualities when selecting the murab because they took part in managing irrigation issues that were meaningful for social-economic development of the region.
Goals and Objectives of the Practice:
The practice is focuses on water saving not only during water shortage, but at its excess as well. In villages that are located on lowlands, watering starts by sundown because of the high daytime temperature and evaporation. In mountain villages of Central Asia irrigation usually begins at early morning until 11 am, then from 5 pm until complete darkness, which leads to significant reduction of water consumption.
Such practice is not used in Korgon village because of the hilly ground. The upper part of the village is located on the upland, which is divided into left and right parts by Chorboghsai (a dried-up riverbed). Mixing of snow-melting and underground waters forms an irrigation channel that branches out into two ponds (see picture).
The scheme of the alternate watering for upper part of Korgon village.
Functional Responsibilities of Murab:
Payements for Murab’s Work:
Murab is elected for the period of the irrigation season, which lasts from October to April. The payment amount is set out during the traditional village meetings. Each household pays the fixed price for watering 1 square meter of land:
For example in Kyrgyzstan in 2016 the price for 1 square meter was:
In Tajikistan in 2016:
In Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region due to small plots of land, the post of murab ifs functioning in one Water Users Association only – “Ob Umed”, which includes 9 villages of Porshinev region. Murab id heading the committee that involves 9 mirjus, each of whom is responsible for his own village. Each mirju gets payment in amount of 600 somoni (65-68 USD) per month, which is payed from the Christensen Fund since 2009.
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