In the spring the sun starts to melt glaciers in the Tajikistan mountains, and water streams down to the valleys. While the lowlands of Tajikistan are mainly dry deserts and semi-deserts, there are also about 10,000 square kilometres of glaciers that relieve droughts when melting. Climate change, however, threatens to melt the glaciers. Tajikistan needs real-time weather information to prepare for climate change. “We have learned a lot in the project. We are now able to monitor in real time the air quality in the city of Dushanbe,” says Bibizaynab Gozieva, head of Tajikhydromet, the national air quality laboratory.
Since 2009 the Finnish Meteorological Institute has been working with meteorological institutes in Central Asia, Tajikistan included, to improve their efficiency in the production and analysis of weather and climate information. The institutes have also been able to upgrade their meteorological infrastructure with funding from the World Bank. The future of the hydrometeorological institute in Tajikistan looks now better than in decades, because the projects have encouraged the Tajikistan government to triple its funding to the institute. Better weather information enables Tajikistan to prepare for extreme weather conditions, such as droughts, flooding and landslides. The Finnish Meteorological Institute has used development cooperation funds to improve weather and early warning systems in a hundred countries and supplied them with Finnish weather detection technology.
Photo: Oleg Brovko, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta