Turkmenistan

Social-economic conditions

Demography

The total population of the Balkan province for 2000 is 391 485, which is less than 10% of the total population of Turkmenistan. The distribution of the population in the cities and in rural areas is provided in Table 12. The population density is equal to 3 persons per square km against 10 person/km2 throughout the country.

Table 12. Population of the Balkan province in the end of 1999

Administrative unit

Total

City

Village

City of Balkanabad

100 172

99 242

930

City of Khazar

10 971

10 971

 

City of Gumdag

22 071

22 071

 

City of Tukmenbashi

64 695

64 695

 

Etrap Serdar

63 778

46 797

16 981

Etrap Turkmenbashi

23 379

12 192

11 187

Etrap Bereket

32 617

16 148

16 469

Etrap Esenguly

27 545

14 155

13 390

Etrap Garrygala

25 939

10 117

15 822

Etrap Etrek

20 318

7 931

12 387

The current demographic situation in Turkmenistan is characterised by active process of natural population reproduction. Population of Turkmenistan has been steadily rising since 1926, including those of the Balkan Province. In general, natural population growth in the country constituted 30 persons per thousand population in 1999, in the same time it was below 9,7 person in the Balkan province.

There is extremely uneven distribution of rural and urban population in connection with prevailing industrial development of the province. Urban population constitutes 79% of the total one and given that the province is on the first place in the country according to its area and on the last place by its population. The province is characterised by extremely uneven distribution of human resources and by the minimal population density.

Industrialisation of the province results in the ration of sexes. In general, the men/women relation in the country is 1000/1030, here – 1000/960. Table 13 shows the ration of sexes for the city of Turkmenbashi.

Table 13. Ratio of sexes and distribution of the population in Turkmenbashi

Age (years)

Males

Females

Both genders

The whole population

33 100

35 200

68 300

0-4

5-9

10-14

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

60-64

65-69

70-74

75-79

80-84

85-89

90-94

95-99

3178

4038

3840

3373

3475

2847

2615

2516

2118

1523

927

629

761

576

331

132

50

17

3

1

3379

4294

4083

3587

3696

3027

2781

2675

2253

1619

986

669

810

612

352

141

53

18

3

1

6557

8332

7923

6960

7171

5874

5396

5191

4371

3142

1913

1298

1571

1188

683

273

103

35

6

2

100 years and older

2

3

5

Younger than fit to work

11850

12601

24451

Fit to work age

19661

20909

40570

Older than fit to work

1556

1654

3210

Mortality along with birth rate plays an important role in the population reproduction regime. The most wide-spread indicator showing population mortality is the general mortality coefficient. Presently, the general mortality coefficient for the Balkan province is 6,3 persons per thousand population.

Structural factors such as the age composition of the population and ratio of genders, exerts strong influence on the general mortality coefficient.

Life expectancy refers to indices measuring real death rate. Life expectancy of the population in the Balkan province is 63,7 years. Infant death rate plays a big role in formation of life expectancy.

Presently, infant death rate in the country is steadily decreasing. Infant death rate lowered from 42,2 per 1000 newborns to 32,9 in 1995-1998, in the same time in urban areas – from 48,2 to 38,9 and in rural areas – from 39,5 to 29,4.

The highest infant death rate in 1998 was recorded in the Balkan province and was equal to 38,6 per 1000 newborns. The predominating reason of infant mortality is exogenous diseases i.e. resulting from influences from an outside an organism, which can be mitigated or eliminated under certain conditions. High occurrence of exogenous diseases in the infant death rate in the Balkan province shows that public health institutions are not efficient in places. Infant mortality caused by infectious diseases is mainly linked to different forms of tuberculosis. Major demographic data for the Balkan province are provided below. They show that the birth rate has decreased by several times in 1999, though the inflow of immigrants increased. Increased migration into the coastal zone can be accounted for extending production capacities, and outflow from rural areas by increased areas sown with crops in other regions of Turkmenistan. This all lead to redistribution of workforce. Table 14 shows the total population growth in 1999.

Natural population movement

Balkan province

1999

1998

%

Born:

6172

6616

93.3

Died:

2356

2770

85.1

 

Migration

Balkan province

1999

1998

%

Immigration

4465

4370

102.2

Emigration

5896

5168

114.1

 

Table 14. General population growth in 1999

Territory

Growth

Growth due to migration

General growth

Cities

Villages

Balkan province

3816

-1431

2385

1226

1159

The structure of population employment in the Balkan province is characterised by a big proportion of the population engaged in industry. Below is provided data on population employment according to branches of industry for 1998. Of 204,7 thousand people making up work resources of the province, the number of employed in:

  • State enterprises and institutions – 94,6 thousand people;

  • Farmer associations and at different yards – 19,6 thousand people;

  • Private and joint companies, co-operatives – 12,6 thousand people; and

  • Households – 45 thousand people.

2. Public health

In correspondence with the data of the Ministry of Public Health of Turkmenistan, infectious and parasitic diseases are prevailing. This is clearly seen on the example of the city of Turkmenbashi and Turkmenbashi etrap (Table 15). The number of diseased tends to decrease in urban areas, though the situation almost has not changed in rural areas. It is least related to bad sanitary-domestic conditions.

Table 15. General population morbidity in 1998-1999 in the city of Tukmenbashi and in Turkmenbashi etrap

Disease

Turkmenbashi

Turkmenbashi etrap

1998

1999

1998

1999

Infectious and parasitic diseases

2859

2657

534

548

Diseases of blood circulation, including hypertonia

3271
1448

2411
1198

534
283

548
280

Diseases of digestive apparatus, including gastritis and duodenitis

3224

781

2571

505

1604

248

1466

234

Skin diseases

1125

859

713

710

Traumas

1323

125

559

442

Considering importance of public health, the “Health” programme was implemented from 1995 in Turkmenistan. The main focus of the programme is improving public health and increasing life expectancy. Starting from 1996, a system of voluntary medical insurance and family doctors services were introduced in accordance with this programme in Turkmenistan. Reforms of the Public Health made provision for keeping guaranteed free medical service and in the same time developing private medical services.

There are hospitals with more than 3000 beds in total in the Balkan province. There are ambulances, village hospitals, maternity hospitals and doctor’s attendant stations in rural areas.

Provision of doctors of all specialities in the province is 29,3 per 10000 population, correspondingly of paramedical personnel – 94,6.

3. Social security

Reformation of the Social security system is of high importance among social and economic reforms happening in Turkmenistan. Significant changes in mechanisms of formation and financing of pensions were introduced, a number of benefits were abolished, retirement age was altered, changes relating to the process of assignment and calculation of pension were introduced after adoption of the new Law “On pensions” of 17 July 1998.

Simultaneous functioning of two systems – solidary and deposition, is stipulated during a transitional period under pension reformations in Turkmenistan. The solidary system is based on binding payments of fees by employers for social insurance in the amount of 30% from wage fund. The deposition system is based on voluntary deductions to personal bank accounts by this securing pension under retirement age.

On the important points of the pension reform is a rise of retirement age. In compliance with the adopted law, the retirement age for men is increased by 2 years compared with the current legislation (62 instead of 60). In the same time, the stage of work (stage of pension insurance) shouldn’t be less than 25 years. For women, the retirement age is 57 years instead of 55, provided that the stage of work (stage of pension insurance) is not less than 20 years.

In correspondence with the law of Turkmenistan “On governmental benefits”, an improved system of governmental benefits, paid at the expense of the state budget, was introduced from 1 August 1998. It includes the following benefits:

  • For pregnancy and birth;

  • For child care (for invalid parents);

  • In connection with temporal disability;

  • Under full or partial inability to work (disablement);

  • Loss of a breadwinner; and

  • Social welfare.

The minimal pension is 100 thousand manat ($1 = 5200 manat), the maximal is 400 thousand manat. Benefits for child care (up to 3 years old): for the cities – 125 thousand manat, for rural areas – 100 thousands manat. Welfare to invalids from childhood to 16 years oil is 150 thousands manat. Invalids of 1 and 2 groups receive 120 thousands manat per month, 3 group – 100 thousands manat (minimal benefit). The maximal welfare for 1 and 2 group invalids is 130-187,5 thousands manat, for 3 group invalids – 125 thousands manat.

4. Recreation

Tourism and recreation was developed in the considered area only for internal needs. Hence, the infrastructure of the tourism industry was and remains insufficiently developed and presently consists of a number of, mainly departmental, resorts. The list of these resorts is provided below.

Departmental resorts on the coast of the Caspian Sea.

  1. Resort of the Thermoelectric Power Plant – 250 beds

  2. Tourist centre of TMPP – 150 beds

  3. Resort of TMPP “Turkmenistan” – 150 beds

  4. Airport “Khazar” – 150 beds

  5. Municipal caterer of the city of Turkmenbashi – 100 beds

  6. Resort of the military base – 200 beds

  7. Resort of khakimlik “Brigantina” – 300 beds

  8. Resort of Consumers’ Union – 200 beds

  9. Resort of Railways – 100 beds

  10. Resort of Polit-Institute (Ashghabad) – 50 beds

  11. Horticulturist community – 60 beds

  12. Resort of “Vneshekonombank” (Ashghabad) – 300 beds

  13. Resort of “Investbank” (Ashghabad) – 100 beds

  14. TMPP – 250 beds

  15. Tourist centre “Avaza” – 75 beds

  16. Resort “Khazar” of JSC “Turkmenshipa” – 100 beds

  17. Resort “Karshi” – 80 beds

The best recreational conditions are in the stretch from the Krasnovodsk spit to the city of Bekdash – high coastal elevations, favourable bottom relief, good quality of sand beaches and asphalted roads. Uniqueness of the natural complex of the Turkmenistan coast will certainly attract tourists and nature-lovers from other countries, however, to achieve this, it is necessary to build comfortable tourist complexes with all amenities, to equip them with vehicles and vessels, to develop tourist routes, etc.

Perhaps, further development of equipped beaches, there are a lot of places, which can be used as health spas and resorts. The cottage country Avaza, 18 km off Turkmenbashi, is quite prospective. The developed area here can be stretched up to the Tarta spit. There is a good beach here, summer day temperatures are lower by 4-5 degrees than in Turkmenbashi. The only constraint for such development is lack of fresh water.

Recently, influx of citizens of Turkmenistan to the Caspian coast in summertime has increased in connection with difficulties of visiting resorts of the former USSR. First of al, it obliges local and central authorities to provide vacationers with amenities, which fall short yet.

5. Use of natural resources

Raw materials factor is decisive in the economics of the province of Balkan. Mineral and raw material base of western Turkmenistan is characterised by presence of a number of mineral resources such as oil, gas, ozocerite, iodine, bromine, common salt, sodium sulphate, potassium, magnesium, thermal solutions, various construction materials, etc.

Oil, extracted at the considered area, is measured up to 90% of the total oil production in Turkmenistan, while gas constitutes only 30%. The main oil fields are situated in heartland (between Cheleken peninsula and Balkanabad) and in the south-west of the province of Balkan in the vicinity of Okarem. Oil fields Pricheleke, Zhdanov, LAM bank, Livanov are exploited on the Caspian shelf, prospecting of several other oil fields is under way.

Ozocerite is extracted at the Cheleken peninsula. Major explored reserves are concentrated in the deposits Dachanjik, Aymen-Meshed and Gorab. Besides, more than 20 small deposits and mineral shows are known. Ozocerite reserves are estimated to be 200 thousands tons.

Deposits of brown coal at Tuakyr are estimated to be 23,5m tons. Production of humus fertilisers can be organised on the basis of coal oxidation.

Reserves of natural chemical raw materials, extracted from ground industrial waters of oil and gas fields are increasing with exploration of new fields. 76,4% (309,7 thousands m3 per day) of reserves of bromine waters in Turkmenistan fall to the share of the province of Balkan.

Salterns, which are used for extraction of mineral salts, are widespread from the north to the south, occupying Caspian hinterlands. The Karabogazgol gulf, Guvly salt lake, under-sand salt deposit Baba-Khodja refer to the most prospective saltpans. Proved reserves of common salt constitute 37,7m tons, of sodium sulphate – 162 thousand m3 per day.

Reserves of construction materials are composed of deposits of construction stones, brick earth, pebble and sand, construction sand and gypsum. The remaining reserves of building materials constitute (thousands m3): facing materials – 5815, ceramicite – 46405, brick materials – 4547 and construction stone – 39887.

Mineral waters were discovered at 7 deposits and their exploitable reserves are measured up to 3,4 thousands m3.

Reserves of alluvial treatment mud of Lake Goluboye (in the vicinity of Balkanabad) are estimated to be 3,4 thousands m3. Exploitable reserves of the mud volcano Porsugel, located at the penisula Cheleken, exceed 100 thousands m3. There are also deposits of the mud volcanoes Rozoviy Porsugel, Kipashiy Bugor, Ak-Patlauk and Gek-Patlauk.

6. Industrial production

According to data derived from the Statistical Bureau, the industries of the province of Balkan manufactured products in the amount of 1583.1 billion manats (Table 16). Taking into account informal sector, ancillary crafts and foreign companies, products manufactured during the indicated period was measured up to 2253,0 billion manats ($1 US = 5200 manat). The industrial output is mainly formed due to production oil industry. The share of the oil industry in the total volume of industrial output is equal to 82%.

Table 16. Industrial output according to branches of industry and enterprises for 1999 in the province of Balkan

Industry/company

Effective prices for 1999 (billion manat)

Growth rate in 1999 in % to 1998

Electric power industry:

TEPP Turkmenbashi

PA “Balkanenergo”

350.0

22.7

123

34

Oil industry:

TMPP

Oil and gas producing

340.4

1051.9

88

108

Chemical and petrochemical:

JV “Turkmensintez”

Boyadag Iodine producing plant

Balkan Iodine producing plant

Khazar Chemical Plant

PA “Gorabogazgolsulfat”

0.8

1.2

6.3

7.1

9.1

124

126

71

79

Engineering industry:

Cable producing plant (Balkanabad)

JV “B/Energoremont”

Railway-car repair works

5.3

1.3

6.9

100

132

106

Building material industry:

22.5

104

Food industry:

138.9

143

Light industry:

19.5

113

Printing industry:

1.3

100

In electric power industry the output of electric energy has increased by 7% compared to 1998. Consumers received electric energy in the amount of 57,8 billion manats from the beginning of 1999 to March of 2000, which is 4% of the total volume of production.

The state concern “Turkmenneft” shipped crude oil in the amount of 912,8 billion manats in 1999, or 95% of the total production, which is by 36% more than in 1998. The SC “Turkmenneft” shipped abroad products in the amount of 680,7 billion manats.

The volume of processed crude oil in oil refining industry decreased by 17,0% in January-December 1999 in comparison with the same span of 1998. The lowered volume of processed oil is linked to drop in delivery of crude oil by the State Concern “Turkmenneft”, since some 75% of hydrocarbon raw materials are exported.

Output of gasoline, burning kerosene, petroleum coke and domestic fuel was higher than last year. Oil products in the amount of 362,7 billion manats or 107% of output (owing to leftovers) was shipped to consumers. Oil products in the amount of some 40 billion manats were exported.

Table 17. Outputs of oil and power complex in the province of Balkan.

Product

1999

1998

%

Electric energy, m. KW/hour

1593.0

1486.0

107

Oil, including gas condensate, thousand tons

6803.0

6141.0

109

Oil

6683.0

6141.9

109

Gas condensate

119.8

99.1

121

Natural gas, m. m3

4086.3

4008.7

102

Including: Natural

3461.9

3355.4

103

Oil gas

624.4

653.3

96

Initial refining of oil, thousand tons

4120.7

4985.5

83

Gasoline, thousand tons

743

682.3

109

Diesel fuel, thousand tons

1185.0

1432.8

83

Furnace fuel oil, thousand tons

1348.1

2063.3

65

Petroleum coke, thousand tons

123.3

96.8

127

Furnace fuel, thousand tons

186.8

114.7

162

Liquefied gas, thousand tons

12.7

17.2

74

Kerosene (burning and technical), thousand tons

104.5

81.1

128

Oil asphalt, thousand tons

54.9

56.3

98

7. Agriculture

As it was indicated above, the province of Balkan has sufficient arable lands for development of farming. All soils, bar sandy, are saline to different extent and composed of heavy deposits. Therefore development of such soils should happen on the background of developed drainage and irrigation with application of land improving measures. Lack of fresh water was hindering agricultural development. However, construction of the Garagum canal, which brings the waters of the Amu Darya to the province of Balkan, has improved the situation to some extent. Firstly, eastern stretches of the province were used for growing cotton, but recently also for growing cereal crops.

Some 60 000 thousand ha were sown with cereals in 1999, of these 30 400 ha in Etrap Serdar, 20 000 ha in Etrap Bereket, 3 500 ha in Etrap Turkmenbashi, 2 500 ha in Etrap Garrykala and 1 800 ha in Etrap Esenguly. Totally, 110,7 thousand tons of grain was yielded in 1999.

Some 15 046 tons of raw cotton and 4 700 tons of potato were harvested in the same year. Crops of melons and pumpkins also increased.

Nevertheless, animal husbandry yields the biggest part of farm products. Of 286 billion manats of the total output, 182 billion manats are related to this branch of industry. Major data relating to the state of livestock farming are provided in Tables 18 and 19.

Table 18. Structure of livestock population in all management categories in the province of Balkan.

Livestock

To 01.01.99

To 01.01.00

Total

State owned

Private

Total

State owned

Private

Cattle

55347

4647

50700

57309

5509

51800

Sheep and goats

989348

251148

738200

993382

288082

710300

Camels

29509

4809

24700

33451

5751

27700

Poultry

29038

1938

27100

85746

3146

82600

Horse

3503

1203

2300

3544

1344

2200

Table 19. Outputs of major livestock products.

Livestock

To 01.01.99

To 01.01.00

Total

State owned

Private

Total

State owned

Private

Meat, thousand tons

19.0

2.5

16.5

21.9

3.0

18.9

Milk, thousand tons

17.0

0.9

16.1

17.8

0.9

16.9

Eggs, thousand tons

9.7

0.01

9.7

9.9

0.01

9.9

Karakul, skins

33.6

23.2

10.4

29.4

18.5

10.9

Wool, thousand tons

1.5

0.5

1.0

1.6

0.4

1.2

 

8. Fishery and aquaculture

Several periods can be distinguished in development of Turkmen fisheries, which are determined not only with changes in sea regime, but also with introduction of new technologies and methods of fishing.

The first and longest period lasted approximately from 1910 up to 1937. Fishing was carried out predominantly in the coastal areas and mainly included fishing for Caspian roach and carp in the Gasan-Kuli gulf. Caspian roach was prevailing in landings – 50-60%. Its catches reached the peak in 1934 and were equal to 11,09 thousand tons. Therefore catches of carp dropped. In the same time catches of shad were increasing due to introduction of a motor fleet and wide application of drift nets.

The second period comprises 1937-1951 and characterised by a transition from passive coastal fishing to active, away from the shore. Landings of Caspian roach and carp were shrinking owing to reduction of the fodder base and pelagic fishes, such as shad, sprat and mullet supplanted them. Sea zander was on the first place by landing among the greater bony fishes. Mullet, introduced in 1930-1934, formed commercial stocks and was fished.

Catches of sturgeon were limited in 1942, and entirely stopped in Turkmenistan waters from 1946. Herring took the first place in Turkmenistan fisheries with development of active deep-sea fishing. Its landings increased to 4 thousand tons. Fishing for sprat developed a bit later and it was mainly fished in coastal areas. Its landings increased to 2,16 thousand tons, and consisted only of common Caspian sprat (alamanka), which spends almost a whole year in coastal shoals.

The third period, which can be counted from 1951, was distinguished with introduction of sprat fishing using electric light. Deep-sea fishing becomes major form of fishing in Turkmenistan sector of the Caspian during this period. This period is characterised by increase of sprat landing from one side and gradual reduction of landing of other fishes i.e. reduction of coastal fisheries. A lot of coastal fishermen camps were closed and a number of fishermen villages vanished. Initially it happened in borderlands, in the south. Almost all fisheries and camps were shut in Gasan-Kuli. Only mullet fisheries and insignificant carp and Caspian roach fisheries in lower reaches of the Atrek remained in Gasan-Kuli due to artificial spawning grounds of Caspian roach erected in 1974. However, landings of these fishes were insignificant and were below 1 thousand ton. Yet, this type of coastal fisheries faded away during last 3 years on account of shallowness of the Atrek and absence of water releases into the sea.

Then the fisheries on Avaza, Tarta, Djafra, Karshi, Aima and Karabogazgol were winded up. Mullet fisheries in Kyzil-Su and Kinali were shut during last years. Coastal fisheries in Turkmenistan were closed.

1991 is considered to be the beginning of the fourth period. Only deep-sea fishing for sprat using light survived.

The following fish species refer to commercial (except for sturgeons).

Sprat. The highest landings of sprats were 45-47 thousand tons. Nowadays, landings hardly reach 10 thousand tons. Quotas, given in compliance with the interstate agreement, are allotted at the level of the first figures. For instance, the quota for 1996 was 46,9 tons. In fact, landings were five times lower and there are difficulties with use of even this volume because disrupted seller’s market.

Shad. Shad used to be one of the major targets of fishing. However, in case of resumption of fishing for shads, we will have to quit fishing with drift nets, because of high by-catch of sturgeon youngs. Fisheries will be mainly based on local forms of shads. Stocks of anadromous shads, breeding in the Volga, are severely damaged. Yet, anadromous shads have never played an important role in catches. Some 80-90% of landings consisted of local forms of shads – West shad, Brazhnikov’s shad and shad.

Fisheries should be sited on spawning runs and on wintering runs in winter. Stocks of local forms of shad, which are in good condition, have not been exploited since 60s. Landings can be quite high. About 4,5-5 thousand tons were caught in coastal zone in best years. However, to achieve this, we should first of all restore coastal fisheries, fishermen camps, landing points, site them in the vicinity of big coastal settlements.

Sea zander. Fishing for zander was winded up in 70s. Stocks are heavily undermined. However, there are some hopes that its stocks can be restored. Fisheries might be opened, which will use by-catches.

Mullet. All fisheries closed by themselves. Stocks allow for fishing all along the Turkmenistan coast. There is no limits or quotas for catches of mullets, since its actual stocks are not known. Turkmenistan coast has the most favourable conditions for ranging and fattening.

Carps. There is specialised fishing for Caspian roach and carp in the region of Gasan-Kuli. Normal functioning of the Adjiyab spawning complex, for which it should be filled with 60-100m m3 of water in November-June, is a must. Their by-catches can be used in the rest of a year.

Kutum. Can be fished without limitations.

Crayfishes. Occur along the Turkmenistan coast from the border with Kazakhstan in the north to Cheleken in the south. The highest concentrations occur in bays and lagoons. Fishing for selling at the local market in not profitable. It is necessary arrange export at least to neighbouring countries. Customers from far abroad are also quite interested in acquiring this product.

Table 20. Landings of fish during the period from 1987 to 1996, thousand tons

Year

Total landing

Of these

Sprat

Carp, Caspian roach and kutum

1987

45.1

44.9

0.2

1988

41.6

41.58

0.02

1989

44.9

44.6

0.3

1990

41.1

40.8

0.3

1991

39.8

39.6

0.2

1992

30.8

30.7

0.1

1993

15.0

14.7

0.3

1994

14.1

13.8

0.3

1995

8.52

8.50

0.02

1996

8.57

8.55

0.02

 

“Balkanbalyk” is the fishing organisation, which has vessels like RMS, SRTM, ZMS – equipped with fish pumps and 4 fisheries with boats equipped with cone-shaped nets. However, “fishery” in this case is conditional name. Two of these fisheries don’t even have its own mooring, not to mention any production infrastructure. Two other have their moorings, but in the rest, they are 100% depending on “Balkanbalyk”.

Landings of sprat reduced by 4-5 times. 8420 tons were caught in 1999. For instance, some 40 thousand tons were caught in 1990. The fleet of “Balkanbalyk” became obsolete and worn-out and should be renewed. There are no shipyards in Turkmenistan. There is only one fish factory, which is located in the city of Turkmenbashi. However, its capacity is restricted from the one hand, from another hand, everything, bar fishes, should be imported from abroad.

Fish traditionally constitutes major part of the diet of coastal population. Despite all changes in fishing regime and changes in species composition of landings, sprat didn’t become a “national” fish. Its sales are limited with low demand in Turkmenistan. As always, the most popular are carp, Caspian roach, kutum, mullet, shad and sturgeons. This is linked to high development of fish angling. Licensed fishing for bony fishes wit fixed gill nets have developed recently. Thanks to liberalisation of laws, excessive fish caught by fish anglers and those caught by license are now openly sold at markets. Poaching on sturgeons still exists in spite of strict protection.

Sturgeons are caught only for scientific – research purposes. Limits are allotted in compliance with relevant decisions of the Commission on Bioresources of the Caspian Sea operating in accordance with the interstate agreement. For example, 50 tons (unused) were allocated in 1995, 20 tons in 1996 (actual landing was 29 tons), 20 tons in 1997 (were caught during the first six month).

The peculiarity of the Caspian Sea is that during half-century shaping of the theory and practice of management of biological resources of the sea were based on incontrovertibility of ecological integrity of inhabiting communities and what is particularly important, on possibility of setting up common standards, fishing rules and control over its use on major part of habitats of hydrobionts. We should keep sticking to this approach in future. It is impossible to divide bioresources with frontiers and we should accept as a framework. All negotiations in scope of the Commission on Bioresources of the Caspian Sea should be held with participation of all Caspian littoral states.

Only pilot works on development of aquaculture were conducted in Turkmenistan. There were attempts of the KaspNIRKH, institute located in Astrakhan, to breed sturgeons in cages in the sea, but then all works were mothballed at the initial stage. There were also endeavours of scientists from Leningrad to raise salmons in enclosed immersed cages at abandoned drilling platforms. Although, the study is over, the results are unknown. There were also attempts of the Turkmenbashi (Krasnovodsk) Department of CaspNIRKH to breed mullet fries in appendices of the outfall of the Thermoelectric Power Plant. The research had insufficient theoretical and practical substantiation; nevertheless, the results of the research were published.

The natural and climatic conditions of eastern coast of the Caspian provide broad opportunities for the aquaculture. We only need experts in aquaculture and funding.

9. Transportation

The coastal zone of Turkmenistan is provided with all types transportation, which is ascribed to industrial development of the province of Balkan.

A railroad is connecting the city of Turkmenbashi with centers of other regions. Construction of the planned railway line to Kazanjik-Kyzilkaya and Turkmenbashi-Bekdash-Kunyaurgench is of high importance. Establishment of a new transport corridor, from the north to the south to Yeraliyevo (Kazakhstan)-Turkmenbashi- Kazanjik-Kyzil-Atrek with access to railways of Iran, will form a new shortest link connecting Europe with Iran. Bringing of the transit corridor into operation will increase capacity of internal conveyances by 1,5-2 times. Besides, the ferry crossing Turkmenbashi-Baku provides access to railways of Trans-Caucasia and to European countries through them.

The airport of Turkmenbashi is the second biggest after that of Ashghabad and is able to receive aircraft with cargo-carrying capacity, what makes it more competitive than other large airports for transit planes and for dispatch of bulk freights by air.

The biggest seaport at Turkmenistan coast of the Caspian Sea is located in the city of Turkmenbashi. This port is used for shipping (oil and oil products, containers, dry substances, etc.), fisheries, and for passenger and vehicle transportation (ferry).

The port in the city of Cheleken – mooring for supporting oil exploration vessels, port Aladja in Southern-Cheleken bay – provides services for oil tankers and dry cargo ships, port in the settlement Bekdash – provides maintenance for dry cargo ships, and port in the settlement Okarem – provides maintenance for oil tankers refer to smaller seaports.

At present, the vessels belonging to Turkmenistan Shipping Company have direct connections with Mediterranean and Baltic Sea ports. The main routes within the Caspian Sea include: Tukmenbashi – Baku, Tukmenbashi – Astrakhan, Tukmenbashi – Bender-Anzely, Cheleken – Bender-Anzely.

Table 21. Capacity of shipment by different transport, thousand tons

Conveyance

1999, thousand tons

% compared to 1998

Shipment by all means of transportation, thousand tons

33592

-

Rail transport

2105.0

98.2

Road transport

24315.4

-

Maritime transport

145.9

104.9

Pipeline transport

7026.5

103.5

Airborne transport

0.08

35.6

 

Table 22. Freight turnover and passengers transportation with different means of transportation

Conveyance

1999

% compared to 1998

Freight turnover of all means of transportation (bar maritime) m tons/km.

Of these:

2644.37

-

Automobile

620.3

-

Including:

  • Public transportation

  • business vehicles

79.1

541.2

96.3

-

Pipeline

1105.0

98.1

Airborne

0.07

4.09

Rail

919.0

83.8

Passenger transportation with all means, thousand people

Of these:

112509.15

-

Rail

146.0

45.5

Automobile

112345.3

-

Including:

- public transportation

32497.4

78.2

- business vehicles

79847.9

-

Maritime

6.25

91.6

Airborne

11.6

14.5

Asphalt-covered roads of category 1 connect all major settlements with each other. The total length of roads makes 2850km. Presently, the road Ashghabad-Turkmenbashi is under reconstruction. Reconstruction of other asphalt-covered roads is planned.

The pipelines of the province of Balkan have transported 38% of the total volume of pumped oil and gas in Turkmenistan. The gas pipeline Korpedje (Turkmenistan) – Kurt-kui (Iran) was opened in the end of 1997.

In general, the region has great potential for development of transportation, which is not fully employed currently. Data on freight turnover, capacity of shipments and passenger transportation are provided in Tables 21 and 22.

Development of market economy fosters growth of conveyances by road, predominating in the total capacity of shipment – 72%. However, pipelines are prevailing in the total freight turnover – 42%.

The share of automobiles in passenger conveyance and passenger turnover is high (correspondingly 99,8% and 97,1%).

Recently, the process of re-distribution of cargo and passenger automobile transportation has been taking shape toward increase in use of own vehicles of a company, organisation or entrepreneurs, especially for short hauls. Oftern enterprises of non-transport ministries use their conveyances not only for their own purposes but also serving to other companies or local population on the commercial basis.

Financial results of transport ministries for 11 months of 1999 are as follows:

Organisation

Number of enterprises

Income, billion manats

Ministry of Auto-transport

7

4417.1

Bureau “Turkmendenizyellari”

1

17702.9

National agency “Turkmenkhovayellari”

1

21829.5

10. Social and economic indices

Economic indices were higher in a number of industries in the province of Balkan. The following information provides a general picture of living standard.

Average monthly commodity circulation per person is 95,3 thousand manats. The highest commodity circulation is attributed to the cities of Balkanabad and Turkmenbashi – 183 and 137,2 thousand manat correspondingly. The lowest commodity circulation is in the south of the province of Etrap Esenguly – 11,8 thousand manats. Such a big difference is ascribed to concentration of unofficial markets in big cities, where rural population is shopping.

Prices for food products had a higher growth rate in the consumer sector of the economy in 1999. At large, prices were hinging on market saturation, demand, seasonal changes and purchasing power of the population.

In average, money income of one family amounted to 697 thousand manats per month in1999. Incomes from personal ancillary crafts constituted 3,1% of the total money income.

Money expenditures for 1999 increased by 1,1 times compared to 1998. The major money expenditures were used for purchasing food, constituting 67,0% of the total expenditures. Some 90% of the total sum of consumer expenditures were used in the private sector.

Expenditures of the population rose mainly owing to growth of the volume of purchases and payment for services, and increase of prices for commodities and services. They made 95,6% of the general volume of money expenditures. They increased by 1,1 times compared to 1998.

Expenditures of the population for procurement of alcoholic drinks worked out at 1,7% of the total expenditures in 1999.

Expenses on binding payments and fees made 3,9% of the total sum of expenditures. Compared to 1998, they dropped by 1,6 times.

Balance of money incomes and expenditures of the population showed an excess of incomes over expenditures in 1999, i.e. part of the monetary stock remains in hands.

The peculiarity of the province of Balkan is that the level of consumption of fresh water here is considerably lower than in other provinces. This is due to almost total lack of natural sources of fresh water. 1,1 billion m3 of water were consumed in the province of Balkan in 1998, of 20,1 consumed in general in Turkmenistan. However, one should anticipate a further rise of freshwater consumption after completion of the last branch of the Karakum canal – Bereket-Etrek, 165 km and development of new lands.

85% of the total consumed water is used by agriculture and the rest by the population and industries. In average, daily water consumption per head in cities is about 150 litres, in the same time this figure lowers to 60-80 litres in rural areas.

Owing to the freshwater deficiency, the local population is often using slightly and moderately mineralised groundwater, without treatment. Except for bad taste, the water from well can be the source of viral contamination.

Presently, seawater desalination is highly topical. Projects on construction of desalinating facilities in the cities of Turkmenbashi, Bekdash and Khazar have been prepared.

Usually, effluents of sewerage, after mechanical treatment in settling tanks, are discharges to filtration fields. Sometimes, sewage waters are discharged into the sea because of accidents in sewerage systems in coastal localities. This was observed in the cities of Tukmenbashi, Bekdash and Khazar. This situation was caused by the sea level rise flooding sewerage systems. Solid wastes are disposed to dumps located outside a settlement.

11. Possible environmental risks

Possible environmental risks include:

  • Air pollution, ensuing construction of new plants, increase of transportation both terrestrial and airborne;

  • Land deterioration, which resulting from construction of a railway Turkmenbashi-Bekdash and from an increase of livestock, grazed in rangeland;

  • Water pollution in areas adjacent to cities and in the vicinity of oil fields;

  • Extinction of some species of flora and fauna as a corollary of the above reasons and of poaching; and

  • Persisting high level of infectious diseases under continued lack of fresh water.

SECTION 1

SECTION 2

SECTION 3

SECTION 4

SECTION 5

SECTION 6

ATTACHMENT 1

ATTACHMENT 2

ATTACHMENT 3

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CRTC for Integrated Transboundary Coastal Area Management and Planning
Department of Environment, Marine Environment Research Bureau
187, Nejatollahi St, PO Box 15875-5181, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Tel.: +9821 8808776; 8901096
Fax: +9821 8907223; 8901269
E-mail: cep-doe@neda.net
2001-2003, CEP