Disease & Efforts

aral3.JPGPerhaps the most significant factor of the Aral Sea crisis is the health of the people.  Hospitalisation rates increased from 20 to 25 per 100 persons between 1980 and 1987.  Mortality rates have increased by 15 times in a ten year period, and diseases such as cardiac, vascular, gallstone, and tuberculosis have risen significantly.  The rise in child mortality has been attributed to environmental deterioration and now ranks highest in the former Soviet Union.  The ecological disaster has been directly linked by medical studies to diseases of blood, cancer, asthma, and heart malfunction. Read the rest of this page »

General Problem Background

aral1.JPGIrrigation increase in the 1960s began affecting the Aral ecosystem.  South of the Sea lies the Amudarya delta, a 28,000 sq km area used for the production of rice and cotton, the region’s most profitable cash crops.  In the days of the Cold War, the Aral Sea basin was designated by the former Soviet Union as land that would provide independence from the West.  Although the region did produce heartily for a time, the devastating effects of desertification were not anticipated by the central planners.  Now the Sea has in places retreated more than 100 km from its original boundaries. Read the rest of this page »