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Kyrgyzstan Review, 10 years ago

[15.05.2OO2] After Batken Osh seems like New York. By L.Saralayeva.

In spring the south resembles a true piece of Eden where every inch of land has been cultivated. People here manually temper stony mountains and envy the northerners whose land is far better. However this is so in the villages, but life resembles hell in urban areas.
The Batken people are mad about cleanness. This is probably to Uzbekistan neighborhood where even road stones are whitewashed. In order to catch up with the neighbors the municipal authority employs a great number of yardmen. people have jobs and he town is clean
The UNDP Population Fund has for the fifth year running been implementing Family Planning program in the Batken Oblast.
Some 5,200 fertile women have been registered with the local Marriage and Family consultation agency. Some 77 social patronage workers are insistent in explaining advantages of contraception to the Batken women.
So far the greatest success is the increased accouchement interval, medics believe. Whereas previously women born every year now the interval is about 2-3 years that is naturally good for mother and child health. Another outcome is the decreased number of marriages between relatives; formerly there has been such a tradition here
Every Sunday people from all around the Oblast and from neighboring Uzbek villages come to a marketplace in Kyzyl-Kiya to buy things at Russians flea market. Here Russians bring for sale everything they bought during the Soviet era. crystal vases, tableware sets, and carpets. Some do it for survival; others are leaving for Russia. Those failed to leave in time have found themselves in a very difficult situation because houses and flats are sold here at $50-100. However this money is not sufficient even to buy a ticket. Schools, pre-school institutions and hospitals as a rule have for 15 years not seen even a cosmetic repair. The UNDP Poverty Alleviation Program has taken care about this by allocating small grants for repairs and building projects Schoolteacher and medic still remain the most respected professions in the oblast
Despair is behind outward serenity of Kyrgyzstans off-country towns. Everything created over decades has been destroyed and lost over the independence decade. The off-country people is drinking and step by step degrading. As a matter of fact nothing has been done to sustain the existed capacity, leaving aside rehabilitation of small towns that is provided in CDF Program. By the way Kyrgyzstans southerners know far more about the UNDP and OSCE programs. This is an answer to the question. who needs them more.
Delo No., May 15, 2002

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