03-11-05 KyrgyzDisaster-MSP Project

COUNTRY: Kyrgyz Republic
PROJECT TITLE: Disaster Hazard Mitigation
GEF AGENCY: World Bank
DURATION: 4 years
GEF FOCAL AREA: Land Degradation
Degradation with links to OP-9 Integrated Land and
Water Multiple Focal Area Operational Program
GEF STRATEGIC PRIORITY: Undertake innovative
demonstrations for reducing contaminants (IW-3);
Implementation of sustainable land management
practices (SLM-2)
Sub-Total GEF
Sub-Total Co-financing:
Total Project Financing:
* Indicate approval date of PDFA
** Details provided in the Financing Section
resources management in the country’s disaster management strategies by supporting land
management and transboundary cooperation in the Mailuu-Suu river basin and piloting mitigation
measures to reduce pollution from waste dumps, with direct benefits on 50 ha where tailings and waste
dumps are deposited and about 1,000 ha of landslide affected area, and indirect benefits over 100,000
ha of agricultural land located downstream.
Mr. T. Akmataliev
Date: March 30, 2004
Minister of the Ministry of Ecology and Emergencies
GEF National Focal Point
Kyrgyz Republic
This proposal has been prepared in accordance with GEF policies and procedures and meets the
standards of the GEF Project Review Criteria for a Medium-sized Project.
Steve Gorman
GEF Executive Coordinator, World
Date: March 11, 2005
Mr. Joop Stoutjesdijk,
Lead Irrigation Engineer
Task Team Leader
The World Bank
Ms. Emilia Bataglini
Regional Coordinator for
GEF Operations
The World Bank
Tel: 202-473-3754
Tel: 202- 473-3232
[email protected]; [email protected];
Kyrgyz Republic is a country prone to significant landslides, floods, earthquakes and other
natural and manmade disaster hazards causing human death and much infrastructure damage
every year.
A particularly dangerous location is Mailuu-Suu, near the Uzbekistan border upstream of the
densely populated and highly productive Ferghana Valley. In Mailuu Suu 23 uranium tailings and
13 rock waste dumps, developed during Soviet times, are under constant threat from major
landslides that could push tailings into the Mailuu-Suu river (a tributary to the Syr Darya river),
and cause regional environmental disaster. On top of this, poor maintenance of these structures is
causing slow seepage, thereby, contaminating the transboundary river water.
In response to numerous government requests to mitigate the above situation, a $6.9 million IDA
Disaster Hazard Mitigation project was prepared. The project will address only the immediate
threats of unloading the two most threatening landslides, stabilizing most risky tailings, and
strengthening the institutional and local community capacity in disaster management and
preparedness. However, longer term environmental and natural resource problems of (i) MailuuSuu river contamination and (ii) land degradation are not being addressed under the IDA project
due to limited funding.
The objective of the GEF proposal is to address these two environmental problems and to
incorporate natural resource and environmental management practices into effective disaster
management strategies. Implementing more integrated approaches to sustainable natural
resources management and hazard risk mitigation will generate multiple benefits at local, national
and global levels.
The GEF-supported activities will complement activities carried out under the IDA project and
will include: (i) protecting the Mailuu-Suu river from further leaching of the waste dumps by
constructing culvert or a by-pass and strengthening the monitoring and dissemination systems, (ii)
carrying out disaster management trainings with a focus on proper land use practice to show links
between land degradation and disaster hazard risks, and (iii) promoting transboundary
cooperation on water quality.
This project would fit under the umbrella of the Central Asian Countries Initiative for Land
Management Partnership (CACILM) as it identifies on-site and off-site impacts of mining
operations as one of the causes of land degradation that directly affect the livelihoods of rural
populations. This MSP project could be used as a targeted investment of the CACILM
partnership not only to improve land and water resources management in south Kyrgyzstan, but
also to reduce hazard risks by integrating land management into disaster hazard mitigation
activities of the project.
The Kyrgyz Republic ratified the Convention on Combating Desertification (UNCCD) on 19
September 1997.
Concerning the transboundary environmental issues affecting the Syr Darya Basin, the Kyrgyz
Government ratified Agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan, the Government of the
Kyrgyz Republic and the Government of Uzbekistan on Cooperation in the Area of Environment
and Rational Nature Use, signed in Bishkek, January 10, 1997. The agreement is concerned with
transboundary water issues and includes provisions to protect against and prevent pollution of
transboundary water resources and create an information network for early warning systems in
cases of extraordinary situations on the transboundary territories.
Government is very committed to improve the situation in the Mailuu-Suu area and mitigate
major environmental and health hazards. Due to the country’s topography and geology, natural
hazards such as landslides are often hard to prevent, but Government is interested as a minimum
in improving the capacity to analyze, evaluate and predict disasters, and in improving the
capability to provide rapid warning against potential hazard events.
Since 1996 the Kyrgyz Government, in close cooperation with Uzbek, Tajik and Kazakh
Governments, has put a lot of effort on formulating joint programs to resolve the problem of mine
tailings rehabilitation and waste dumps that have significant transboundary environmental
impacts. These initiatives resulted in a 1997 Agreement on Cooperation in the Area of
Environment and Rational Nature Use and in 2003 Bishkek Declaration, where delegation heads
of the four participating Central Asian countries that share the Syr Darya Basin convened to sign.
Both the Agreement and the Declaration are focused on uranium mill tailings in Mailuu-Suu and
acknowledge the significant transboundary threat represented by tailings and waste dumps to the
Ferghana Valley.
This clearly demonstrates long-term political commitment on part of the Kyrgyz Government to
work on its own as well as with neighboring countries to address the root causes of complex
environmental problems inherited as part of the common Soviet legacy. While the Central Asian
governments have a strong understanding of the need for transboundary action to address
environmental security threats, at the same time, they often lack funding designed to initiate
cross-border policy and institution-building addressing these threats in a manner that can evolve
policy and practice. This MSP together with CACLIM partnership would ensure that these
countries meet for the next five years to address these issue, and demonstrate to other donors the
importance of funding similar activities.
GEF Rationale
The proposed project complies with the long term objectives of the GEF Operational Programs of
“Integrated Land and Water Multifocal Area” (OP 9), and Sustainable Land Management (OP
15). GEF-supported activities will: (i) provide capacity building to enable the development of a
more integrated knowledge base on current chemical and physical transport of radioactive
contamination and its transboundary impact; (ii) implement measures to control and reverse land
degradation through more comprehensive and integrated approaches to sustainable land
management within the context of disaster hazard mitigation strategies; and (iii) improve
coordination across agencies to address land degradation as part of an important element in
hazard risk mitigation.The project will also help Kyrgyzstan to work collaboratively with its
neighbors to address transboundary water quality and land management issues.
The proposed project would fit under the umbrella of the GEF Sustainable Land Management
Partnership for Central Asia (CACILM) which identifies (a) land degradation as an
environmental problem that directly affects the livelihoods of rural populations, and (b) on-site
and off-site mining as a direct cause for land degradation.
The CACILM partnership would facilitate more effective focus on policies to reverse land
degradation by helping to increase the capacity of key institutions responsible for planning land
use practices, and of local communities directly affected by land degradation. This MSP project
could be used as a targeted investment of the CACILM partnership not only to improve land and
water resources management in south Kyrgyzstan, but also to reduce hazard risks by integrating
land management into disaster hazard mitigation activities of the project. The CACILM identified
on-site and off-site impacts of mining operations as one of the causes of land degradation
currently in Central Asian countries. Implementing more integrated approaches to sustainable
natural resources management and hazard risk mitigation in this blended IDA-GEF project will
generate multiple benefits at local, national and global levels.
Country Background and Issues
The Kyrgyz Republic is a small country, (about twice the size of Portugal), with significant
regional environmental and biodiversity importance. Despite its relatively small size, the
country’s diverse range of landscape types and microclimates leads to a corresponding wideranging diversity of ecosystems. The country is host to nearly one percent of all known species in
the world on just 0.13 percent of the world’s landmass. Over 4,500 species of higher plants and
over 500 species of vertebrates along with 2,000 species of fungi and over 3,000 insect species
are located in the country. Walnut forests growing in the northern slopes of the western Tien
Shan are unique and extremely rich in biodiversity.
With independence, the Kyrgyz Republic inherited a legacy of environmental damage caused by
many years of output-focused mining development, with little regard to environmental impact. A
particular situation is Mailuu Suu, upstream of the densely populated and highly productive
Ferghana Valley. There was uranium mining from 1946 until 1968, and 23 tailings and 13 waste
dumps were developed, often in close proximity to the Mailuu-Suu River, which is a tributary of
the Syr Darya (see figure below). The total tailings volume is about 1.96 million m3. The total
waste dump volume is 0.8 million m3.
The tailings 3, 8 and 9 are located close to the river and the Tectonic and Isolit landslides threaten
their stability. Some of the buildings of the factory (in the right) were damaged by a recent
Tectonic landslide (picture courtesy EIA team).
Being mountainous, the place is prone to floods and landslides, and is in a seismically active area.
There are more than 200 places around Mailuu-Suu only where potentially active slippage areas
are home to historically-active landslides. During the last 10 years an increase in landslide
activity has been observed, possibly due to a cycle of wet weather and a large number of seismic
events. Tectonic, Koi-Tash and Isolit are the three biggest landslides presenting the highest
potential for further activation and seriously threatening the integrity of a number of mine
tailings. It is difficult to predict landslide behavior, but it is clear that a major landslide could
damage tailings or push them into the Mailuu-Suu River, which could then wash the dangerous
substances through Mailuu-Suu town, and possibly further downstream to the Ferghana Valley.
To reduce the risks of immediate threats of landslides to mine tailings, a US $6.9 million IDA
Disaster Hazard Mitigation Project was prepared. However, the amount allocated is not enough to
address every aspect of a complex transboundary environmental situation.
In this respect, investigations found serious leaching emanating from the waste dumps, few of
which are in direct contact with the river waters. The results of the preliminary geochemical
analysis on surface waters showed that dissolved Uranium in the range of 45 to 1000 kg per year
flows directly into the Mailuu-Suu river from its tributaries of Kulmen Sai and Aylampa-Sai
rivers. While these conditions have existed for some years, lack of action now will cause longterm downstream contamination, preventing the use of river water for irrigation, and damaging
the socio-economic structure of the upper part of the Ferghana Valley with over six million
people. It could irreversibly contaminate important natural habitat and agricultural areas within
the flood plain, and prevent the use of river water. In addition, land degradation caused by current
human activities of overgrazing on steep slopes is creating additional hazard risks. These
practices cause erosion of steep hillsides, which directly lead to increases in flood and landslide
risks, locally and downstream.
GEF assistance would help with longer-term environmental aspects of the situation, and would
ensure proper natural resource and environmental management as well as regional environmental
security. It is clear that no action today will create en environmental and agricultural crisis in the
region. GEF activities proposed under this project will stop the on-going leaching and will install
robust water quality and soil monitoring in place. GEF funding would also allow Uzbekistan and
Kyrgyzstan to develop joint mechanisms for managing bilaterally the issue of mine tailing
pollution in their common water systems, better environmental and natural resources management
mechanisms that have not been updated since the Soviet collapse.
Current Situation (Baseline Course of Action)
Poor management of natural resources increases vulnerability to natural hazards and reduces
agricultural productivity. For instance, soil erosion on steep hillsides of Mailuu-Suu, caused by
overgrazing, contributes to flood risks and landslides, which in turn reduce agricultural
productivity. Similarly, contaminated water in the river affects fertile soils and agricultural lands
downstream. The activities proposed under this GEF proposal will mitigate the level of such risks
by inducing proper management of the Mailuu-Suu environment and natural resources.
Unsustainable natural resource management practices, like cattle grazing on marginal land, are
induced, or at least exacerbated, by poverty. Social Assessment conducted during project
preparation showed that due to high unemployment in rural areas of Mailuu-Suu, reliance on
livestock is virtually the only option for people to survive. This creates excess demand for
grazing and forces people to graze on marginal lands. The problem is further exacerbated by an
acute shortage of pasture land and areas for raising winter feed. The shortage of grazing land is so
dire that people are using up to five uranium tailings as their grazing area, despite the prohibitive
radiation and soil contamination. IDA activities under component one will address this problem
by improving internal layers and top soil cover of tailings to prevent vertical radiation.
However, the source of this problem lies at the institutional and policy levels. This is where the
CACILM partnership becomes vital as it can serve as an important catalyst in addressing land
degradation issues at the institutional and policy levels. Rural poverty, shifts in land planning
responsibilities, and lack of integrated land management are causing increased land degradation.
In turn, land degradation contributes to further impoverishment through landslides (ruining
villages, roads and farmlands, and irrigation and water systems), soil-erosion (undermining
agricultural productivity), and silting waterways used for drinking water and irrigation.
Government and Mining Sector Policies and Strategies
The Government is concerned about the impact of poor water quality in the Mailuu-Suu river on
environmental and human health. It is committed to improve this situation by mitigating major
environmental and health hazards. Since independence series of important legislation and action
plans were adopted to alleviate the current and potential risks of radioactive contamination to the
environment, local populations, and downstream riparians. These include (i) the National
Environmental Action Plan (NEAP; 1995) identifies poor maintenance of mine tailings and waste
dumps as source of major environmental pollution; (ii) the National Environmental Health Action
Plan (NEHAP, 1997) aims to prevent environmental and industrial disasters; and (iii) the National
Strategy for Sustainable Human Development (NSSHD), adopted in May 1997, is the main
framework for risk management of disaster hazards. The broad objective of government policy in
this area is to reduce the vulnerability of the population and environment to hazaroud processes.
The proposed project would support the implementation of priority measures identified in the
NEAP as well as NSSHD.
Mining sector includes number of laws pertaining to environmental protection. The main
environmental legislation is the “Law on protection of the Environment” and the “Law on
Environmental Expertise” passed in 1999. They cover water and air quality, natural resources,
land use and ecological preservation and stipulate that Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA)
be prepared for any new mining project and be submitted to appropriate state authorities for
approval. In addition, article 30 of the Law on Sub-Soil Resources (1997), as amended in 1999,
contains important provisions obligating the mining operator to close the mine in an orderly
GEF Objectives
The global environmental objective of the project is to protect the integrity of the Mailuu-Suu
ecosystem by addressing transboundary contamination of the Mailuu-Suu river and land
degradation in the surrounding areas.
In particular, the project will aim at keeping the transboundary pollution loads within the
applicable standards, ensuring sustainable natural resources management to reduce the risk of
landslides, and strengthening regional cooperation among neighboring countries to mitigate
natural hazard risks. Through its co-financing with IDA, the project will also incorporate natural
resources and environmental management into effective disaster management strategies for the
Kyrgyz Republic.
This will be achieved by: (i) preventing the Mailuu-Suu river from further leaching of waste
dumps by constructing culvert or a by-pass (ii) protecting water and soil quality by strengthening
the monitoring and dissemination systems; (iii) mainstreaming natural resource management into
effective disaster mitigation strategies; and (iv) promoting transboundary cooperation on water
quality by supporting a forum for stakeholders to discus concerns and knowledge sharing. It is
expected that the fragile ecosystem that has been damaged by a legacy of environmentally
unsustainable development of uranium mining and human activities of land degradation will
Expected Project Outcomes
The expected project outcomes include: (i) improved water quality in the river by preventing
further contamination of the Mailuu-Suu River from the waste dumps; (ii) reduced exposure of
humans, livestock, and riverine flora and fauna to radio nuclides; (iii) improved capacity at both
national and local environmental protection level to conduct water and soil quality baseline
assessment and monitoring; (iv) increased capacity of local communities and key institutions to
stop land degradation practices, which can be replicated throughout Kyrgyz Republic and
Mailuu-Suu Basin; (v) strengthened transboundary collaboration in the context of Central Asian
Initiative for Land Management Partnership, disaster hazard mitigation and environment in the
Mailuu-Suu River Basin with neighboring states.
Project Activities and Financial Inputs
The GEF MSP would provide funds for works, goods, and services related to the construction of
culvert or a by-pass to reduce contamination in the tributary to Mailuu-Suu river, and to
strengthen water quality, sediment, and soil monitoring capabilities in the country. The funds will
also be used to implement cross-boundary awareness and disaster management training programs.
Land use and environmental degradation issues will be incorporated in these trainings as an
important dimension of general hazard risk reduction strategies.
It is evident that a thorough quantitative appraisal of bulk chemical dispersion through surface
waters is compulsory in the short term. The project envisages using GEF funds to establish an
effective baseline study and monitoring program to better understand the chemistry of waste and
pathways for migration of leachates and to assess current environmental impacts. The monitoring
system will be designed to allow sampling on the most likely migration pathways, including
background conditions, composition of the pollutants, potential pathways, and current impacts of
leachate on the environment and local population. This will create the conceptual foundation
upon which a strategic action program can be built for institutionalizing multi-country
cooperation on addressing water quality, its ecosystem impact and further cross-border
coordination building.
The activities proposed for GEF financing are:
Kulmen-Sai Water Contamination Prevention Measures (US $496,000);
Monitoring and Warning Systems Establishment (US $416,500);
Mainstreaming Natural Resources Management (US $50,000);
Promoting Transboundary Cooperation on Movement of Hazardous Waste by Water (US
The proposed MSP would be blended with a US$ 6.9 million IDA grant addressing the risk of
immediate threats of landlsides to mine tailings. Due to delays in the approval process of the
MSP, the IDA grant was approved ahead of the GEF mediunm-size grant, in June 2004.
Blending GEF financing with IDA will enable more detailed evaluation of mountain ecosystem
degradation trends, as well as exchange of experience both within the country and outside, thus
further strengthening the replication impact.
Project Description
Component 1 – Uranium Mining Wastes Isolation and Protection (UMWIP) (US $7.61 million,
inclusive of US$ 521,000 GEF financing). The component will finance six interventions to
decrease the contamination risks of waste tailings and rock dumps, and decrease the risks of
potentially damaging landslides in Mailuu-Suu.
Five activities financed from IDA include:
Tectonic Landslide Unloading;
Tailings and Waste Dumps Inspection, and Rehabilitation;
Koi-Tash Landslide – Diversion of Surface Water Runoff;
Landslide Monitoring and Early Warning Systems; and
Riverbank Strengthening along Aylyampa Sai and Mailuu-Suu Rivers. The component will
also finance a feasibility and design study for the long-term improvements in Mailuu-Suu and
finance priority interventions.
One activity (#6) financed from GEF MSP include:
6) Kulmen-Sai Water Contamination Prevention Measures (US $521,000). This activity will
secure two highly radioactive and leaching waste dumps on the Kulmen-Sai streams, tributary
to the Mailuu-Suu river, to create a safe condition either via a culvert or a by-pass to prevent
further water contact with the waste in the dumps. This activity will reduce and halt water
contamination and soil erosion.
Component 2 – Disaster Preparedness and Monitoring (DPM) (US $3.38 million, inclusive of
US$ 479,000 GEF financing). The component will finance five activities to strengthen the
capacity of the Ministry of Environment and Emergencies to better prepare and response to
Five activities financed from IDA include:
1) Capacity Building Program - A program of capacity building will be implemented to
strengthen the ability of MEE, administrations at various levels, and local communities to
fulfill better their duties and functions related to disaster monitoring and management, create
better awareness, and be better prepared and responsive in case of disasters;
2) Landslide and Seismic Monitoring and Warning Systems - About 20 large landslides that
could cause major disasters in nearby villages in case of unloading have been identified.
They will be equipped with real-time monitoring and warning systems. Seismic
measurement and forecasting equipment, earthquake detectors and a mobile seismic
assessment station will be provided, in order to improve the monitoring and assessment of
potentially damaging seismic events;
3) Monitoring System in Mailuu-Suu - A comprehensive monitoring system covering climatic,
seismic, hydrological, geo-chemical, and environmental parameters in Mailuu-Suu will be
developed and implemented to support and complement Component 1 interventions,
determine the baseline situation, and measure project outcomes and long-term impacts.
Two activities (#s 4 and 5) financed from GEF MSP include:
4) Monitoring and Warning Systems Establishment (US $441,500). This will include the
 Water Quality Baseline Establishment. This activity will include carrying out
geochemical sampling and investigations for surface water, groundwater and stream
sediments to establish water quality baselines affected by persistent source of waste
dump and other anthropogenic sources of contaminants. The baseline values and
methods would meet international standards and serve as benchmarks in maintaining
and keeping the surface and groundwater quality within or below the applicable
Water Quality Monitoring System Establishment. Based on the results of the
baseline, a water quality monitoring system will be placed. This will include
installing three automated stations with phone transmission capability of acquired
data, one portable colorimeter comprehensive of reactants, one automatic sampler,
and one U analyzer. This activity will also establish a small local laboratory
equipped with deionized water, glassware, reactants, portable instruments,
dosimeters, and spare parts for assembling and carrying out simple analysis on site;
Warning and Information Sharing Systems Enhancement within the Kyrgyz Republic
and with Uzbekistan authorities. The water quality monitoring system requires a
response system to confirm reported compliance values and to provide timely
response information. This necessitates creation of an early warning and information
sharing network for the Mailuu-Suu authorities to share real time data with the
central government authorities and Andijan authorities. This will include installing a
professional-grade weather station and a stream-gauge station on the Mailuu-Suu
5) Promoting Transboundary Cooperation on Environmental Management and Movement of
Hazardous Waste by Water (US $37 500). It will provide financial support to allow Kyrgyz,
Uzbek and related international experts to further advance and promote a dialogue on basinwide cooperation and facilitate development of regional policy of coordination in the
management of tailings and wastes in the Mailuu-Suu area. This will be achieved by means
of conferences, seminars, workshops and video-conferences.
Component 3 – Project Management (PM) (US $0.94 million, financed from IDA only). This
component will provide funding for the staffing and operation of a Project Implementation Unit
(PIU), so that project implementation can be carried out in a timely and effective manner. The
proposed GEF funded activities will also be implemented by this PIU.
Incremental Cost Analysis
Under the GEF Alternative scenario, the project will be able to undertake the above discussed
incremental activities that will substantially add to the achievement of the overall global
development objective. The GEF financing will be for clearly identified activities that will have
an immediate impact on water quality and will allow monitoring of the water and soil quality and
information sharing. IDA will finance a number of identified activities in Mailuu-Suu that will
reduce the risk of potential landslide disasters that could push tailings into the river or block the
river, causing submergence of tailings. As such the incrementability is larger than the GEF
Incremental Cost (US$)
Component 3: Project Management
TOTAL: 9,425,000
Component 1: Uranium Mining
Wastes Isolation and Protection
Component 2: Disaster Preparedness
and Monitoring
There is support for the project at the highest level in the government. The Government not only
envisages benefits for the environment around Mailuu-Suu area, but also views the project as a
vehicle to provide improved relations with the riparian countries.
The creation of new institutional links under the CACILM partnership will strengthen the
sustainability of the project interventions. In particular, the adoption of more comprehensive and
integrated approaches to addressing natural resources management and disaster hazard mitigation
will result in more significant local and national benefits that would provide additional incentives
to Government, stakeholders, and donor partners to sustain activities.
The more local people become involved in disaster preparedness activities, the more likely it is
that IDA and GEF interventions will develop their own dynamic and keep on running beyond the
project’s life-span. The project will develop disaster plans with local communities and local
authorities, which will identify land degradation as part of an important of effective disaster
management practices.
Overall, the already high country ownership of the project and the increasing commitment to the
CACILM partnership provides a strong foundation for the achievement and sustainability of
significant reduction in hazard risks, and improvements in both land management and welfare of
rural livelihoods. To provide financial sustainability the Government has opted to use scarce IDA
grant resources for this project. It has agreed to recruit sufficient technical assistance consultants
– through the support of Japanese co-financing – to develop sustainable interventions that require
minimum operation and maintenance (O&M) afterwards. As part of the design work, the
necessary funding for O&M will be calculated so that government has sufficient time to allocate
the needed funds. The project will also develop and implement awareness and training programs
at all levels (government, local administrations, and communities) to improve knowledge and
understanding of best practices. Finally, as part of the project, studies will take place to design
long-term options for additional interventions needed to decrease the hazard situation in MailuuSuu, for additional donor support.
The project could be used as a model intervention for an innovative partnership framework
currently under development for improved land use to enable replication beyond the project area.
The project as a whole, and land resource management in particular, establishes a replicable
model relevant for other mountain ecosystems prone to natural disasters. Implementing this
project under the Central Asian Initiative for Land Management umbrella will allow pro-active
sharing of best practices and experiences with neighboring countries.
The activity on ‘Promoting Transboundary Cooperation on Movement of Hazardous Waste by
Water’ with participation of experts from countries in the region (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and
Kazakhstan) will include dissemination of lessons learned during project implementation as well
as information exchange of important monitoring data collected. The neighboring countries also
have several mine tailings that threaten the environment and the project could provide important
lessons and information to the neighboring countries on the rehabilitation and safe keeping of
such tailings.
Every effort has been made to ensure strong and broad stakeholder involvement. A pre-project
social assessment encompassing all segments of the local population in and around Mailuu-Suu,
including downstream communities of Uzbekistan, was carried out to adapt project to local
realities, to uncover unanticipated issues, to better understand why people engage in patently
risky behaviors, and to develop a sense of the perspectives and interests of different stakeholders.
As the project moves forward other measures will include the setting up of a Mailuu-Suu based
project coordinating committee with an over-representation of rural interests, something merited
in light of evidence from the social assessment of wide discrepancies in interests and outlooks of
urban and rural residents. During the project’s design and implementation phases, the current
once per year public meetings held between local authorities and the population will be increased
in frequency to once every two months, with additional meetings possible in response to special
issues arising in particular communities. Minutes of such meetings will be recorded. Response
to specific issues raised will be tracked and followed up on until they are satisfactorily resolved.
Local officials and project managers will also be trained in participatory techniques. Grievance
procedures and mechanisms will be introduced to ensure that complaints are recorded and
followed up in a timely and transparent manner.
Monitoring and evaluation activities related to the project will be the responsibility of the PIU.
Monitoring project progress and achievements will entail a process for reviewing continuously
and systematically the various project implementation activities. The objectives of the M&E
activities are to: (a) measure input, output and outcome indicators; (ii) provide information
regularly on progress toward achieving desirable results and facilitating reporting to the
government and funding agencies; (c) alert managers, both in government and funding agencies,
to actual or potential problems in implementation so that adjustments can be made; (d) determine
whether the potential beneficiaries are responding as expected and intended by the project; and
(e) provide a process whereby the PIU can reflect and improve on performance.
Specification of indicators for project objectives, outcomes, and means of implementation and
measurement are outlined in the table below:
Project Outcomes
Improved water quality in the river Mailuu-Suu;
ii) Reduced exposure of humans, livestock, and riverine
flora and fauna to radio nuclides;
iii) Improved capacity at both national and local levels to
conduct water and soil quality monitoring;
iv) Increased capacity of local communities and key
institutions to stop land degradation practices;
v) Strengthened transboundary collaboration in the context
of CACILM and disaster hazard mitigation strategies
with the neighboring states.
2. GEF Activities to achieve outcomes (including cost in
US$ of each activity)
Kulmen-Sai Water Contamination Prevention
Measures (US $496,000)
Monitoring and Warning Systems (US $416,500)
Promoting Natural Resources Management
Transboundary Cooperation on Movement of
Hazardous Waste by Water (US $37,500)
Standards: Maximum
Contaminant Levels (MCL),
according to Kyrgyz standards.
ii) Parameters: Permanent
Monitoring of pH, Eh, T, and
Conductivity; Intermittent
Monitoring of UO2, As, Cr(VI),
Cd, Pb, NO3, NO2, SO4, SO3,
iii) Community work, trainings,
annual meetings, conferences and
1) Monitoring and warning systems in
place, functioning, efficiently used and
maintained on annual basis
2) Mitigation measures completed and
3) Parties meet on annual basis to discuss
project progress and issues of common
The total project cost is US $11.7 million, out of which GEF contributes US $1 million. The
GEF grant would be blended with a US$ 6.9 million IDA grant addressing the risk of
immediate threats of landlsides to mine tailings, which has been already approved. The
project receives co-financing from Japan (PHRD grant) as well as contributions from
Project Components
Component 1: Uranium
Mining Wastes Isolation
and Protection
Component 2: Disaster
Preparedness and
Component 3: Project
Project Total
Not applicable
Name of Co-financier (source)
Japanese PHRD Grant
Sub-Total Co-financing
1.91 mill.
1.95 mill.
10.76 mil.
The latest World Bank Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), which was approved on May 15,
2003, identifies natural resource and environmental risks, including landslides, land degradation
and uranium mine tailings in the Mailuu-Suu area as priority issues to address. The proposed
IDA-MSP project is included in the CAS to address these issues.
The proposed project also fits within the World Bank Water Resource Strategy for Central Asia
which was prepared in 2004 to guide the World Bank interventions in this region.
During preparation, the project team held several consultations with other donors and agencies
active in the water, disaster management and environment sectors, including UNDP, ADB, the
EU/TACIS, OSCE in order to coordinate their activities and leverage interest in the proposed
project. The team also consulted extensively with the GEF Secretariat on the focus and
operational linkages of the proposed project.
This MSP is proposed under the umbrella of the ADB-led CACILM Partnership. The Partenrship
would facilitate more effective focus on policies to reverse land degradation by helping to
increase the capacity of key institutions responsible for planning land use practices, and of local
communities directly affected by land degradation. Implementing more integrated approaches to
sustainable natural resources management and hazard risk mitigation in this blended project will
generate multiple benefits at local, national and global levels.
In addition to the CACILM Partnership, the project expects to work with UNDP. Its Country
Program for the period 2005-2010 is being finalized, which is expected to include some (pilot)
activities on disaster management and community mobilization. UNDP has indicated some
interest to work in Mailuu-Suu on a pilot basis to enhance the people’s awareness and broaden
their view of disaster management.
Other Ongoing Programs. From 2001 to 2003 EU/TACIS funded a TA project to identify risks
(radiological and others), evaluate measures, prevent environmental uclides and heavy metals,
and to propose sustainable remedial options. The end product of this project pollution by radion is
a comprehensive report that provided a comprehensive report. Also, the European Union’s
Humanitarian Aid Office, a service of the European Commission, is funding several small
projects, under the DIPECHO program, in the southern part of the Kyrgyz Republic. These
projects are designed to train communities in disaster preparedness and efficient emergency
reaction procedures, as well as launch pilot reforestation trials in Osh Oblast to slow erosion,
thereby possibly decreasing risk of further landslides.
The OSCE currently supports several Government initiatives on tailings and regional cooperation,
and has also funded several international conferences on this theme. Recently a public awareness
campaign entitled “Life Safety in Mailuu-Suu” was launched in Mailuu-Suu in partnership with
the GeoPribor scientific engineering centre and the Kyrgyz National Academy of Sciences. They
presented brochures to the city’s administration, schools and the local medical college explaining
the dangers of radioactive waste and offering preventive advice.
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and U.S. Department of Energy also are funding a
small project to rehabilitate a uranium mine tailing site in Kadji-Sai, which is in the northern part
of the country.
In 2003, MEE under the auspice of OSCE Center in Bishkek and Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory, laid out plans for a technical database at a meeting of experts. The database would
address the need to centralize existing material about managing radioactive waste. Accessible
online, it would be an effective resource for those working on the issue, providing documents,
maps, photographs, technical drawings, and radioactive and chemical measurements. Since the
initial meeting, a detailed list has been drawn up of almost 90 documents that provide historical
and current information on the situation in Mailuu-Suu, as well as on the state of the uranium
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