General information about Tajikistan
Tajikistan — the country in the south-eastern part of Central Asia. Tajikistan is bordered on the west and north by Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, on the south by Afghanistan, and on the east by China. Total area of the territory of the Republic is 142.600 km2.
The independence of Tajikistan was proclaimed on 9th September 1991. The capital of the Republic is the city of Dushanbe.
Tajikistan is a typical mountainous country with absolute heights from 300 to 7495 m. 93% of its territory is occupied by mountains belonging to the highest mountain systems of Central Asia — Tien-Shan and Pamir. Almost half of the territory of Tajikistan is situated at an altitude of over 3000 m. The majority of the population and economic activities of Tajikistan are concentrated on 7% of its territory, in the valleys.
By the 1st January 2014, the population of Tajikistan was 8.16 million people, of which 26,4 percent live in cities and 73,6 % in rural areas. The average annual population growth is about 2,5% per year.
Tajikistan could be considered as a model of the planet, as there is almost all climatic zones on its small territory with a temperature range from +500C to — 600C. Climate of the country is arid with an abundance of heat and significant intra-annual fluctuations of its parameters. The absolute minimum of air temperature — 630С was observed in the Eastern Pamir, but the absolute maximum +470С is observing in the south of the country. Duration of sunshine ranges from 2100 to 3170 hours per year. Average annual precipitation is 760 mm. In the highlands desert of the Eastern Pamir rainfall reaches only 70-160 mm while in Central Tajikistan it can exceed 1800 mm per year.
In terms of water reserves Tajikistan takes the first place in the Central Asia. Mountain and foothill areas of the country make up the main area of flow formation of the Aral Sea. More than 80% of the runoff of the Amudarya and 1% of the Syr Darya River is formed in Tajikistan. In General it is 64 km3 per year or 55,4 % of water resources of the Aral Sea basin. The total volume of glaciers of the country is more than 845 km3, underground waters reach 18,7 km3 per year, and lake waters reach 46,3 km3.
In Tajikistan, as well as all over the world, the climate change is clearly observed. In the broad valleys the average annual temperature over the last 65 years has increased by 0,7-1,2 0C, in mountainous and highlands areas by 0,1-0,7 0C, and in the cities by 1,2-1,9 0C. Due to the impact of the climate change, the glaciers of the country have changed and according to some estimates, have lost 20% of the volume and 30% of the area over the past 50-60 years.
With very little oil and gas reserves, difficulties for industrial development of coal fields, Tajikistan possesses vast inexhaustible reserves of hydropower resources. By estimations of experts, these reserves are approximately 527 billion kWh electricity per year. Currently, about 98 percent of the electricity generated in the country falls on the hydro power plants. In 2012 production of electricity throughout the country amounted to only 16,79 billion kW / hour, which is slightly more than 3 per cent of existing potential. This potential in 3 times exceeds the existing electricity consumption of the whole of Central Asia and with the efficient use of this potential, region can be ensured by cheap and environmentally clean electricity.