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Submitted by Viktor Prodedovich on

Dear Mr. KO TAKEUCHI.
Recently, I have read your post, and I absolutely agree that the experience of our ancestors is a real wealth for measuring the disaster risks and responding to emergencies. Broadly speaking the history and historical statistics, which had been accumulated in the wisdom of our ancestors, can help us to survive under modern circumstances.
Being in Almaty, I am sure you have learned a lot already about the city and environment, and you probably know that Almaty had at least two disastrous earthquakes… Because of that, earlier, construction of multistory buildings had been prohibited; only in the 1970s, first 9 story houses had allowed to be constructed… Presently, the prohibition has been absolutely forgotten. Now, multistory buildings have been growing like mushrooms… Where are the limits to this competition? Are the constructed buildings going to sustain serious earthquakes? It is the first important question.
The second threat for Almaty is the floods (sel) from the mountains, which Almaty has suffered many times. The ancestors have created dams and other barriers to protect the city. It is not clear, if the present city management understands the threats allowing lots of construction in the sel dangerous zones, gorges, also destroying trees, other “green” protection.
The third threat for Almaty is air pollution. The ancestors, understanding the streams of the air circulation, had been trying not to create artificial barriers on the ways of the air streams. The present management, being commercialized has probably forgotten the wisdom, trying to work on short term economic commercial goals, which is leading to intensive air pollution and health disaster for the city population.
I am sure that the WB in CA is trying not only to address the potential emergency situations, but work on preventive measures. It would be great to create the modern inventory of the threats in Almaty and system of preventive measures…
Living in Almaty and working in Central Asia for a long time, I think that the same approach would be applicable to the region of Central Asia, where interdependence of water and energy had been successfully, or frequently unsuccessfully, exploited by the rulers. A modern inventory of threats, risks has to be created and regional preventive measures and emergency plans have to be developed… The present political situation in Central Asia is more favorable now…
I wish you every success in your mission!