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Batken Province, Kyrgyz Republic



Batken includes the agriculturally rich Fergana Valley and the surrounding mountain ranges. This area was heavily exploited by the Soviet Union (USSR) for strategic minerals including gold, mercury, antimony and uranium. Since the breakup of the USSR, the mineral economy in Batken has largely collapsed, leaving severe legacy environmental contamination issues and the potential for increased incidence of environmental disease within communities. Two Soviet-era mining/smelting sites were of particular concern: Aidarken Township in Kadamjay District, among the world’s largest mercury operations, and the antimony smelting operations in Kadamjay City.




TIFO is collaborating with another humanitarian NGO and the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health to assess potential metals-related health risks. Initial project activities focused on assessing risk and developing health and safety mitigation protocols for the NGO staff. The team performed environmental screening of water, soil, air, and food and worked with a government-run laboratory on sample analysis. TIFO is now working with project partners to assess community risk and develop intervention programs to reduce adverse health impacts associated with environmental issues.


Spearman S, Bartrem C, Sharshenova A, Salymbekova K, Isirailov M, Gaynazarov S, Gilmanov R, von Lindern I, von Braun M, Moller G (2022). Comparison of X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) and Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) Results for an Environmental Assessment at a Mercury Site in Kyrgyzstan. 

Kyrgz Ministry of Health, Sanitary and Hygienic Laboratory of the Interdistrict Kadamjai Center for Disease Prevention and State Sanitary and Epidemiological Surveillance, Medecins Sans Frontiers, TerraGraphics International Foundation. 2022. Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) for Communities in Kadamjai Rayon, Batken Oblast, Kyrgz Republic. 

TerraGraphics International Foundation, Medecins Sans Frontiers. 2022. Environmental Health in Batken Province, Kyrgyzstan: Improving health outcomes by reducing heavy metal exposure. 

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