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Tajik President Warns Against Potential Drought

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon (file photo)

President Emomali Rahmon has warned Tajik citizens of a potential drought this year, urging them to save water and stock up on food.

"Snowless winter and early spring this year are precursors of a potential drought," Rahmon told a government meeting on February 29, adding this could threaten food security.

Amu-Darya, the biggest water source of ex-Soviet Central Asia, originates in mountainous Tajikistan, the region's poorest country.

The country of 8.5 million uses the river’s tributaries to generate electric power and irrigate farmland.

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, located downstream, have repeatedly complained they do not receive their fair share of Amu-Darya's resources.

The potential water crisis also comes as economies across Central Asia are struggling with the consequences of low oil prices, which pushed their key partner Russia into recession.

With reporting by Reuters