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Kazakh President addresses nation as floods leave hundreds homeless

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addressed the nation on April 6 amid the devastating floods that wreaked havoc across the country’s regions, leaving hundreds homeless, reported the Akorda press service. “Perhaps it is the biggest disaster in terms of its scale and consequences for the last 80 years,” he said in his nearly 15-minute address. 

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Emergency Situations, since the beginning of the floods last week, 3,171 private residential houses and 179 residential areas remain flooded in six regions. At least 46,755 people, including 14,589 children, were rescued and evacuated, and 60,000 farm animals were driven away to safe areas. 

At the same time, 2,602 people were evacuated by air, including 759 children. Temporary accommodation centers host 12,541 people, including 6,439 children. A state of emergency is declared in 10 regions of Kazakhstan, said Tokayev. 

“Following my criticism, the government has ramped up efforts to mitigate the impacts of flooding and took appropriate measures,” said the Kazakh President. He highlighted the measures undertaken, including the special national headquarters led by Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov. 


“Both the head of the government [referring to Olzhas Bektenov], his deputies and the Minister for Emergency Situations [referring to Shyngys Arinov] are visiting the affected regions. All rescue work on the ground is under my personal control,” said Tokayev. 

He also added that all resources of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the National Guard, the Armed Forces and the National Security Committee have been mobilised to address the calamity. “Akimats [administrations] of the affected regions are working around the clock, and several tens of thousands of volunteers are helping them on the ground,” said the President. 

Tokayev reiterated the main task is to prevent human casualties, while pledging full support to those affected. “Addressing the citizens affected by the flood, I want to declare none of you will be left without the state’s attention. Financial and other necessary assistance will be provided to all of you, and all your material losses will be compensated,” he said. 

President Tokayev tasked the Ministry of Defence with sending additional military units to address the disaster and the government with unsealing the state material reserve to assist those affected. Financial aid should also be provided, he said. 

“The government must also quickly develop an effective mechanism for compensating damage and explain it to all the affected. The amounts should be proportional to the damage incurred,” he noted. Deputy prime ministers will remain in the affected regions until the situation normalises.

Recognising the broader implications of the floods, the President touched on the need for enhanced national preparedness against extreme weather events. “We must learn all the lessons from these massive floods. There are many, starting from the shortcomings in the organisational measures to prevent natural disasters, the shortage of skilled personnel in water management, and ending with our negligent attitude towards nature,” he said. 

The address concluded with a message of hope. “I express my gratitude to rescuers, police officers, volunteers and all concerned citizens involved in the fight against the disaster. In this difficult moment for the country, the unity and cohesion of our society are more important than ever,” the President said.

State Counsellor Erlan Karin shared his insights into the ongoing efforts to address the devastating floods that have impacted regions across the country in an April 5 Telegram post. Karin underscored citizens’ unwavering commitment and proactive involvement, emphasising the pivotal role their solidarity and responsibility play in both crisis response and the broader development of the nation.

“Through the active participation and concern of our fellow citizens, we can not only effectively address emergency situations but also tackle systemic issues in the country’s development. It is worth noting that in recent years, the state and society have collaboratively developed effective solutions to numerous existing problems, facilitated by the establishment of dialogue platforms,” he wrote. 

Reiterating the collective efforts, Karin said that the government agencies, both central and local, “work around the clock.” He noted the extensive mobilisation efforts, with over 9,000 individuals and over 2,000 pieces of equipment dedicated to rescue operations. Since the beginning of the floods, more than 19,000 persons, including 8,000 children, have been rescued and evacuated from 11 affected regions. 

He highlighted the ongoing operational meetings convened at the government and presidential levels. President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev promptly flew to the West Kazakhstan Region, the area most heavily affected by the flood, demonstrating his commitment to personally oversee the situation and provide support to affected citizens.

Karin also recognised the efforts of public activists and volunteers in helping flood victims and organising humanitarian aid. With more than 20,000 volunteers nationwide and multiple collection points, they have gathered substantial supplies to help those in need.

“Deputies of Parliament and maslikhats [local representative bodies] elected according to the new rules are working to meet stricter demands, which changed significantly. Specifically, since the start of the floods, parliamentarians and National Kurultai members have maintained continuous communication with citizens, visiting affected regions, hosting meetings, and contributing to regional headquarters’ efforts. Such joint actions produce results,” Karin wrote. 

According to him, the potential of all dialogue platforms, as well as deputies and public activists, will be used in monitoring the effective use of funds to restore flood-hit infrastructure and help victims. “Unity and solidarity are at the core of our culture and mentality. By following these values, we will be able to overcome any difficulties and continue working together to modernise the country,” he concluded. 



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