University of Oulu

Anchita; Zhupankhan, A.; Khaibullina, Z.; Kabiyev, Y.; Persson, K.M.; Tussupova, K. Health Impact of Drying Aral Sea: One Health and Socio-Economical Approach. Water 2021, 13, 3196.

Health impact of drying Aral Sea : one health and socio-economical approach

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Author: Anchita1; Zhupankhan, Aibek2,3; Khaibullina, Zhaniya4;
Organizations: 1Department of Water Resources Engineering, Lund University, Box 118, 22100 Lund, Sweden
2Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
3Department of Political Science, Eurasian National University, Nur-Sultan 010000, Kazakhstan
4Department of Political Sciences, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty 050010, Kazakhstan
5Department of Geography, Tourism and Water Resources, Kh. Dosmukhamedov Atyrau University, Atyrau 060001, Kazakhstan
6Kazakh National Agrarian University, Almaty 050010, Kazakhstan
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-14


Once one of the largest saline lakes, the Aral Sea, was recognized as a significant environmental disaster as the water level decreased dramatically. Water level decrease increases water salinity, affecting biodiversity. Exposed lake beds become the source for fine dust picked up by the dust storms and spread across a long distance, affecting people’s health in surrounding areas. This review paper attempts to evaluate the potential links between the Aral Sea shrinking and the existing health issues in the case of Kazakhstan. The literature-based research revealed that the population of the Aral Sea basin region has been suffering from exposure to various pollutant residues for a long time. There is an apparent increase in morbidity and mortality rates in the region, especially in people suffering from chronic illness. Furthermore, the catastrophic desiccation of the Aral Sea has led to the sharp deterioration in living conditions and negative trends in the socio-economic situation of the region’s population. While the dust storms spread the polluted salts from the exposed bottom across the Aral Sea region, specific contaminants define the relevance and importance of public health problems linked to the basin rather than the Aral Sea drying process. There is, however, no clear evidence that associated dust storms are the only primary source of the deterioration of people’s health. Moreover, One Health approach seems to play a crucial role in achieving better outcomes in the health of people and the health of the environment.

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Series: Water
ISSN: 2073-4441
ISSN-E: 2073-4441
ISSN-L: 2073-4441
Volume: 13
Issue: 22
Article number: 3196
DOI: 10.3390/w13223196
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
218 Environmental engineering
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (