ASIA/KAZAKHSTAN - The Church alongside the government: to improve the quality of life of the population

Thursday, 4 October 2018 human rights   development   society  

Almaty (Agenzia Fides) - The reconstruction works of various oil plants announced by Makhambet Dosmukhambetov, Deputy Minister for Energy in Kazakhstan, will bring "improvements in the quality of life of the Kazakh people". Ennio Fano, an engineer and expert on environmental policies, explains this to Agenzia Fides. With more investments on fossil resources wanted by the Kazakhstan administration, combined with the strong impulse given to renewable energy - Fano explains - intend to provide the population with essential services, such as heating in homes.
The perspective linked to development is not unrelated to the commitment and activities of the Catholic Church in the country: as highlighted in the Encyclical "Laudato Sì" by Pope Francis, "technoscience, well oriented, is able to produce really precious things in order to improve the quality of life of human beings".
As requested by the papal document, the Kazakh Church also addresses issues related to development, as part of its social commitment. This is demonstrated, for example, by the active presence of local Catholics during the 2017 International Exhibition in Astana, dedicated to energy.
The issue is also at the center of the Kazakh government's agenda, which has placed "Global Energy Security" among the ten "challenges" present in the "Kazakhstan 2050" development program. Ennio Fano explains: "In Kazakhstan, hydropower is very present, while wind and photovoltaics are in phase of development. The investment policy regarding fossil resources is therefore in line with the energy planning announced last year. Today the aim is to improve the infrastructure for oil and gas, not only for export purposes, but also for the improvement of the quality of life of the population, in particular with the distribution of gas for civil uses".
According to data released by the Kazakh Ministry of Economy, in the first seven months of 2018, the country has been the protagonist of constant development, with a 4% GDP growth. However, the national average hides a very different reality: with the exception of the two main cities, Astana and Almaty, in the suburbs and villages there are no essential services like electricity, water and heating systems. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 4/10/2018)