Dalanzadgad


Dalanzadgad (also known as DZ) is the capital of the Omnogovi aimag and is a gateway to the South Gobi Desert region. The urban center has a population of around 14,000 and has been growing steadily since the identification of vast copper and gold mineral reserves at the Oyu Tolgoi mine only a few hours drive away. A flight from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad takes approximately one hour and the drive takes approximately twelve hours.

Driving through the downtown area, our escorts pointed out many industrial buildings that lie vacant and unused. Due to material intensive construction, these buildings are very strong and show very few signs of deterioration. As we experienced, the thick walls and ceilings kept cool air well insulated from the hot breeze outside. Temperature inside the buildings was approximately 20˚ C cooler than exterior prevailing temperature.

A coal fired electric power plant is located in downtown Dalanzadgad and it provides power to the immediate municipality and also to a regional government ger camp approximately 75 kilometers away.

Large wooden fences surrounded all of the ger plots in Dalanzadgad, however, for miles we had not seen any trees except for Saksaul trees. Saksaul trees are similar to the shape of driftwood and therefore not used for fence lumber. We did not ask, but held the intention of the question, “Where did the lumber come from?” How there came to be so much wood this far from a forest remains a mystery. While wooden fences were present in all urban centers, the other locations were much closer in physical proximity to lumber resources.

On the outskirts of town there are several locations which serve as collecting areas for municipal solid waste. These locations have accumulated various discarded resources over time.

The Trust team was accompanied to the Gobi region by Ts. Enkhtuya and D. Purevsuren from MNBIF and Nemekhbayar Rentsen and N. Narannyam from Mongolian TV Channel 9. Channel 9 prepared a documentary of the trip which aired on national television.

Upon arrival at the Gurvan Saikhan Airport, teams were greeted by local government and business leaders who would accompany us on the visit to the Gobi Region. These leaders included Sumiya from Bayan-Uul Company and Byambadorj from the South Gobi aimag Business Council. Proprietor Oyundelger hosted us at a nearby ger camp named “Tuvshin Shankhat.”

Batbayar & Jazei, operators of the company Gobyn Undur, Mongolian for ‘Gobi Highest’ were our escorts in the region. In addition to tourism services, Gobyn Undur has started development of a large Saksaul tree farm approximately 15 kilometers from Dalanzadgad.

Date Entered: July 2010

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