Dzhambul Oblast

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dzhambul Oblast


located in the southern part of the Kazakh SSR. Formed on Oct. 14, 1939. Area, 144,600 sq km. Population, 806,000 (1971). Dzhambul Oblast has ten administrative raions, four cities, and ten urban-type settlements. Its administrative center is the city of Dzhambul. The oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin on Aug. 8, 1967.

Natural features. Most of Dzhambul Oblast is occupied by plains. The entire northern part (about one-third of the oblast) is occupied by the Betpak-Dala takyr, which descends in terraces toward the valley of the Chu River. South of the Chu stretches the sandy Muiunkum Desert, with its sandy hillocks and ridges. The southwestern part of the oblast is occupied by the Karatau Range, whose maximum altitude is 1,660 m. The Zhel’tau and Aitau mountains extend to the east and southeast, with altitudes up to 1,506 m. The southern part of the oblast is occupied by the northern slopes of the Kirghiz Range (maximum altitude, 4,000 m), which is bordered on the north by narrow piedmont plains.

The northern low-lying part of Dzhambul Oblast has a harsh continental climate, with relatively cold winters (average January temperature, -10° to -14°C) and hot, dry summers (average July temperature, 25° to 27°C). The annual precipitation is 100-200 mm. The foothills have a milder climate (average January temperature, -5° to -8°C; average July temperature, 20° to 22°C). The annual precipitation is up to 350 mm, and from 500-600 to 700-900 mm a year in the mountains. The growing season is from 200 to 225 days in the foothills and on the plains. During the growing season the total of temperatures above 0°C is more than 3,100° in the north and up to 4,000° in the south.

Dzhambul Oblast has few rivers. The northern part of the oblast has almost no surface water, and there are intermittent channels only in a few places. The major rivers are the Chu, Talas, and Assa. The other rivers, which are more shallow and originate in the mountains, either disappear in the desert or are used for irrigation. The major lakes are Balkhash (whose southwestern part belongs to the oblast), Biilikol’, Akkol’, and Ashchikol’.

Dzhambul Oblast has a diversified soil structure and flora. On the plains and low foothills (altitudes up to 800 m) wormwood and saltwort grow on grayish brown desert soil, and in some places there are takyr soils and solonchaks. Saxaul grows on sandy soils, and willow and oleaster woods and cane brushwood grow on the floodplains. At altitudes of 800-1,500 m gray soil steppes covered with wormwood and grass, feather grass, and sheep’s fescue alternate with mountain steppes covered with various grasses. Most of the irrigated farming is in this region. Mountain grass steppes and sparse forests of aspen and Schrenk spruce are widely distributed on mountain chestnut soils at altitudes from 1,500-1,700 to 2,000 m, and subalpine and alpine meadows grow in the Kirghiz Range at altitudes of more than 2,100 m.

Numerous rodents inhabit the desert, including the sand suslik, various species of jerboa, and the Tolai hare. Among the ungulates are the Dzheiran antelope, the roe deer (found in the woods along the river valleys), and the Saiga tartarica. The mountain goat and Pamir argali (mountain sheep) are found in the mountains, and predatory animals are represented by the wolf, corsac, badger, and least weasel. The wild boar is found in the Chu and Talas Valleys and the muskrat has been acclimatized. The most typical reptiles are snakes, turtles, and lizards. Invertebrates include Solpugida, karakurts, tarantulas, and scorpions. The perch, fish of the genus Schizothorax, common carp, pike perch, bronze bream, rudd, and catfish are among the fish found in the lakes and rivers of Dzhambul Oblast.

Population. Dzhambul Oblast accounts for 6.2 percent of the population of the Kazakh SSR. Its population has increased 44 percent since 1959. The major nationality groups are Kazakhs (40 percent), Russians (32 percent), Germans (8 percent), Ukrainians (about 5 percent), Uzbeks, Tatars, and Dungans. The average population density is 5.6 inhabitants per sq km, but most of the population inhabits the foothills and river valleys, where the population density reaches 50 inhabitants per sq km. In the northern desert regions the population density is less than one inhabitant per sq km. Of the total population, 41 percent is urban (1971). The cities in the oblast are Dzhambul, Karatau, Chu, and Zhanatas, all of which were established between 1960 and 1969, with the exception of Dzhambul.

Economy. Dzhambul Oblast has diversified industry, highly developed irrigated farming, and pasture animal husbandry.

The chemical, food-processing, construction, and light industries, which were established under Soviet power on the basis of local natural resources and agricultural raw materials, prevail in the oblast. The gross output of all industries increased 16 times between 1940 and 1970. Karatau has a combine for the mining and processing of phosphorites, and Dzhambul has a superphosphate plant and a double-superphosphate plant, which was put into operation in 1968. The most important light industrial enterprises are plants producing chromium and rubber products, a leather footwear combine, factories for the primary processing of wool, and clothing and haberdashery factories (all located inDzhambul) and a leather goods combine inGeorgievka. The most prominent enterprises of the food-processing industry are a sugar combine in Dzhambul, sugar refineries in Chu and Oital, meat-packing and distillery combines, a winery, a fish-processing plant, and a brewery (all located in Dzhambul), and dairy plants and creameries in Dzhambul, Karatau, Chu, and the raion centers. In 1970, 5.8 million pairs of leather shoes were produced.

Machine building and metalworking are represented by plants producing spare parts and equipment for utilities, plants for the repair of machine assemblies, plants producing technological metal structural components, and machine re-pair plants in Dzhambul, Chu, and Lugovoi, and an automobile repair plant in Granitogorsk. Also located in Dzhambul Oblast are brickyards in Dzhambul and Mikhailovka. The city of Dzhambul has plants producing gypsum, road construction materials, and reinforced-concrete products, a large-panel housing-construction plant, and a combine producing prefabricated construction materials and structural components. There are building materials combines in Dzhambul and Karatau, a plant producing lime and fillers for road construction in Georgievka, and a furniture factory in Dzhambul.

The power industry of Dzhambul Oblast relies mainly on natural gas, which arrives by the Bukhara-TashkentDzhambul-Frunze-Alma-Ata gas pipeline, and partly on the hydroelectric power provided by the rivers. In 1970 the ob-last produced 3,262 million kilowatt-hours of electric power.

In 1971 there were 82 sovkhozes and 56 kolkhozes in Dzhambul Oblast. Agricultural fields cover 8.5 million hectares (ha), of which 1 million ha are plowed land, 0.2 million ha are hayfields, and 7.2 million ha are pastures. The main branches of agriculture are animal husbandry, irrigated farming, and some dry farming. Canals and reservoirs have been built for the irrigation of the fields. In 1970, 226,800 ha of land were irrigated, and 904,000 ha were cultivated.

Cereal crops, which are planted primarily on dry-farming land, cover 637,800 ha, of which 406,700 ha are planted with wheat. Industrial crops occupy 39,600 ha, of which 38,400 ha are planted with sugar beets, representing more than half of all the plantings of this crop in the Kazakh SSR. Vegetables, melons, and potatoes have been planted on 16,400 ha, and fodder crops cover 210,200 ha. Corn, barley, and millet are grown in addition to wheat, and horticulture and viticulture are well-developed. Most of the cultivated land is concentrated in the foothills of the Kirghiz Range and in the Chu and Talas valleys.

The major branches of pasture animal husbandry, which is highly developed in Dzhambul Oblast, are fine-fleece and semifine-fleece sheep raising and karakul raising. As of Jan. 1, 1971, the livestock in the oblast included 264,700 head of cattle, 2,879,700 head of sheep and goats, 113,300 head of swine, 75,200 horses, and 5,300 camels.

In 1970 the railroad system was 1,153 km long. The Kazakh railroad runs through Dzhambul Oblast, with the Dzhambul-Karatau-Zhanatas, Lugovaia-Frunze, and ChuMointy branches. There were 6,300 km of roads in 1970, of which 3,300 km were paved. The Tashkent-Frunze-Alma-Ata highway runs through the oblast. The city of Dzhambul is an important airline junction and is linked by air routes with Moscow, Alma-Ata, and other cities in the country, as well as with the raions of the oblast.


Education, cultural affairs, and public health. In the academic year 1914-15 there were only 55 schools with 3,331 students on the territory of present-day Dzhambul Oblast, and there were no higher or specialized secondary educational institutions. By contrast, in the academic year 1970-71, Dzhambul Oblast had 515 general education schools of all types with 205,400 students, 18 vocational and technical schools with 7,800 students, eight specialized secondary schools with 8,300 students, and three higher educational institutions with 14,300 students (an institute of irrigation construction and reclamation, a technological institute, and a pedagogical institute). In 1970 the oblast had 226 preschool institutions with an enrollment of more than 26,000 children.

As of Jan. 1, 1971, Dzhambul Oblast had 422 public libraries (total holdings, 3.2 million books and magazines), 442 clubs, an oblast museum of local lore in the city of Dzhambul, two drama theaters, an oblast philharmonic society, and 463 film projection units. There is a Palace of Pioneers in Dzhambul, as well as centers for young technicians and young naturalists and excursion and tourist centers.

The oblast newspapers Enbek tui (Banner of Labor, a Kazakh-language publication) and Znamia truda have been published since 1939. The oblast radio station broadcasts one program in Kazakh and in Russian. Other radio broadcasts are relayed, and television broadcasts are received from Alma-Ata and Moscow.

On Jan. 1, 1971, Dzhambul Oblast had 8,900 hospital beds (11.1 beds per 1,000 inhabitants) and 1,300 doctors (one per 605 inhabitants).


Semenova, M. I. Dzhambulskaia oblast’. Alma-Ata, 1961.
Kazakhstan (Prirodnye usloviia i estestvennye resursy SSSR). Moscow, 1969.
Narodnoe khoziaistvo Kazakhstana v 1968 g.: Statistich. sb. AlmaAta, 1970.
Kazakhstan. Moscow, 1970. (Part of the series Sovetskii Soiuz.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.