Ordinarily, the thought of a World Bank-financed dam sends environmentalists into frothing rage.
By the 1990s only a quarter of the Aral Sea was left, but recently using a $68m loan from the World Bank, the Kazakh government built a dam that split the sea into two parts.
Communities in the area are already feeling the impact. The fishermen are back in their boats, the clouds and the rain have returned and many across this impoverished region say the future no longer looks hopeless.
When you think about the impact of human activities on the environment, remember that the government is often one of the worst causes of environmental devastation. Almost all attempts to turn desert into farmland have been government projects, specifically because no private investor would ever attempt it.