“We were not given a single tetri! They used up all the money! If Misha knew this, he would have killed them,” Kvemo Kartli villages expressing their
Manon Bokuchava, Kvemo Kartli
The population of Kvemo Kartli villages – Agtaklia and Qesalo - are asking for attention from the government. “Mtkvari is flooding the entire village. Nobody will pay attention to this situation. We don’t even know when the drinking water will be available and we don’t have gas either. The electricity fee has risen from 13 tetri to 27 tetri. They won’t even take out the trash and consequently the city has turned into a trash bin.. The only thing that works properly here are the police officers,” complained Vugar Gasanovi, resident of the Agtkalia village in the Gardabani Region.
There are only two trash bins standing between private one storied houses. It is accompanied by a fifty meter trash column. Humanrights.ge addressed Kvemo Kartli’s Governor, David Kirkitadze, and requested official information regarding the “Village Support Program” course in Gardabani and Marneuli municipalities. According to the provided information, the Agtaklia village received 57,362 GEL from “Village Support Program” for the rehabilitation of the drinking water in 2010. Despite this, the village population still complains that they often need to buy the drinking water.
“As for the problems connected to the flooding in Mtkvari, I confirm, that it’s true, though the band strengthening works are being currently be conducted and this issue will be solved,” told Gardabani region Governor, Zviad Epitashvili, to representative of the Human Rights Center.
A single flood last year is still creating problems for the Qesalo village. “Last August it flooded 300 families and killed numerous animals. The evidence of this destruction is still preserved on the walls of our houses. Governor, David Kirkitadze, visited and promised help. But they never gave us a single tetri. They wasted all the money. If Misha knew this, he would have killed them,” stated Qesalo resident, Mustapa Ustapaev, who was showing us around his house while acknowledging his neighbors that are in even worse situations.
“My house is in the same shape, but I have other problems as well. My son, Elshan Khialov, is severely handicapped. I’ve been asking for a wheelchair for him for so many years. I sent a letter to the local government numerous times but nobody ever responded and helped us. The Azerbaijanian television even came and broadcasted about us, yet, there were no results,” said Musa Khialov. On the first floor of his house, near the yard, there’s a bed where his son lies.
“Nobody has ever come to us for a wheelchair. How could we refuse that? We’ll help them if they come. As for the flooding of Qesalo, we did our best; we cleaned the canals and put bigger pipes in,” explained the Gardabani Governor.
There are other problems in Qesalo besides the flooding: “Our only income is the harvest. But as soon as we load our cars with harvest, the patrol stops us on the way saying that the load exceeds the standards. And then we get fines. Nothing like this has ever happened before. We can’t understand how else we can exist! The irrigation water is expensive as well. We pay 70 lari a year to irrigate a hectare of the land. Why is the water so expensive when it comes here naturally? We don’t need any techniques or motors, labor power or oil. The water comes by itself. Doesn’t governor know this?” - say the locals.
It should noted, that the Qesalo village has asked not for the rehabilitation of the houses, or the partial payment of the irrigation taxes, but the arrangement of an external lightning system. Qesalo received 72752 GEL for this purpose.
Since the residents of Qesalo spoke about the indifference of the governor in a conversation with us, we contacted governor’s press service and asked for a comment.
“The governor has left the city for a week. Address the local municipalities about these topics. If someone creates problem and refuses to comment, contact me. I will solve this issue,” responded the Press Service Director, Khatuna Mamardashvili.
We could not find out from him why the governor was out of town. Mamardashvili denied it being a vacation. This is because the likely already used his vacation time earlier in the year.
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