Natia Parekhelashvili, Shida Kartli
In village Zardiantkari, near the occupation line, houses burned and damaged by war are demolishing due to lack of attention. During recent years, Georgian Dream promised number of times the population to restore the buildings damaged by war. The locals themselves returned to the village in 2013 on the condition that the houses would be rehabilitated. Nana Kozashvili is one of those people who still has to live in the ruins of a house burned down by the war; she was paid no compensation by the State.
"We have been in this situation for 13 years, we could not enter the house at all for 5 years. We were moved in and until today we are living in a small room of 9 sq/m of the burned house. The water was coming down from the ceiling. Then we grabbed some things and finally we covered the roof. If they do not renovate our houses completely, but just one room we would be still very grateful to them, however there is no one to help us. There were promises every year. They would come, take measurements saying they would do the renovations but they have not done anything yet,” - states Nana Kozashvili, a resident of Zardiantkari.
People living along the occupation line are still demanding in vain the restoration of houses damaged and burnt down by the 2008 war. The damaged houses in the village of Zardiantkari near the dividing line are demolishing day by day. A few months ago, Gablishvili’s family escaped the second explosion at their home. The wall of their house was so damaged that it collapsed and the collapsed mass fell on a gas pipe.
Tsitsino Elikashvili, a resident of Zardiantkari: "The gas pipe was damaged and it is good that we survived. We did not have a gas stove lit, otherwise the leaked gas would have blown up the house. The houses in our village were burned during the war. After that, rain, snow and wind damaged the burned walls of the house. On March 11, the wall collapsed. It is good there were no casualties, and we survived. The houses of our villagers are damaged to the extent that they require timely care from the Government."
According to the individuals affected by the 2008 war, the government has promised several times to renovate their homes, but the Georgian Dream’s government could not find time for these people even after 13 years of the war. The residents of Zardiantkari are being redirected by the local government to the central government due to lack of funds in the budget, while the central government is unable to help the residents near the occupation line even 13 years after the war.
"We are begging the Government and they could not provide us with couple of planks to do the houses. They promised me and Mayor of Gori Tavzarashvili told me several times that he would send me the planks, but... the Government or anyone else do not care about us,” - says Zoia Gablishvili.
Ucha Nanuashvili several times visited villages near the occupation line, including Zardiantkari, during the period when he was the Public Defender. One of the issues was the restoration of burnt houses about which he appealed to the authorities. Ucha Nanuashvili says that the government neither then nor now has the will to improve the situation of the people living in the villages near the occupation line so that these villages would not be abandoned by the people.
“During the period when I was the Public Defender, I prepared a special report on this problem, and I visited Zardiantkari many times after the office, especially in the places where many such families still live. Expectations have been around for years, but only a small part, a few people have received compensations. While most of those whose houses were damaged by the war have not so far received anything. The main problem is that the State did not have the will to help particular people. There were number recommendations made and meetings held on the issue. However, the fact is that despite drawing the calculations of the damages, the works have not started yet. Dozens of families are still the victims and unable to return to their homes. The issue here is the lack of political will of the State. The State does not really care about the conditions of the people living there. The population living near the dividing line needs more care and assistance as well as the implementation of additional programs by the state. The State simply fails to compensate the damages inflicted upon the population. It is very unfortunate that this problem has not been solved for so many years,” - states Ucha Nanuashvili.
Eight years have passed since the promise of Georgian Dream to restore the destroyed houses and the promise has not been fulfilled so far. Due to the lack of attention from the government, the damaged houses are demolishing and the village is being abandoned by the population.