Population Copes for Weeks without Water
Water has been a problem for Khutsubani population for several years now. “We gather water when it rains and use it for washing and various things. You need a clean house to live,” said Maguli Diasamidze, a resident of the village Khutsubani.
According to the village’s council, water is provided three hours a day. However, the reality is much different. “Sometimes weeks will pass without water. We do our washing in the Kintrishi River because we cannot wait for water. We cannot even find enough drinking water,” villagers said.
Although Khutsubani residents have petitioned both the village and Kobuleti District authorities, the answer given them was the same. “[The authorities] said water would be delivered if we paid money. My family has paid our water bill for seven months, while others have already paid for the whole year, yet we still do not have water. We were told that repairs have begun and that additional charges would be assessed. We have neither land nor jobs to pay these additional charges. We are now forced to hold demonstrations and hope that the new deputy will assist us,” said Mzia Moistsrafishvili who lives in the Pavilion flats [of Khutsubani].
Eliso Devnosadze said that she regrets having paid her water bill. “I am a single person. I paid for my water with the money I earned by working in the pavilion. I receive neither a pension nor any other allowance. I have paid for water, yet there is still none because the Administrative Board wastes the money.”
Water that is distributed in the village flows from a six-hundred ton tank in the upper village. Giorgi Tsivadze, [Khutsubani’s] deputy councilor attributes the problem to the old pipeline. “The pipeline was made in the 1970s. The entire tank empties rapidly because of [leaking] tubes. Moreover, the residents do not pay their water bills. The family, whose yard the tank sits, receives 150 lari a month to distribute the water to houses and apartments only three hours a day.
Additional funds were allocated for repairs, though funds for the repairs [in Khutsubani] have not been allocated [at this time]. Working pipes were removed by residents during difficult times and sold for scrap.
The Councilor’s Administrative Board has promised that the problem will be solved by next year. “One and half million has been set aside in the 2007 budget for the replacement of pipes, and this should help with water distribution,” said Mr. Tsivadze.
For now, the residents of Khutsubani will have to continue storing tap water in bottles and doing their laundry in the river.
Maka Malakmadze, Batumi
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