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Residents of Salibauri Were Cut Off Water Supply

29.05.2007
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The village of Salibauri in the Khelvachauri District, where more than 180 families live in, has not been supplied with water in the summer for the last few years. Two days ago, the villagers held warning demonstration in the center of the village. They said that their problem was caused by the selfishness of the people from the village of Akhalsheni who are using the water for irrigation. Representatives of the Republic Party think that this problem is caused by disability of the Local Government. District Governor, Badri Shavlidze said that the problem is eradicated formally and cannot help his anger when the people listen only to the opposition.

In the past the village of Salibauri was within the Ortabatumi Community. Thirty years ago they were supplied with the water from the Akhalsheni water system. “I have lived for sixty years in this village. We used to have water pump. We needed two women to pump out the water. Then they led the water from the Mountain of Sameba and millions were spent on it. 60% of the expenses were our donation and the population of the village of Akhalsheni covered only another 40 %. Nowadays, they do not release water to our village saying the water is theirs,” said Kerime Kondaridze.  

Suliko Diasamidze, a resident of Salibauri, said that the construction of the water system was not finished. “They should have installed the tanks with filters on the Mountain of Sameba. This water flows from the beginning of Akhalsheni and runs through the Tashkhani area. The Akhlasheni population appropriated the water and uses it to irrigate their plots. Another problem is that the wood has been chopped and the water-level in the river has lowered. However, we can resolve the problem. They must draw up a schedule and supply the village with water at least for three hours a day.”

There are nearly 180 families in Salubauri. Most of them get drinking water from the springs several kilometers away from the village and as for the technical water, they get it from the town by cars. Two years ago the Minister Council of Adjara resolved their problem only for three days. “They joined the pipes to the town pipe-line. The water should have been pumped up. But the tubes and pump turned out old. Last year we visited Badri Shalvidze to discuss the problem but during the conversation he was playing computer games. Then he ordered others to resolve the problem to show to us that he wanted to assist us and that was all,” said Salibauri residents.

On May 27 residents of the village of Salibauri held warning demonstration and demanded the authority to resolve their problem. Nearly 200 villagers took part in the event. Representatives of the Republic Party arrived in the village to support them.

Murman Dumbadze from the Republic Party said that the disability of the local governmental system told on the villages. “It is too easy to resolve this problem. There is water but one part of population does not let the other part to use it. In this situation the government must involve the disagreement and settle everything. There is no governmental body in the village to attend to the problem and the Municipality is too far from the village.” Dumbadze said that local self-government functioned much better during the Communist Regime. The main problem is the Government’s choice among many priorities. “The government draws its attention only to building ice-rinks and to spending three million lari on setting up the statue to Medea. Nobody thinks about these people who cannot get water. The government is busy destroying churches and appropriating the plots of peasants, and does not worry about similar problems.”

Avtandil Beridze, a member of the Khelvachauri Municipality from the Republic Party thinks that the most important directives for the Municipality are those which they receive from higher instances. They do not pay attention to the problems of the population who had elected them. “The Municipality preferred to install traffic lights to supplying Salibauri with water. The water system is not controlled and anybody can use it according to his wish. There always was a governmental official in the village even during the Turkish invasion. They prolonged the appointment of the governors in the village communities. 12 thousand families live in the Ortabatumi Community and one governor cannot run such a large territorial entity.”

Shavlidze said that Salibauri’s problem is almost resolved. He said that the only problem is time. “Corresponding funds have been apportioned from the budget and it is about 80 thousand lari. They have established an organization “Khelvachauri Tskhalkanaltresti” Ltd, which is in charge of carrying out the works. Simply, this firm could not manage to get to Salibauri and Akhalsheni and investigate the situation. As for the demonstration, I wonder whether the opposition would resolve their problems?! If the problem was so urgent, I wonder why villagers did not apply to me?!”

Emzar Diasamidze, Batumi

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