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Water problems in Liakhvi Gorge

04.06.2007
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Population of Didi (Big) and Patara (Small) Laiakhvi gorge face the problem of water supply. Villages of the conflict zones now started worrying on how to water the lands that the only source of income. Hectares of plant gardens are fading. Population fear that if drought continues one more month, they might stay without harvest.

Most of the villages of Liakhvi gorge use the Vanati main channel for watering. The very channel crosses Ossetian villages. The channel is open and it not difficult for Ossetian part to close it. Despite the fact that Vanati is a Georgian village, its watering channel crosses three Ossetian villages. Resulting population of Georgian villages can’t be supplied with water from Ossetian villages when the situation is tensed between Georgia and breakaway region.

According to Ioseb Giunashvili, municipality member of the village Kurta, cleaning of the watering channel needs 30 00 Gel every year. And when the situation is strained, Georgians can’t even enter the Ossetian villages. “People could hardly cultivate the land, hardly planted, but if they can not water it, the plans does not grow up. It is close zone, we can’t move from the gorge. Population here is very poor”- says Giunashvili.

The Vanati channel waters 1000 hectares of land of Georgian villages. But population is not able to reap the fruit harvest – the only income.

Municipalities of Kurta and Eredvi are trying to find way out together. The project has been worked out and submitted to the administration of Snakoev’s government (Alternative government in South Ossetia). The project envisages the creation of the alternative channel. The close alternative channel from Vanati will cross several Ossetian villages as well – Korkula, Zemo Kere and Khelchua. But they state in the Kurta municipality that the population of these villages never makes problems. The mentioned channel will be of 4 kilometers and 150 meters length. According to Gia Zangaladze, the municipality member of the village Kurta, population of the villages Dzarcemi and Kemeri water 350 hectares of land using this channel.

Municipality members of the village Kurta state that Sanakoev has already put the issue on the agenda of Georgian Prime Minister to allocate funds for the alternative channel. The population of the gorge ask Nogaidel (Georgian Prime Minister) for 600 000 Gel for the alternative channel. According to Kurta population, most of the families in Liakhvi gorge can reap 10 tones of apple, but because of watering problems, people in Liakhvi gorge can’t yet improve their living conditions. There are lots of lands in Liakhvi gorge where watering plunges are needed. Those plunges need electricity that should be paid by the peasants themselves.

People are not happy with this idea, but they agree on this condition – to pay for the electricity if they are able to water the plants. “Electricity rate has raised very much and it will be very hard for us to pay for it, but if we are able to water lands, we can reap harvest and pay for electricity. Most of my lands are not watered and I am waiting for rain only and if such drought continues the new plants will fade probably”- says Givi Melanashvili from the village Kurta.

According to Badri Basishvili, the head of Kurta municipality, only 12 thousand lari is envisaged by the budget to solve the mentioned problem. “It needs 30 000 Gel to solve the problem in the gorge. First of all watering plunges should be set in the village Dzatdzemi, because there are lots of fruit gardens that are not watered. Plunging system will solve the problem of 600 families”- says the head of Kurta municipality.

They hope on Sanakoev administration in Kurta municipality.

Thea Tedliashvili

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