Problems in Odzun and Mghart Residential Areas with Eyes of Local Residents

Problems in Odzun and Mghart Residential Areas with Eyes of Local Residents

Enlarged Odzun community in the Region and Mghart settlement are experiencing serious development obstacles because of mining operations: problems with access to drinking water and irrigation water, lack of infrastructure to promote young people's creative thinking: How to solve these problems and how to be active in community life, solutions are offered by the locals as a resource well aware of the problems, opportunities and development prospects in this community.

During the meetings in Odzun and Mghart within the framework of "Social and Ecological Responsibility" project, the residents told EcoLur that the introduction of socio-ecological policy in the community and the inclusion of their suggestions in it will become the key to the further development of the community.


Almost all the problems in Mghart settlement start and end with drinking water. In their conversation with EcoLur, the locals mentioned that any idea or project does not go beyond its embryonic stage, as it faces the problem of the community not having drinking water. Aghabek Mosinyan, Principal of Mghart Basic School, mentioned that the village can be developed with the help of agriculture, cattle breeding and field work.

Meanwhile, the villagers bring water for livestock from neighboring villages in the spring and autumn. “All the problems in the village start with water. Young people avoid living in the village or starting a business, because the minimum social problems are not solved if there is no water," he said.

Another problem in Mghart is mining. Multi Group” Concern has the right of soil management for No. 5 and No. 8 ore bodies of Mghart Gold MineIn 2018, "Multi Group Concern" LLC submitted an application to RA Ministry of Nature Protection for environmental expert assessment for opencast mining in the central part of  Mghart gold mine for 2018-2037.  To date, the application has not been issued an expert opinion.

Locals attribute the lack of water in Mghart to the recent mining explosions. "The explosions of the subsoil affected the waters flowing from the mountain. There is no water in the village. The water collected has gone during the movement of the land," they said.

The mining industry has also had a negative impact on beekeeping. "People dealing with bees say that when the mine is operating, the amount of honey is less than when the mine was not operating. If the number of bees decreases, nature will suffer," the residents said.

In his turn, Aghabek Mosinyan noted that the solution of the water problem and the fulfillment of the mining companies' obligations imposed on them by the legislation are very important for the development of Mghart.

It should be mentioned that the soil management contract signed between “MULTI GROUP CONCERN” and RA Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources in 2012, does not mention the commitments to be undertaken in the field of socio-economic development of the community, which contradicts to the requirements of Article 54 (4(9)) of RA Subsoil Code.

As a social program for Mghart, in 2019 "Multi Group Concern" allocated 2 million AMD for the renovation of Mghart celebration hall, and 1 million AMD for the school's gasification stoves in 2008.

Besides that, till 2020, "MULTI GROUP CONCERN" was not included in the list of companies defined by Law “On Targeted Use of Environmental Fees Paid by Companies”, as a result of which Mghart did not use the Company's environmental fees for environmental and health programs. 

Representatives of Odzun local self-government body mentioned during the meeting that the settlement still does not receive any environmental tax because Mghart mine does not operate. At the same time, however, locals reported that the company was operating the mine illegally without an expert opinion.


There are serious obstacles to the development of agriculture in Odzun. "Our settlement has very little pasture. People want to breed, but there is no pasture nearby, the animal has to get a few kilometers to graze grass and come back. On the other hand, the roads are in a poor condition," the residents said. There is also a water problem here. "In summer, there comes a time when there is insufficient water for three or four months. Irrigation water is not enough, drinking water is used," they explained.

The residents raised the issue of selling food. "I cannot sell a liter of milk for more than two hundred AMD." In response, some locals suggested setting up a mini milk collecting plant in the community.

Young Odzun residents also pointed out the lack of appropriate centers for self-development in the community. "We do not have an entertainment center. Whoever goes to Yerevan and becomes a student does not return. Adults also go abroad because they do not have a job. The village is getting empty ..., " a resident said.

"I would very much like to have a youth center in my village so that we do not reach another community for self-development. We spend an hour on the transport, get tired and then have lessons there. But if it were in my community, it would be more effective. We would get acquainted with community development methods on the spot. And instead of going straight home from school, my peers would develop through non-formal education at that center. We have the potential for that,” an Odzun resident said.

December 14, 2021 at 12:07