EcoLur continues presenting the series of materials on the residents of impacted residential areas, local active civil society and local government bodies on safety measures related to awareness, preparation in emergencies, and participation in decision-making processes. We are presenting the results of the monitoring carried out in Artashar community in the ANPP-impacted zone, Armavir Region.
Community Head Manvel Ohanyan and the residents presented the problems of the community to EcoLur.
Basements as Means of Getting Protection from Nuclear Dangers
Artashar community with a population of 1460 people is located in the ANPP-impacted zone at a distance of 7 km; nevertheless, there are designated shelters in the community.
“We don’t have a main shelter: according to the evacuation plans, the basements of residential houses and the school basement are selected as shelters,” Manvel Ohanyan said.
There is also no special station to receive alarm signals: community head noted, “Communication station is in Metsamor, this year we have raised this question during the consultation and we will be solved by 100%.”
Medicines, which can be used as first aid in case of nuclear dangers, are not allotted to the community medical point.
There are no guiding posters on nuclear safety either: there is an evacuation plan available in the village municipality, but it is now posted. School evacuation plans are available, which are posted on the walls of the corridors.
Last training sessions were held in 2017: the community head and the residents noted that they hadn’t taken part in the discussions of ANPP-related legal acts. The community head assessed his knowledge of nuclear dangers as intermediate, while the residents mostly assessed as satisfactory.
Five Years without Irrigation Water
Because of the lack of water in the Sevjur River, the problem with irrigation in Artashar community is also tense as it is in many communities in Armavir Region.
“We have been experiencing problems with irrigation water over recent 5 years, the reason is lack of water. We have 376 ha of cultivated land area, but there is no water, so the people are disappointed. People are cultivating the soil and do their best but there August comes and there is no water, so it turns out that people spend money on soil but they don’t get income but have loss of money.
We have 187 households, and one house, on average, spends 1 million or 1.2 million, but this money is wasted. That’s it, this person gets broke and has loans: 60% of the village owes money to banks and other people in the amount of 3-5 million AMD.
There was a program developed where our community was also involved. We should have drilled 8 wells and cleaned 4 wells and these wells should have been used for irrigation purposes. It was planned to be carried out in May last year, but the revolution happened and everything was stopped,” Manvel Ohanyan said.
The community head mentioned that he would like to have irrigation system management at the discretion of the community municipality rather than that of WUCs. He says that if the matter with wells is solved, they won’t need to make use of Armavir canal, which has been turned into sewage.
Cholera and Stink Because of Sewage
As in the case of Zartonq Community, the residents here also suffer from the stink of the sewage of Armavir and Metsamor Towns and their negative consequences.
“Since the 1990s the cleaning station hasn’t been operated and the sewage flow through the canal, fill into the village and then flow into the Sevjur River. Sanitary Inspection Service has detected cholera bacilli in this water. You can’t imagine what is going on here: an environmental disaster which destroys a whole village. It’s already 30 years we have been asking them to manage these affairs, there is no one to do it,” the community head said.
“Last year Food Inspection has sampled vegetables for analyses, so far the findings haven’t been officially announced,” he added.
Heating with Wood
According to Manvel Ohanyan, 70% of the community uses wood for heating, the rest makes use of gas. The electricity is not used for heating in the community. Wood each year becomes more and more expensive, one cum of wood is obtained at 30,000 AMD, while from 6 to 10 cum is mainly used in the winter.
During its visit, EcoLur held an information campaign to convey knowledge necessary for protection from radiation. Awareness-raising flyers have been posted in different parts of the community.
12:24 March 06, 2019