EcoLur presents the results of the study conducted in Aragatsotn Community, Aragatsotn Region, in connection with the impact of the ANPP, emergency preparedness, awareness of security measures, participation in decision-making and community social issues.
Aragatsotn, with a population of 1,227, is located at a distance of about 10 km from the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP). There are no posters on nuclear safety in the community. In case of radiation danger, the basement of the house of culture and the basements designed for residents’ personal use can serve as anti-radiation shelters. However, they do not meet anti-radiation safety standards.
“The basement of the house of culture has an area of 1000 square meters. We are renovating it, it is hermetically sealed, has three entrances,” Aragatsotn Community Head Melsik Ghazaryan said in his conversation with EcoLur.
The community has a radiation alarm. The cars are registered, which in case of an accident must evacuate the residents from the village to Kosh village. They have an aid station, but they do not have the necessary equipment to protect the residents from the danger of radiation.
Solar Energy As Alternative for Aragatsotn With No Gas Supply
Aragatsotn Community has no gas supply. According to Hrachik Nadoyan, an employee of the community municipality, years ago the community applied to the relevant bodies for gasification of the community. "It has been said that the finances are not satisfactory," he said.
For heating, the community uses wood, dung cakes, electricity, and already solar energy. For several years now, residents have been looking at each other's examples and have started installing solar water heaters and solar panels. In Aragatsotn Village, they are going to use the potential of solar energy for business purposes.
“Bari Arev” and “Ventus Energy” companies have acquired an area of 80 hectares for the construction of a solar photovoltaic station. According to the community head, the construction of the solar station has created about 15 jobs in the community. "We have sold 40 hectares of community land for the construction of the station, and 40 hectares have been taken from the private sector. They were pastures. They paid 2 million 200 thousand AMD to buy one hectare of land and change its purpose. We are renovating the house of culture with the proceeds. We have to renovate the kindergarten. We have changed the water line, covered some part with asphalt in the community,” Aragatsotn Community Head Melsik Ghazaryan said.
Social Problems in Community
600 hectares of land areas are being cultivated in Aragatsotn today. According to Community Head, the main occupation is gardening and cattle stock keeping. More than 30% of the villagers migrate abroad for work. This year, the coronavirus epidemic "prevented" residents from leaving. The social situation of the village has worsened, the condition of the people is bad, the taxes cannot be paid on time,” Melsik Ghazaryan said. Along with non-payment of taxes, finding money for daily shopping in Aragatsotn is a problem today. Shopkeeper Hakob Hovhannisyan showed the "debt notebook" and mentioned that there is a debt of more than 7 million AMD overdue.
June 17, 2020 at 15:49