EcoLur presents the results of the study conducted in Aghavnatun Community, Armavir Region, in connection with the impact of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP), emergency preparedness, awareness of safety measures, and participation in decision-making and social issues in the community.
The distance between the ANPP and Aghavnatun Community, Armavir Region, is about 7 km.
The basements of houses and schools are considered as fallout shelters in Aghavnatan with 3600 inhabitants. However, these basements do not have hermetically sealed windows and doors, and there are no conditions for staying for a few days. Basements are primarily used as storage areas for unused items and winter food. "We store unused daily food for winter in the basements, there is no other food ... There is everything except for water… If we have to stay for a few days, we will not be able to, there is no toilet, no convenience," Aghavnatan residents told EcoLur.
"We are filling out a paper on the number of shelters, how many people we can keep. But can you save a person only by accommodating him? They are obliged to provide gas masks and iodine,” the municipality employee said.
The shelter under the school gym has a large area, but it is also used as a repository of old items, broken school furniture. Speaking about the growth of crops and fruits, the residents mentioned that some plants have stopped growing, the expenses for agricultural works have increased.
"We spent most of our income on medicines and poisons to cultivate plants. Now we give medications to grapes eight times instead of twice. We used to have pear trees, but they have dried out...Over several years there is almost no pear growing in our village... We are always afraid of cultivating mulberries and strawberries,” the residents said.
In their conversation with EcoLur, the residents complained about the lack of irrigation water. Irrigation water reaches the community through Arzni-Shamiram water aqueduct, but it does not meet the needs of the villagers. "The irrigation system has deteriorated. I have an orchard, but I cannot irrigate it. No investment has been made in the system, it must be removed, a new one installed, the problem will be solved in a month or two. Now the water loss is huge: it is 110 l/s in the main canal, but when the water reaches us, it becomes 1 l/s,” the residents said.
According to Aghavnatun residents, it is not profitable to breed cattle in the village. Forage is expensive, there is no grass. At the end you make calculations, you turn out to suffer losses… The pastures have decreased ...:It is not profitable. Milk is also cheap. "There are people who keep animals, have a personal farm, but they are not able to sell the milk ...," the residents said. Aghavnatun residents raised the issue of not having track record as a result of engaging in agriculture.
"The villager works, but has no work experience. The pension is very low. "When one retires, you get almost no money," they said.
The suggestions of Aghavnatun residents are aimed at solving the existing problems in the community:
• The ANPP must provide all the families in the community with gas masks and clothes, iodine preparations;
• Rebuild shelters,
• Regularly inform the residents in the community about the activities of the ANPP;
• The work done by the villager on his land should be taken into account as a track record;
• Recognize the community as an ANPP-affected community;
• To set the electricity tariff in the communities in the ANPP-affected area at 15 AMD per 1 kWh.
December 02, 2020 at 12:25