On 2 April, the residents in Getashen neighborhood, Hayanist Community, Ararat Region, blocked Yerevan-Haykashen-Ejmiatsin-Masis crossroad demanding to give an immediate solution to their problem with the water. As Hayanist Community Head Balabek Sarkissian informed EcoLur Ararat Regional Head Garik Sargsyan, Deputy Regional Head Arthur Mkrtchyan and Urban Development Department Head of Regional Municipality Levon Grigoryan had arrived to have a meeting with the residents.
Around 171 economies have been experiencing a problem with water in Getashen neighborhood, Hayanist community, for over 30 years. The neighborhood residents have taken drinking and irrigation water from the nearby artesian well for many years without having ever checked the quality of this water and its impact on the human health.
In 2012, a 2.8-kilometer-long aqueduct with three faucets was constructed for Getashen neighborhood with the support of 'Save the Children' organizations, via which water is brought from Voskehat reservoir in Armavir Region for the neighborhood. According to Community Head Balabek Sarkissian, the faucets broke down after several years, as a result of which Hayanist Community Municipality reached an arrangement with 'Hayjrmughkoyughi' CJSC to stop the contract on the water supply in Getashen neighborhood with a condition of constructing an internal network there.
Two days before the protest demonstration, EoLur's team was in Hayanist to get acquainted with the water problem and to inform the people about their rights. In the course of the meeting with Hayanist residents EcoLur learnt that 70-80% of the residents in Getashen neighborhood are elderly people and it is difficult for them to walk for one km to bring water. In 2018, an internal network was constructed in Getashen neighborhood with the support of the Armenian Government costing 10.5 million AMD. Nevertheless, 'Veolia Jur' CJSC refused to serve the internal water network constructed in the neighborhood reasoning it with the fat that the community should have applied to them before the construction of the network in order to receive technical conditions and a permit. 'Veolia Jur' CJSC also reasoned that there is not sufficient water in Voskehat reservoir to supply water to the neighborhood.
Hayanist Community Head Balabek Sarkissian informed that still in 2012 the community received a technical condition for the construction of an internal network from 'Hayjrmughkoyughi' CJSC (all the documents stamped by 'Hayjrmughkoyughi' CJSC are available in the community municipality) and the system was constructed accordingly. 'Veolia Jur' CJSC, being the legal successor of 'Hayjrmughkoyughi' CJSC, must serve the water supply network constructed in Getashen neighborhood.
EcoLur's camera fixed that the claims on insufficient water in Voskehat reservoir don't comply with the reality. The water in the reservoir was that much that it was flowing into a brooklet from the excessive point, nevertheless, it was not given to the residents.
On 25 February, Getashen residents sent a letter to Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan presented the current problem with water in their community, as well as other problems available in their neighborhood. 'Mr Pashinyan, we can block the roads, declare hunger strikes, lesson strikes – we are going to pursue till the end. Nothing can stop us any more – we are sick and tired of this inhuman treatment,' Getashen residents wrote in their letter.
In the course of the protest demonstration, 'Veolia Jur' CJSC company has consented to ensure the water supply of Getashen neighborhood.
This publication has been prepared within the frames of “Protect Your Right to Water” project with the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), whereas the opinions expressed or the content of the publications don’t necessarily represent the official views and opinions of USAID.
16:47 April 08, 2019