Ashnak village of Talin consolidated community, Aragatsotn Region, Armenia is famous for its sweet apricots. Once upon a time, Ashnak was a water-rich village, and agriculture and animal husbandry developed here. Over the years, the water sources were lost or dried up. Today, Ashnak residents face the challenge of vital water scarcity, which is exacerbated by climate change.
"I was born in this village, I am bonded with this land and water. During my childhood, the village was green, rich in fresh water, which was available to all of us. We had large fields, gardens, which were all cultivated. Our apricot orchards were known to everyone, we had an abundant harvest. There were several lakes, enough for the whole village. Over the years, the lakes dried up and the gardens disappeared," Anna Ghazaryan, an Ashnak resident, told EcoLur.
"I have been living in Ashnak for 36 years, I am attached to my home and nature. I feel pain when I see that the condition of the village is deteriorating. Our main problem is water. Growing a tree in autumn is heroism. First of all, there should be water so that we can turn a small tree stuck to the ground into a big tree, to turn it into a source of income," Armenuhi Avdalyan noted.
Ashnak Administrative Head Sasun Davtyan told how the climate of the village has changed. "There has been a climate change. Over the years, we have felt that the amount of precipitation has decreased. Especially in the last 7-8 years, we have experienced a shortage of irrigation and drinking water. And water is the basis, in the case of a villager, everything depends on water, both animal husbandry and agriculture," Sasun Davtyan said.
Climate change also affects human health. Anna Ghazaryan, who has been working as a nurse in the village for almost 40 years, says: "Hypertensions and cardiovascular diseases have increased in severe dry climatic conditions. Heavy psychological stress has also increased."
"Climate change, lack of water, frost, and hail damage the farmer's harvest. Almost no wheat and barley have been cultivated here in the last 10 years. They barely have time to cultivate the homesteads, the arable land is little used. People don't cultivate because they don't get benefits," Sasun Davtyan said.
Sasun Davtyan mentioned that it is planned to accumulate water to solve the water problem. "Head of Talin enlarged community decided that we should build artificial lakes, they are determining the location," she said.
Social Problems and Tourism Prospects
"Youth is leaving the village. There is no agricultural development, there are no public or private jobs," Anna Ghazaryan outlined. Sasun Davtyan mentioned that they are going to open a sewing workshop in order to improve the social condition of the village.
Ashnak has prospects for the development of tourism.
"I have always thought that Ashnak can become a tourist destination. Historically, the village is attractive. We have old fortresses, churches, chapels, historical and cultural places: you can also create a small market where the good things from the farmers' orchards will be sold. Our apricot is considered the most delicious - it is our brand. Villagers can also sell dry goods, canned goods, our famous strand. We have a desire, the children and young people of the village are active, it's just that the field of activity is small," Armenuhi Avdalyan said.
August 24, 2023 at 12:38