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Working visit to Aparan Aarhus Center

On January 24, delegation headed by T. Dembski, Economic and Environmental Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan visited Aparan Aarhus Centre.
The purpose of the visit was to discuss the environmental problems of the region, the Center’s implemented activities towards those solutions, get acquainted with the achievements and challenges, as well as dissemination of information concerning the environment, the steps taken by the Centre towards the public participation and collaboration capabilities. Highlighting the full involvement of national minorities in the social processes,as well as residents participation in decision-making of community

issues, after the meeting held at the Aarhus Centre the representatives of the OSCE Office accompanied by the Center Coordinator, went to Alagyaz, the most populated with Yezidi community of the region.

A meeting was held in a warm atmosphere with the community leader, staff and residents in the village municipality. The meeting participants discussed socio-economic, environmental, as well as national traditions and cultural values preservation related issues.

The head of the village mentioned that the main problems of the community are the lack of jobs, poor living conditions, and difficulties in selling agricultural products, as well as reconstruction of village roads, recovery and reconstruction of potable water pipelines, garbage disposal and especially gasification. In conditions of long winters and lack of alternative energy sources the natural gas supply is extremely urgent for the village. At the same time the availability of gas is an opportunity for firewood saving. As the main obstacle to solve the mentioned problems the latter marked the lack of funds.

The next spot of the working visit, according to the program, was Melikgyugh community nearby Alagyaz. During the meeting with the head of staff and residents were discussed the mine’s operation and directly related to the environment social, healthcare, industrial safety issues that hinder the development of the community.
Residents and guests talked about the socio-economic development perspective and opportunities, additional financial resources necessary for the development and involvement of alternative sources, and opportunities to carry out socio-economic programs.

The working visit filled with discussions and impressions was concluded the meeting with heads of Ara, Aragats, Shenavan, Hartavan, Vardenut rural communities and the MP of National Assembly. The main problems of these five communities of Aparan region are the two SHPPs built on the Gegharot River, tributary of Kasagh feeding cultivated lands. It is planned to build the third SHPP.

Both the community leaders and the residents alleged that because of the SHPPs has not only changed the river’s water quality, but also due to the decrease of water quantity the communities are faced with the danger of dehydration with its social and economic all consequences.

Natalya Manukyan
Coordinator of Aparan Aarhus Centre
Tell: /374 252/ 6 23 60, /374 94/ 22 49 26
E-mail: info_aparan@aarhus.am, aarhusaparan@mail.ru
Translated by Anush Beybutyan