The alarm signals on the dehydration of the Yeghegis River flowing through Vayots Dzor Region continue. Another alarm signal is being beaten by Diaspora Armenian businessman Hovhannes Stepanyan, who is not able to implement the planned agricultural projects in Shatin community located on the bank of the Yeghegis River. In Shatin Village, Hovhannes Stepanyan has obtained 6000 meters of land area to develop agriculture and rural tourism in the frames of 'Geghastgh' project. Nevertheless, the implementation of projects has been currently suspended because of the environmental problems in Yeghegis Gorge. 'Geghastgh'
programme Organizational Director Tigran Yeghoyan told the journalists, 'The Yeghegis River has been dried out. When we examined this matter, we found out it's because of SHPPs. We went up and saw these SHPPs and have already beaten an alarm signal to the relevant bodies. When we were trying to explain them, they said the reason is the irrigation water supply to the villagers, but the villagers also don't have water and claim SHPPs cause absence of water.'
The businessmen have addressed a letter on this problem to Armenian PM Karen Karapetyan and RA Nature Protection Minister Arstvik Minasyan.
EcoLur visited Shatin Community: as of 18 July, the Yeghegis River had a lack of water, while the villagers have been left without water in the irrigation season. 'Our village used to be a very full-water village, in the past three rivers used to flow through our village, but now if you join these three rivers together, we won't have even a brooklet. Numerous SHPPs have been constructed and now these rivers are in the pipes. Our natural rights have been violated. I could have used that river for irrigation, but there is no water, so my rights have been violated. As a citizen, I could have gone and sitten on the bank of the river to have a rest and swim, but no, this right has also been violated,' Shatin resident Ararat Gharibyan said. 'In the section where water is piped, trees get dry, there is no water, you won't find even one brown trout, which was our wealth: even water has dried out,' he added.
Shatin resident Mrs. Tamara informed that people have to water their orchards with drinking water because of the absence of irrigation water. In this case, a part of the villagers is left without water.
16 SHPPs are developed on the Yeghegis River and its tributaries. On the one hand, the Yeghegis River water is taken for the irrigation of the water pipeline running to Khanjyan. Under the governmental resolution no. 927-N dated on 30 June 2011, while determining environmental flow the average yield of 10 days in a row with minimum yields are taken into consideration. It means that the least flow remains in the river beyond SHPPs and irrigation pipelines. Therefore, the littoral communities of the Yeghegis River, including, remain deprived of water and people's fundamental rights are violated.
18:50 August 01, 2017