EcoLur continues presenting the series of materials on the residents of impacted residential areas, local active civil society and local government bodies on safety measures related to awareness, preparation in emergencies, and participation in decision-making processes. We are presenting the results of the monitoring carried out in Zartonq community in the ANPP-impacted zone, Armavir Region.
Zartonq Community is located at a distance of 9 km from the ANPP in a direct line: the community has a population of 2655 people, out of which 60% are Armenians and 40% are Yezidis.
ANPP water in the community aqueduct
The water from ANPP territory flow into the territory of Zartonq Community, as Zartonq Municipality Chief Secretary Qyaram Ajoyan told EcoLur. 'The water from the ANPP territory flow into our area, into the community aqueduct, which serves Zartonq, Artashar, and Yeghegnut. If the pumping station doesn't take this water, they flow into the neighboring communities. Several years ago we beat an alarm signal to Nature Protection Ministry: specialists came, examined on the spot and left. No one has dealt with this issue anymore,' Qyaram Ajoyan said. In reply to EcoLur's question, whether there is monitoring of soil, water carried out, Qyaram Ajoyan replied negatively.
Sewage water as an irrigation source
Besides the ANPP territory water, the sewage water of Armavir and Metsamor towns flow into Zartonq area. During EcoLur's visit, the community residents beat an alarm signal – they don't have irrigation water and have to irrigate their agricultural land areas with this sewage.
'Since 1988 the sewage water of Armavir and Metsamor flow into our fields. This sewage water flows into our pumping station and irrigates our land areas. We have regularly complained, applied to all the instances, even National Security Service, as this is a matter of national security,' Qyaram Ajoyan said, 'we used to use the water from the Sevjur River for irrigation purposes, but now there isn't sufficient water in the river. We have applied to the government many times, even Ex PM Karen Karapetyan saying we need water: 5 deep wells should be drilled and another 5 needs recovering. The government should have funded it, but didn't. Last year we blocked the road to draw attention to our problem, but nothing was done. We have to irrigate our land areas with sewage, and the animals naturally drink this water.'
EcoLur's camera fixed how sewage water flows into the land areas of Zartonq community. The point of sewage flow was located next to the road, there was a strong stink in the area.
There is no sewage discharge centralized system and sewage cleaning station in the community.
The only protection means from radiation hazards is iodine
Zartonq doesn't have shelters, the residents are not ensured with necessary protection means in case of radiation hazards. 'About four years ago a seminar was held in the municipality. Our medical point serving 3 residential areas was provided with iodine and iodized salt. The seminar was about how to preserve and use it,' Qjaram Ajoyan said.
There is no guidance poster on nuclear safety of the population in the community. There is an evacuation plan in case of nuclear hazards available in the village municipality, but it is not posted anywhere in the community. Training sessions for the residents were last held in July 2017.
Zartonq residents mentioned that the community doesn't take part in the discussions of the legal acts aimed at ensuring the nuclear safety of the ANPP. The village municipality employees and responded residents assessed their awareness of nuclear hazards as satisfactory.
Heating with wood and kizyak
Zartonq, being an ANPP impacted community, anyway doesn't receive social support from the ANPP. The residents heat their houses mainly with wood and kizyak. The firewood costs 20,000-25,000 AMD for one cum, while they use from 7 to 10 cum firewood in the winter.
17:27 January 11, 2019