The existing water-supply network of Avetaranots, built in the 1960s, has long languished in a state of disrepair. The pipes are severely corroded and were installed too close to the ground surface, resulting in frequent ruptures and loss of water. According to Avetaranots mayor Hovik Gabrielyan, currently only certain neighborhoods of the village receive water, and for only one hour per day, while many have no water access whatsoever. The residents have no other option but to carry water from the village springs, Gabrielyan explained.
“Whether in the cold of winter or the heat of summer, we have to stand in line to get a few buckets of water and carry them home,” said a local woman and added, pointing to several children who waited for their turn with buckets in hand: “I feel terrible for these kids.”
Commenting on the Avetaranots project, Bedros Terzian, chairman of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund’s French affiliate, said: “We feel it’s our duty to lend a helping hand to vulnerable communities in Artsakh. Providing Avetaranots with a modern, reliable water-supply system is vitally important in terms of both improving the residents’ quality of life and promoting local economic development.”
Terzian continued: “This is our third water project being implemented in the Askeran Region. The two other initiatives, in the town of Askeran and the village of Noragyugh, are under way.”
Currently construction crews are working on the first phase of the Avetaranots project, which entails the construction of water-collection centers near three springs at the foot of Mount Kirsi, five kilometers from Avetaranots; the construction of a pipeline which will connect the water-collection centers to the village; and the construction of a reservoir with a capacity of 100 cubic meters. The new network will also incorporate three existing reservoirs (with a total capacity of 160 cubic meters), which were rebuilt three years ago.
The second phase of the project will see the construction of an internal water-distribution network, with a total length of 15 kilometers. The diameter of the pipes will be large enough to accommodate the community’s water needs well into the future, taking into account population-growth projections. In addition, every household and commercial establishment will be provided with a filtration system and a water meter.
The project is slated for completion in summer 2011, when all 260 families of Avetaranots (over 1,100 people) will have around-the-clock access to water.