Dec 15, 2014

Red Cross Provides Clean Water to Border Communities

A new reservoir is built for remote villages on Armenian and Azerbaijani border

Reservoir, Armenia, Red Cross, Azerbaijan, villages, remote villages

Residents of the remote village of Movses, Armenia, in the Tavush region along the international border with Azerbaijan, now have safer and easier access to clean drinking water thanks to support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in the country. The ICRC improved the water network, bringing drinking water much closer to residents, and built a water source catchment to feed a reservoir serving the 1,350 village residents. Projects of this kind form a part of the ICRC's broader assistance programs for border-area communities.

In connection with this project benefiting 11 households, the existing water network was enhanced with an additional 580-meter pipeline, a 3,000-liter plastic water tank, and a self-closing public tap to prevent unnecessary water leakage. These measures brought drinking water closer to the homes of residents, who previously had to cover long distances to collect it from the nearest source.

"There was no access to drinking water in this district for ages, and people living here, most of them elderly, would have to walk up to 800 meters to collect water for their daily needs," said Ararat Avalyan, the village mayor. "We appreciate the fact that our problems were taken into consideration by the ICRC and that they have been resolved in this way."

"The hilly topography of the district posed a challenge," said Ruben Baghdasaryan, an ICRC engineer. "So we came up with an engineering solution, which was to bring the water through gravity flow. This made it possible to avoid installing a water pump and all the maintenance costs that would entail."

The ICRC also built a water source catchment in Movses. From now on, water will run through a newly laid 200-meter pipeline into a 100-cu-meter reservoir. Safely collected, the water can be used by the whole village as needed and especially in times of water shortage and drought.

"We work closely with civilians who reside in insecure areas along the international border and design our community assistance projects on the basis of their needs," said Aslan Bzhikhatlov, an ICRC economic security specialist. "This year, similar projects were also implemented in the Chinari and Nerkin Karmiraghbyur villages of Tavush."

Photo: dr_relling/Flickr