In Artsakh, our activities have focused on the Kashatagh region, which connects Artsakh to Armenia and is therefore strategically vital. Unfortunately, the region’s infrastructure was largely uprooted due to the ravages of war: Housing, electricity, drinking water, roads and health care facilities were all severely lacking in 1995, when the region’s resettlement began. Since that time, NKR authorities, with the help of private donors, have managed to improve many of these basic conditions.
Nevertheless, water remains a serious issue: Numerous villages still do not have their own dedicated water supplies; as a result, such villages are unable to grow economically and struggle to attract new settlers. The Foundation has addressed a number of village clusters which stood in need of such supplies.
During 2010, the Foundation undertook a water supply project by bringing potable water to Hak village in northern Kashatagh. Soon thereafter, we extended our work to nearby Hochants, followed by Getap village in southern Kashatagh. In each of these villages, we built a permanent water basin, then connected the basin to nearby springs or streams. These works were completed usually with help from the local villagers.
These projects also contain an important public health dimension: Previously, in areas without local drinking water, villagers would sometimes get sick after visiting unsafe or improperly cleaned wells in neighboring areas. This was the case in Getap, for example, where villagers would access wells containing contaminated drinking water, even though a clean stream exists only two kilometers away from them. With the establishment of their new water supply, this problem has now been resolved.
Due to our efforts, these three villages – 240 families in all – now enjoy safe and clean water. We would like to thank Ms. Virginia Davies of New York (Hak), Mr. TigranKalaydjian of Larnaca, Cyprus (Hochants), and the Armenian Community Council of Great Britain (Getap) for helping us realize these important projects.
NerkinSus is situated not far from Berdzor, the administrative center of Kashatagh. (It is about 5-6 km to the south). The village possesses 35 houses and 95 total inhabitants. Despite the presence of nearby springs, until 2014 the village did not enjoy its own water supply.
Before commencing work, we supervised extensive tests to ensure that local spring water was in fact potable. Ensuing construction consisted of the following steps: 1) Building a central basin near the village; 2) Piping water from nearby springs to the basin; 3) Piping the water from the basin to individual households and the local school.
The water system was finally completed in early May 2014 and the official opening took place on May 18, in the presence of local and regional NKR officials. The water system is now being actively used by all households as well as the local school.
We would like to thank the St. Sarkis Charity (UK) and the One Armenia organization for helping us realize this important project.
Most recently, we have realized a more complex project which includes a cluster of villages – Karotan, Vardabats, and Urekan – found in Southern Kashatagh. Karotan has 16 families and 68 inhabitants, Vardabats has 18 families and 59 inhabitants, while Urekan has 45 families and 168 inhabitants. The project included cleaning the existing wells, as well as constructing new ones, in Karotan and Vardabats villages. In the case of Urekan, we constructed a full water system which brought drinking water from nearby springs to the village. That water system includes water collectors, water basin and an inner pipe system for the village.
Due to this project, a total of 295 villagers (79 families) plus the Karotan school and Vardabats town hall now receive pure drinking water. The project was completed in December 2014.
Our most recent water project was in the liberated Hak village, where we repaired and expanded the local water supply and irrigation system. Due to these efforts, not only does everyone in Hak (more than 100 people) now have access to fresh water for household use, but there is also sufficient water to fulfill the irrigation needs of the village, where agriculture is a primary economic activity for most locals.