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WATER OF LIFE

14-05-2014, 15:55, Saw: 307

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Everybody may well remember the fairy tales describing the heroes fighting with giants blocking up the water flow. People suffering from thirst were even sacrificing their life for water in those fairy tales. The community of Kamally in Saatly rayon, Mughan-Salyan zone comprised of 1810 population was also unable to overcome the irrigation water problem for about 30 years. Land plots, sowing areas and gardens were greatly suffering from thirst and drought was prevailing in the area as primitive facility remaining from soviet time was not enough to satisfy the need. About 680 hectares sowing lands became fully unfit which made people desperate and bored. So, community had to give "sacrifices" due to the lack of water like in fairy tales; such as, many families could not find way out and were leaving the native village. Community members were much concerned of the risk that if it so continues only the name of the village would remain. Just then, a turning point happened in the community life as in fairy tales...

Community members assigned a group of elderly wise and influential community members to address to the project's Mughan-Salyan Regional Office when Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project started in 2005 to operate in this zone to select communities with low infrastructure index and invest grants for their priority needs. Their appeal was assessed in a short time and the eligibility of community was verified. The community members took an active part during mobilization process and prioritized the irrigation water need. Elected community group developed a project proposal and submitted to the AzRIP...

Irrigation System Rehabilitation project that was awaited for a long time was completed within three months. July 8, 2006 turned to the real holiday for community members and highlighted in red on their calendar. Community is now celebrating this date as the day of access to water which they call the water of life. Cracked lands and droughty sowing areas started to recover and revive. The "hero conquering the giant" in this happy ending story became Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project. Emigrant families heard about this improvement in the village's access to water and fertile farming conditions and came back to their homeland. Various fields of agriculture started to redevelop, economic conditions of people improved and belief in future was reinforced. Teenagers who in the past were thinking to leave the village started to make plans regarding their future life in the community. Not only this community, but also neighboring Hajigasimli and Naharly villages are benefiting from this water supply to irrigate their land plots.

"The water supply facility - pump station installed by the Water Systems Department and connected to our system supplies several villages with water. It proves the efficiency of our project" - village municipal chairman Ahliman Teymurov emphasized during the conversation. "Water Systems Department benefits from the functioning second water system and according to the signed contract, it has overtaken the technical maintenance of the system and pay for electric power used to operate the facility because it is the state budget-financed agency. We recognize it as the strongest factor affecting the project sustainability" - he added. Taking benefit from the project, the Water Systems Department is currently establishing another network. The new system will directly serve for irrigating gardens and land plots of Naharly community across the Araz River. Skills and knowledge obtained from the collaboration with AzRIP were applied during the implementation of project for cleaning land salinity and drainage water in 2008. The project helped to clean saline lands in the housing blocks, two cemeteries in the village and 800 ha land plots, as well as to divert salty water to the sea through Mil-Mughan collector. Community members are very happy for having access to both irrigation water and drainage network which revives the soil. Kamally community members are now welcoming all guests and feel pride to show them their native land

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