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A PLACE WHERE HOPES COME TRUE: THE LEKIT COMMUNITY OF GAKH RAYON

15-05-2014, 11:16, Saw: 535

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In Gakh rayon there is a quaint mountain community named Lekit that attracts tourists regularly. It is in a picturesque location surrounded by Caucasus Mountains, and is home to a complex of grand temples built in the fifth through seventh centuries. Today the people of Lekit are joyful after years of distress. It is wonderful to see smiles on the faces of its residents now that their dreams of potable water have finally come true. When AzRIP staff conducted a Rapid Community Assessment in Lekit at the onset of their collaboration, it was discovered that it is a mobilized community of 1565 residents where Azerbaijanis and Zakhurs live as a united family. They have become friends and relatives there, continuously discussing community problems and finding solutions together. The Lekit community group was formed in 2005 with the support of an international humanitarian organization. With the financial support and intervention of that organization, they quickly implemented several projects, including “Construction of a Water Reservoir and Water Pipeline”, “Repair of the Sports Playground and Gym”, “Construction of a Kindergarten” and “Repair and Equipment Provisions for a Beauty Salon”. They also implemented a “Repair of the Bus Stop” project with the local municipality.



AzRIP’s collaboration with this community began in August 2013. At that time, AzRIP staff conducted a Participatory Rural Appraisal workshop there. The purpose of the workshop was to identify problems by assessing community resources with community participation and work with the community group to find solutions. During this process, it became clear that potable water was the highest priority among the critical problems of Lekit village. After community group members were elected and trained on a series of topics, the group prepared a project proposal and submitted it to AzRIP. Based on that proposal, they planned to construct water pipelines and bring water from the upper part of the Lekit waterfall through the pipelines to the water reservoir, which would be repaired and given to the community's population for their use.



According to their wise, elderly community members, including 90-year-old Majid Azizov and 92-year-old Mutallim Aydinov, people living in Lekit have needed water for years. Women fetch water from long distances with trouble. “The youth lose interest in living in the village due to the water problem. Water provision was vital, and implementation of the project made our hopes come true. It inspires us to live. Although we are old, we would like to know the future of our youth can be comfortable and prosperous,” they said.



Now the project is complete, and the days when the Lekit people suffer from lack of water have been left behind. In its turn, the AzRIP team believes that the youth's faith in the future of the village will increase as a result of this project. Every day they become more and more attached to the picturesque village, helping them choose to continue living their lives in its beauty. 

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