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THE SHAHBUZ RAYON KUKU COMMUNITY THAT OVERCOMES ALL DIFFICULTIES

15-05-2014, 11:21, Saw: 349

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Kuku is a beautiful, mountainous village in the Shahbuz rayon of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. It is known as "The Village of Springs", thanks to its countless mineral springs. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, it holds ancient history, stone annals, sacred places and magnificent castles that display its splendor. In it lives a population of 1497 who lead an inimitable lifestyle. After years of living their daily lives reconciled to shortages, in 2006 the village residents opened their eyes to the world upon the arrival of Azerbaijan Rural Investment Project. From the first day AzRIP arrived in the village, the Kuku community was formed and mobilized. In addition to solving problems, there appeared to be a need to build morale while the community underwent mobilization. A blockade that lasted many years in Nakhchivan had left its traces there. An old, ruined electrical system from the Soviet era created serious difficulties in the distribution of power to the population. It cost economic losses they could not afford to meet and resulted in virtually no use of electricity in the village households. Despite the existence of problems more urgent than electricity, the Kuku people insisted on implementing an electrical project there. So, the “Electrical System Rehabilitation and Expansion” project was implemented in Kuku community in 2006-2007.



Community member Nizami Baghirov said, “The Rural Investment Project gave us light and restored our happiness. They brought us luck as our problems were solved one after another as a result of this project”. Indeed, with experience gained from their first project funded by AzRIP, the community implemented several micro-projects using internal resources. Those projects included cleaning irrigation canals, building a fence around the village cemetery, purchasing a mobile tent and equipment for ceremonies and planting greenery and orchards. Those projects are the result of progress and development raised in the community, thanks to its collaboration with AzRIP. Along with this, the local Government also began the construction of a school building, public buildings, a clinic and communal service facilities in the village to further advance its infrastructure.



Despite all of these projects, one urgent problem remained. Being a mountainous village, roads were a serious problem for Kuku for years. So, in 2013, the Kuku community initiated another valuable collaboration with AzRIP. Once their initiative was supported by AzRIP management, the community succeeded in the implementation of the "Road Rehabilitation" project. According to Aghababa Babayev, ExCom Representative, “This project implemented with AzRIP2 was a venture that would be incomprehensible for a mountainous village to pursue on its own. Through the initiative and financial support of the local government, a 1550-meter long sand-gravel roadway was placed on the existing village road, and then it was paved with asphalt. I should confess that AzRIP made us feel proud and more responsible by agreeing to provide a second grant and continue collaborating with us. At any case, these roads required vast funds, and the Local Government’s support for the project provided the wonderful results that had been desired by the community for many years. Our community was able to duly fulfill its obligation. All of us hit the same target guided by the proverb, “two heads are better than one”.



Today, Kuku residents use the smooth, sturdy refurbished road and have left their past troubles behind. This project was also a striking example of how the Kuku community group can display the knowledge and experience it has gained. We believe that Kuku community will preserve and grow their potential through experience, and continue to be rewarded with great achievements in the future.

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