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Azerbaijan: ICRC helps restore water in conflict-affected village

16-12-2008 News Release 08/240

Baku (ICRC) – Over 1,200 internally displaced people living near the front line in the village of Shukurbayli, in the Fizuli district of south-western Azerbaijan, now have access to clean water thanks to the rebuilding of the water supply system undertaken by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in cooperation with local authorities and community members.

The work began in August and its completion was marked today at a ceremony in Shukurbayli attended by Nadine Bagué, ICRC deputy head of operations for the Southern Caucasus, as well as by local authorities and residents.

" As the work progressed, we met many women carrying buckets back from the springs and they would always tell us that what we were doing was going to save them from many years of toil and hardship, " said Bakir Guliyev, the ICRC water engineer in charge of the project. He noted that women especially took an interest in the project.

" The Nagorny Karabakh ceasefire was announced 14 years ago but access to water is still restricted, in some cases because infrastructure has been destroyed, massive displacement has taken place or the water source is located in a dangerous area, " said Toon Vandenhove, head of the ICRC delegation in Azerbaijan. " It is mostly women in conflict-affected villages such as Shukurbayli who must fetch drinking water from springs located near the front line, " he added. " Their lives are at risk every day, so by fixing the water supply system the ICRC is indirectly protecting them. "

  For further information, please contact:
  Gulnaz Guliyeva, ICRC Baku, tel: +994 12 465 63 34 or +994 12 465 64 52