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Azerbaijan: ICRC supports communities living close to front line

18-01-2012 News Release 12/09

Baku (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is inaugurating two new water supply systems today that were built in the front-line villages of Gazakhlar and Mirzanagilar, in Fizuli district.

"Those of us living in Gazakhlar and Mirzanagilar didn't believe that the ICRC would manage to supply water with good pressure wherever people live in the villages. Today, thanks to the two 10-metre elevated reservoirs, the dream has actually come true," said one happy inhabitant, echoed by many others.

In front-line regions, the problem of access to drinking water is not new. As a result of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, sources of drinking water – located along the front line – became inaccessible for residents.

"The new water supply system not only provides good-quality drinking water but also enables 760 people in both villages to resume small-scale irrigation activities, such as vegetable growing," said Julien Berda, an ICRC water engineer. "We have also completed two other water supply systems in the villages of Tazakend and Damirchilar, in Terter district. In all four communities taken together, over 2,600 people are benefiting."

In partnership with the British Red Cross and with the support of the Red Crescent Society of Azerbaijan, the ICRC also provided 934 needy families living in eight communities with small-scale economic support through conditional cash grants. Residents of Hasangaya, Tazakend and Damirchilar in Terter district, Gazakhlar and Mirzanagilar in Fizuli district, and Evoglu, Garadagli and Rzalar in Aghdam district now generate a sustainable income through bull fattening, cattle breeding, small businesses, and the cultivation of wheat or barley.

The ICRC, which has been active in the region since 1992, continues to address the humanitarian consequences of the conflict on the civilian population living close to the front line and supports the local authorities' efforts to improve the situation.

For further information, please contact:
Shahla Gahramanova, ICRC Baku, tel: +99 412 465 63 34