Potable Water Infrastructure
Reconstruction of Shushi’s Potable-water Infrastructure
Potable Water Infrastructure
Shushi, Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR)
Armenia Fund US Western Region / Russian-Armenian Community and Other Donors
The city of Shushi is the historic cultural heart of NKR. It was the site of fierce battles during the Karabakh War. When it was liberated by the Armenian forces in 1992, it lay in ruins. Subsequently the worldwide Armenian community, including Armenia Fund, helped rebuild the city. In 2009, Armenia Fund launched the large-scale “Our Shushi” program, a comprehensive development initiative that went on to rebuild the city’s infrastructure, roads, residential buildings, schools, and cultural landmarks, including the Shushi Public Library.
Ever since the early 1990s, access to safe drinking water had been a key issue in Shushi. The city’s water infrastructure was built in the 1980s and used a pipeline built in the 19th century. During the Karabakh War, the internal-distribution network was severely damaged. Water flowing through rusted, obsolete metal pipes was not only unsafe for drinking but failed to reach all districts, due to frequent pipe ruptures and considerable water loss. While the residents of Shushi received water only two or three times a week for about two hours at a time, and were often forced to obtain water from faraway springs, local authorities were in a constant struggle to keep the battered water-distribution network from a complete breakdown.
Armenia Fund implemented a complete reconstruction of Shushi’s potable-water infrastructure. The project comprised the refurbishment of the city’s water-purification station and daily-regulation reservoirs, and the construction of a new reservoir as well as an extensive internal-distribution network. That network now covers all of Shushi’s districts, ensuring residents around-the-clock access to clean drinking water. The large-scale project, carried out in four stages, was sponsored by Armenia Fund US Western Region, through the financial support of the Russian-Armenian community as well as general donors.
“Water Is Life” was the motto of Armenia Fund’s 2010 annual Telethon. Echoing those three words, the Shushi water-infrastructure project has had an incalculably positive impact on the quality of life of local residents. As Shushi was slowly recovering from a devastating war and reemerging as a vibrant city, the fact that its water woes were addressed with a comprehensive set of solutions was a giant leap forward.
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