Reconstruction of Talish village

Completed

Reconstruction of Talish village

PROJECT TYPE:

Community reconstruction

LOCATION:

Martakert Region, Artsakh

DONORS:

Armenia Fund / Antranik Baghdassarian

STARTED:

January 2017

TO BE COMPLETED IN:

May 2018

COST:

$2 million USD

Project Details

Background:
Talish is a historic village, located about 17.5 miles (28 kilometers) from the city of Martakert. Founded in 401, Talish was once the seat of the Gyulistan (Talish) Armenian Principality, or Melikdom. Now Northern Artsakh’s largest village, Talish is home to several historic landmarks, including the 19 th -century Surb Astvatsatsin Church. Talish was all but destroyed during the Four-day War of 2016. Under heavy bombardment by the invading Azeri forces, most of the 540 residents of the village were evacuated. When the dust settled, much of Talish, including public buildings and homes, lay in ruins.

In early 2017, Armenia Fund launched a massive reconstruction program, seeking not only to rebuild what has been destroyed, but to modernize Talish through several key infrastructure projects. The reconstruction program, made possible by the generous support of longtime Armenia Fund benefactor Antranik Baghdassarian, is slated to be completed in May 2018. The program is being complemented by additional major infrastructure development on the part of the Artsakh government.

Problem:
The Four-day War of 2016 exacted a heavy toll on Talish. Ninety-seven soldiers lost their lives while defending the village, and four civilians were brutally murdered by Azeri troops. As for property losses, the devastation was all-encompassing. A total of 190 structures were partially or completely destroyed. They included 167 homes, a church, a school, a kindergarten, a flour mill, two event halls, four stores, a bakery, one municipal building, and eight farms. Given the sheer scale of destruction, and the fact that the community lacked the necessary resources to rebuild on its own, the more than 500 displaced residents of Talish could not return to the village. In other words, had Armenia Fund, along with the government of Artsakh, not taken swift action, Talish faced the very real possibility of becoming a ghost town.

Solution:
Armenia Fund is rebuilding Talish, literally from the ground up.

The reconstruction program’s completed components include the following:

1. the construction of an all-new potable-water network as well as a sewer system; and
2. the construction of a social center, which will offer residents a diversity of leisure and educational activities, and function as a venue for various ceremonies and other major community events.

The reconstruction program’s ongoing components include the following:

1. the reconstruction of the community center, which houses mayoral and administrative offices; a library, a medical clinic, and a computer room;
2. the reconstruction of one community event hall;
3. the reconstruction of 18 residential homes, complete with underground bomb shelters; and
4. the renovation (including repaving) of the main road.

Impact:
The reconstruction program is breathing new life into Talish. As war-ravaged community institutions and homes are being rebuilt, and all-new development projects are underway, Talish is shedding its scars and being transformed into a modern, beautiful community. These improvements are having an immensely positive psychological effect on the traumatized residents of Talish, giving them a compelling reason to come back, replant roots, and once again make their birthplace thrive.

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