More than 12,000 utility customers from Armenia's rural and urban communities can now enjoy 24/7 water and sanitation services after years of hardship and sacrifice.
The project, which was supported by the Asian Development Bank, improved water supply through the construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure that had been badly neglected since Armenia's independence in 1991.
This included the construction of a water network and a sewerage system, the installation of a water meter chambers, and the rehabilitation and construction of water supply reservoirs. Chlorination and pumping stations were also built.
Ararat, Armenia - Armenia’s water-supply networks have been badly neglected since its independence in 1991.
Water supply and sanitation infrastructure in towns and villages were in poor condition.
Directly affecting the lives of people in urban and rural areas of Armenia.
"When ADB came to Armenia and started the first water loan almost 11 years ago, the situation was quite hard for the country,” comments Cesar Llorens, a project officer from the ADB Armenia Resident Mission.
“Water supply was not 24/7. In fact in many-many areas they didn’t even have water. In some areas water supply was only distributed for around a couple of hours per week and even in the capital city they had water supply for 24/7.”
The Armenian government decided to tackle this issue with support from ADB.
“In 2007, the Asian Development Bank supported the government's objective to improve water supply and sanitation infrastructure in the country and provided the first loan amounting $36 million for improvement of water supply and sanitation systems in the regions of Armenia, in 10 marzes,” says Edik Chil-Hakobyan, a Project Manager from the Armenian Water Sewerage Company Closed Joint Stock Company.
“After the completion of the project, ADB decided to provide the second loan amounting to $40 million to complete the works which have been not finalized during the first phase.”
The ADB project improved water supply by constructing and rehabilitating a water network, building a sewerage system, installing water meter chambers, and rehabilitating and constructing water supply reservoirs.
“Before this loan was started and by the fact that there was no water supply, a lot of families or family members used to walk very long distances just to be able to bring water to the houses,” says ADB’s Llorens.
“You could see grandmothers, mothers, that were doing several kilometers to bring the water that was needed for human consumption, for drinking or for cooking, and were spending most of their day just going from one place to another just to procure that water.
Things have changed since then.
“This is how we attached buckets to a stick, and this is how we put them on our shoulders and carried the yoke,” Lusik Nadaryan a pensioner from the village of Surenavan.
“We used to carry water on our shoulders from far away.”
She is not the only villagers to feel that way.
“The situation with water is good now – with the permanent water flow, we wash the dishes, we wash fruits, we make preserves - we are satisfied with everything,” says Ninel Gharibyan.
“Now we spend less time doing things, all is well, work is easier, we don’t have to carry water – we have permanent water at home.”
The project also rehabilitated and constructed chlorination stations and pumping stations.
In the past, customers only had access to water 10 hours a day. Today, they have water available nearly the whole day.
12,000 new customers have benefitted from the availability of regular water supply.
“My son and my husband made this, and my husband said: "Hey, Lusik, are you aware that we have brought water to our yard?" I said, "Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, oh my God - so, we’ll see water?” He said: “Come here,” comments Nadaryan.
“So I went, and he opened the tap, and I turned round to kiss my son and said: “Well done, may your life be as long as water. Make water for everyone.” He said: “Mom, everyone has got water now.” And I said: “Glory to God!”