Azerbaijani NGOs issue statement in connection with ecological situation at Sarsang reservoir

Society Materials 31 August 2023 12:49 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijani NGOs issue statement in connection with ecological situation at Sarsang reservoir
Farid Zohrabov
Farid Zohrabov
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, August 31. Ecologically oriented NGOs of Azerbaijan have issued a statement in connection with the emergency situation at Sarsang reservoir, said Amin Mammadov, deputy chairman of the Public Association "Specialists in the field of water use", Trend reports.

"We, non-governmental organizations representing Azerbaijan's civil society, issue a joint statement and express deep concern over the emergency situation at the Sarsang reservoir.

It is unacceptable that the Sarsang reservoir is used by Armenia and illegal formations supported by it as a means of environmental and socio-economic terror against the Azerbaijani population," the statement reads.

The Sarsang reservoir, put into operation 47 years ago, is in dire need of repair and rehabilitation. For more than 30 years, Armenia has been illegally exploiting this reservoir and engaging in economic and environmental crimes. The continuation of these actions is unacceptable.

A recent statement by Azerbaijani officials regarding the Sarsang reservoir notes that its current state of emergency poses a serious threat to the settlements, farms, and infrastructure facilities located in its lower part.

For many years, water from this reservoir has been released in winter to villages, whose population consists of Azerbaijanis, without taking into account the seasonal needs of the territory, as a result of which settlements, agricultural lands, and communication lines were flooded in winter. In the hot summer season, water was not carried out, which caused an acute shortage of water, resulting in problems with the irrigation of agricultural fields and withered and destroyed vegetation.

According to the Helsinki Rules of 1966 and the Berlin Rules of 2004, the right to use water is crucial for life and health and is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights.

Armenia has never responded to the appeals of the international community regarding the Sarsang reservoir. A clear example of this is Resolution No. 2085 of January 26, 2016, adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council. Armenia did not conclude that these actions are considered environmental aggression aimed at creating humanitarian and environmental problems for the citizens of Azerbaijan. The resolution stated that the mismanagement of the Sarsang reservoir posed a high risk of natural disasters, which could lead to numerous human casualties and a new humanitarian crisis.

The continuation of Armenia's illegal activities in the past could at any moment lead to a terrible humanitarian disaster at the Sarsang reservoir.

The irrigated territories of Terter, Aghdam, Barda, Goranboy, Yevlakh, and Agjabadi districts, which have great agricultural potential and fertile land resources, have become victims of Armenia's arbitrary actions in connection with the Sarsang reservoir. If the Sarsang reservoir is used for its intended purpose, 100,000 hectares of arable land could be brought into active agricultural turnover.

In addition to other environmental crimes committed by Armenia, it must pay compensation to Azerbaijan for the great damage caused to our country's economy as a result of the illegal exploitation of the Sarsang reservoir and its use as an instrument of environmental terrorism.

Those who continue environmental terrorism in the territories of Azerbaijan under the temporary control of Russian peacekeepers must be held accountable in accordance with the laws of Azerbaijan. We appeal to the relevant state institutions of the Azerbaijan Republic to take all possible measures in connection with the emergency situation at the Sarsang reservoir.

The ecological terror committed against Azerbaijan by Armenia and the illegal regime it patronizes must be stopped immediately, and the management of the Sarsang reservoir must be transferred to the relevant state institutions of the Azerbaijan Republic," the statement reads.