( OSCE ) - A joint Georgian-Ossetian team led by the OSCE on 2 June has examined the water pipeline running through the zone of conflict, and proposed recommendations for emergency structural repairs as a solution to the cause of the 10-day water shortage crisis in the Tskhinvali region.
After the Sides agreed that a structural survey should be carried out, the OSCE rehabilitation team, including Georgian and Ossetian engineers, accompanied by OSCE mission monitors and the Joint Peacekeeping Forces, today inspected the pipeline which runs through Java in the north of the conflict zone down through the Georgian villages and into Tskhinvali.
"The joint team drew up a list of measures to be implemented which has been passed to the offices of the Georgian and South Ossetian Joint Control Commission Co-chairmen," said Head of the OSCE Mission to Georgia, Ambassador Roy Reeve, indicating that the Mission would be prepared to facilitate any repair work once the Sides had agreed upon a plan of action.
The monitoring team found that the potable water supply running through Java is large enough to sustain a good flow for all. But the water shortage crisis was sparked initially by holes punched into the old pipeline for crop irrigation, and exacerbated by storm-damage which caused it to break away from its crumbling concrete supports and spring large leaks.
Ambassador Reeve reiterated his concern over the crisis and resulting tensions, and urged the Sides to consider the option to resolve the issue together as quickly as possible.
"Water is a basic human right that should be ensured. Given the humanitarian nature of this crisis, I urge all Sides to concentrate on the speedy resolution of this crisis so that tension does not rise further."