( Todayszaman ) Simsirli village in the Black Sea province of Rize lost out on a 350,000-euro donation from the European Union to be given to construct a sewage network for the village because its suspicious residents reasoned the EU would probably have an ulterior motive for donating the money.
Emre C?nar , the provincial governor of the Ikizdere district where Simsirli is located, told the Anatolia news agency that a project to build a sewage network and treatment facility that had qualified for 350,000 euros of EU funding was rejected because of the villagers' suspicions. "Among 10 projects from our district, only this project had passed the pre-qualification stage. With this 350,000-euro project, the Simsirli village would have had a clean and healthy sewage system. Ninety percent would have been paid for by the EU while we would pay the remaining 10 percent," he explained.
C?nar said after pre-qualifying for the project, they went on to the second stage and started looking out for the best ground to build the new facility. "We found appropriate land in the village for our project. But at this time the residents of one of the three neighborhoods in the village objected to the project, saying, 'We don't want EU money'."
"So we decided to realize the project in the other two neighborhoods. But this time, the landowner on whose land we wanted to build the treatment facility did not want to sell his land. All our efforts to convince him proved in vain. It is impossible to find some other spot as the region is so rugged. This is why we had to give up," he continued.
Emphasizing that the village had missed an important opportunity, C?nar said, "You don't get a chance like that all the time. The Simsirli village would have gained a great project. But unfortunately it could not be realized due to unnecessary reasons."
Head of Simsirli village Necmi Simsek said the people of his village failed to reach consensus on the canalization network and treatment facility being planned for construction in the village. "We couldn't have the water treatment facility we needed with the resources of the provincial administration. This facility, that doesn't damage the environment and that we have been waiting so long for, was going to be built in our village thanks to the project prepared by the provincial governor's office," Simsek said.
"However, some of the villagers got political about the issue as we looked for a spot to build the facility. Our village was going to be a modern village with this project, but unfortunately it didn't succeed -- it's a real pity."