Social Justice Center (former EMC), GYLA, and Green Alternative respond to the events that took place in Rioni Valley, yesterday, on April 11th, and that resulted in a flagrant and unjustifiable restriction of the freedom of assembly and expression of protesters against Namakhvani HPP
From the outside, this tragedy might seem like a natural disaster, a force majeure. But one cannot ignore the human factors at play. Community members in Georgia’s Upper Svaneti region and environmental groups, worried about the impacts of unchecked hydropower development, have long been warning that decision makers are overlooking the unstable seismological, geological and hydrological conditions in the area.
In an interview, a teacher from Chuberi in the Svaneti mountains gave us an impression of how the project developers of the planned Nenskra dam engage with locals.
As rains cause mudflows in Georgia's mountains, locals from different regions unite to protest hydropower developments in geologically unstable areas. In the night of June 30, strong mudflow hit the village of Nakra in Upper Svaneti, in Georgia’s Caucasus mountains, damaging several properties and destroying two bridges.
On June 23 mudflows from the Devdoraki glacier again hit the Dariali gorge and washed away a road and infrastructure connected to two hydropower projects planned in the north of Georgia. The destruction included the water intake for the 19 megawatt Larsi hydropower plant and the derivation pipes for the Dariali hydropower plant.
As activists pointed out at a consultation meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia’s hydropower sector has plenty of lessons to be learned by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Yesterday in Tbilisi, during a public consultation on the good governance policies of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, an unexpected thing happened.
The construction and operation of the Dariali HPP will cause the degradation of ecological and cultural values of the Dariali Gorge ecosystem and increase risk of natural disasters, in case the project is implemented