19:34, Wednesday, 24.04.2019
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Natural disaster in Shida Kartli


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

On January 9, in a small town of Surami, as a result of intensive rains, the torrent from the mountain fell and was stuck in the channels; finally it rushed into the houses of locals. The ground floors were flooded. 10 families were particularly damaged. The drainage channel is near their houses.

As locals of Surami said they had petitioned the Kashuri municipality administration with request to clean the drainage system and the bed of the River Suramula but nobody has paid attention to their request so far.
“We filed five petitions and asked to clean the channel but nobody pays us attention until similar tragedy happens,” one of the victimized person said.
Together with the water-floor, on January 9, there was strong wind in Surami, which broke several trees and removed the roof from the building of old sanatorium where IDP families live now.

The population of Kashuri town also speak about the loss. The flooded river flew over its boundaries and flooded the roads, houses and gardens. The inhabitants of Imereti Street in Khashuri town were particularly damaged. 

“We fight against the natural disaster every year and nobody pays attention to us. We have filed many petitions to the city administration but instead addressing the problem, they are busy to receive bonuses,” Natela Nozadze, inhabitant of Imereti street, said. 

The situation in Gomi village of Khashuri municipality is different from other villages because the River Tilana created problems for locals there. The water flew into yards and houses of the locals, damaged their household technique and poultry. 

The locals protested the attitude of the government by blocking the road. The protesters said they several times requested the local government to clean the river-bed and reinforce the embankment but nobody reacted. 
Arrival of the Khashuri municipality mayor Giorgi Guraspashvili at the demonstration resulted into verbal controversy between the mayor and the protesters. 

The demonstrators told the mayor that he did not keep his pre-election promises: “We got flooded twice in 2014 and in 2017 while you were the municipality governor.”

Guraspashvili said he works hard every year.

Humanrights.ge asked him why the local authority does not take measures to combat the natural disaster every year, the mayor said he would raise this question in different manner.
“We received difficult legacy. For years the River Suramula created huge problems for the residents of Surami and Gomi village. Considering that, we have carried out many activities, part of them during my governance but the funds are limited and consequently we received this result. Unfortunately, we could not implement necessary activities every river. It is impossible to resolve 50-60 years old problems within 3-4 years. We are sorry for what has happened but eventually we will resolve all problems in the municipality,” Giorgi Guraspashvili told humanrights.ge and added that they will start calculation of the loss in near future. 

The houses were flooded in Kareli municipality villages too: Kvenatkotsa and Mokhisi IDP settlements. Like in Khashuri municipality, the locals in Kareli municipality urge the local authority to take adequate preventive measures before population gets damaged by natural disaster. 

Emergency field office was created in Shida Kartli region, which is headed by the region governor and administration members. According to the emergency office, the equipment were mobilized in Khashuri and Kareli municipalities, which clean the area and pump out the water. 

The natural disaster damaged Khashuri and Kareli municipalities, the special commission in the local self-governments will assess the loss of the local population. 

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