Stories and reports

Water for the people of Arachinovo

17th September 2001

In the second half of August this year, the Macedonian center for international cooperation set up 5 plastic water reservoirs in the Skopje village of Arachinovo, for emergency water supply of the population, with volume of 20m3 of water. This reservoirs have been set up on various locations in the village and are connected by a system of faucets, set up in the open, in the immediate vicinity of the reservoirs. One of these is in the part of village mostly populated by ethnic Macedonians. It is planned that another reservoir with a volume of 20m3 be set up during the month of September. The water is provided in cooperation with the government Coordination body for crisis management, and the transport to the water reservoirs, with the help of cisterns, is conducted by the public enterprise Communal hygiene Skopje. The Reservoirs, depending on the intensity of water consumption, are being regularly filled up.

"It has never happened that there is no water on these faucets", was said by Rufkin, an inhabitant from Arachinovo. According to him the water supply is significantly easier now but, still, it is not a solution for the village. "The village needs power so that we can start our water pumps, at least as a beginning", Rufkin complained to us.

MCIC put a priority on the project for emergency water supply of around 6000 inhabitants of v. Arachinovo that returned to their homes, after the combat activities that were performed between the Macedonian security forces and the Albanian terrorists. Since the first moments of their return home the villagers of Arachinovo were faced with the lack of water problem. There is no plumbing in the village; i.e. formerly the villagers were supplying themselves with water from wells with water pumps. The fighting completely destroyed the power supply system (cables and electricity poles), so at this time Arachinovo has no power. That is why the population is unable to use the water pumps, and with them the individual water from the wells.

Still the solution of the water problem will probably be requested much wider, with the connection of the village to the city water supply, or at least this is what the villagers of Arachinovo hope for. "One member of the family" says Rufkin "must be constantly engaged with the water. Till he gets home with it he needs to return for more. Now is not that bad, because there are more faucets and things go a bit faster, but still it is a big nuisance for the people".

I got acquainted with G'zim on one of the points. He is only 8 years old and he goes to third grade primary school. When he is not at school he is responsible for the water. G'zim pushes a cart loaded with many plastic bottles full of water. "The others have other work around the house" he replied when we asked him why somebody else does not fetch water. "My brother replaces me when I am at school, and when I come home I carry water. It is very difficult", the little student complained to us, "it is so fortunate that our house is near the faucets".
The water has been classified by MCIC as "technological water". But this is the same water that the public enterprise "Communal Hygiene" has been distributing to Arachinovo and this water is often used by the villagers for drinking. The water is actually potable water. "The water is used as drinking water and no problem has occurred thus far" says Rufkin. "We can see the signs that say that the water is not to be used for drinking, but we sometimes overlook them as well". Besides this water several cisterns with water for drinking constantly circulate through the village streets.

MCIC separated funds amounting to 770.000,00 denars for this project.

Children are the most frequent visitors of the reservoirs
Little G'zim fills a bottle
MCMS got funds from the Action by Churches Together
Milevka Stojanovska cleans the carpet
(Hold cursor over photos for detailed description)

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