Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the opening ceremony of the Shamkirchay water treatment facility

03 march 2020, 18:00

An exceptional role in the establishment of the Shamkirchay Water Treatment Complex has been played by the Shamkirchay Reservoir. If we hadn’t invested a lot of money in the implementation of this giant project, there would be major problems with water supply and high-level organization of irrigation work in the region because there was a severe drought last year. Unfortunately, the forecast for this year is not very reassuring either. Therefore, the implementation of these major projects has saved us from big problems.

Along with Shamkirchay, the Takhtakorpu reservoir was built. If the Takhtakorpu water reservoir had not been built several years ago, there would have been a shortage of water in Baku last summer. The Takhtakerpu reservoir feeds our main source of drinking water – the Jeyranbatan reservoir. Water is collected and simultaneously treated naturally there and then discharged into Jeyranbatan. Therefore, these major infrastructure projects are of great importance and bring huge benefits. Today we are expanding sown areas and providing people with drinking water. The water coming from the Shamkirchay reservoir and treated here will provide a significant part of the cities of Ganja, Samukh and Shamkir. Today, water is mainly supplied to Ganja from Lake Goygol. But at the end of a major water supply project of Ganja in 2022, the city will have a round-the-clock supply of clean drinking water meeting the standards of the World Health Organization, namely from the Shamkirchay reservoir.

These projects show again that all our actions are designed to achieve a result. All steps are taken in a timely manner. Both large reservoirs in Azerbaijan are historic projects because they are labor and financially intensive. These projects are very technically complex. I initiated both projects. During their implementation, I repeatedly enquired about the work being done, gave relevant instructions and took part in the opening of both large projects.

Today we are providing people with drinking water and will continue to do that. In most cities of our country, including Shamkir, the problem of drinking water has been solved. I am told that the issue of sewage will be resolved in the city by the end of this year. The problem of water in Samukh will be resolved this year. So about three to five cities are not yet provided with clean drinking water, but they will be provided with drinking water in two years at the latest.

At the same time, relevant agencies are dealing with the water supply of villages – using the treatment facilities both of “Azersu” and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. The problem of water in the city of Baku is being resolved. I am told that 80 percent of the Baku population has a continuous supply of clean drinking water. This process will be continued. Therefore, these projects are of great historic importance. Water is about life, cleanliness, health and development. At the same time, it plays a major role in the development of agriculture.

The second phase of the Shamkir water canal is nearing completion, and from now on water will be supplied to 40,000 hectares of land that has not been irrigated so far in Goranboy district alone. This in itself will contribute to the creation of jobs, people will begin to live better, agriculture will develop, productivity will increase and our export opportunities will expand. All these are projects envisaged in the state programs on the socioeconomic development of the regions. Each of them is being successfully implemented.

Appropriate steps are being taken to develop Shamkir district. I have given a whole series of instructions and signed orders. Infrastructure projects in Shamkir district are being successfully implemented and gas supply level is at 98 percent. The problem of drinking water has been resolved. The construction of roads continues. After the implementation of the new projects I was informed about today, the percentage of good-quality roads will reach about 80. Today, this figure is at 40 percent. Therefore, there are many more projects to be implemented.

The Central District Hospital was opened recently. It is a very nice new building. It is fitted with all the necessary equipment and is an excellent medical institution for 190 patients. Other social facilities are being built, 37 schools have been built and refurbished. So we have a comprehensive approach to this. This also includes steps being taken to create jobs. Large agricultural estates have been set up. These agricultural estates cover thousands of hectares of land and significantly strengthen the agriculture and export potential of Shamkir district. It is no coincidence that exports from Shamkir district to foreign countries amount to tens of millions of dollars and will continue to grow. The potential is great, the land is fertile, there is water, people are hardworking, the infrastructure is available. In a year and a half, a four-lane road will be built to the border with Georgia. After that, both the district and our entire country will go only along the path of development. Such financially intensive social projects require very large funds. Of course, with low water tariffs we will never be able to recover these funds to the state. And there is no such goal either. The goal is to provide people with clean water so that they are healthy, and support agriculture with land reclamation measures. We are achieving this goal. I am sure that the district and our entire country will continue to develop successfully. I express my gratitude to “Azersu” employees for the work done and wish them continued success.