On October 7, 2011 the Georgian news portal ambebi.ge published an interview with the Director of the environmental NGO Green Alternative, Manana Kochladze. The article covered ongoing reform of the energy sector of Georgia, construction of large dams and the impact of these.
According to Ms. Kochladze, the construction of 4 hydropower plants on the river Adjaristskali will affect 230 families in the valley, and result in the loss of arable land and income for the owners of this land. “Reduction of the water flow in the river will cause difficulties, and lead to the disruption of the ecological balance in the river” states the Director in the interview.
The Adjaraistsqali Hydro project is in its feasibility phase and the design has not been set yet. Environmetal and Social issues are a key concern when the final design is decided. The Environmental and Social Impact Study undertaken by leading international and Georgian experts are in progress.
According to the Scoping Report published on our website www.adjaristsqali.com, the project does not envision the physical nor economical displacement of anyone. Our preliminary assessment is that the affected land plots have little or no agricultural value. The land owners (approximately 50) who owns the land that will be impacted by the project will receive compensation according to Georgian and World Bank standards.
As for the ecological flow, the expert panel is currently undertaken an assessment and their final recommendation will be based on a needs based approach. The planned design envisages the maintenance of sedimentation flows in the river using flushing gates on the dams. Flushing gates have been effective in other projects to maintain sediment flows in the river.
The Adjaristsqali project when constructed will create employment opportunities for the people in the local community, contribute to income for the municipalities along the river and improve the energy security of Georgia and reduce global greenhouse emissions.