Breakdown in the SHPP: who will compensate

The regular breakdown at Argitchi SHPP on 13 May detected essential technical violations in the construction of this SHPP. Argitchi River is one of the main rivers feeding Lake Sevan, where the spawning of endemic fish species takes place.

The breakdown took place in the territory of Verin Getashen Village, up Argitchi SHPP power station, in the same place where previous two breakdowns occurred in July and September 2013. ‘The spill out was so powerful that the car and excavator were washed away. The fish flew out of the pipes with fountains of water into our fields. We collected some fish, but the water had so much mud in, that the fish died, and nobody already collected it from the fields,’ said eye-witness, a Verin Getashen villager.

Several families have their fields located just on the spot of the breakdown or under the pipeline. “Nobody grows anything here: who wants to lose their harvest? We were compensated only once last year. No guarantees – nothing. They didn’t give us anything for the land areas either… It’s a year since we have been fighting with this company (“Hydrocorporation” CJSC), but they just promise all the time, no actions…We were seized our land areas without our consent, permits and compensations, illegally, just the village head signed the permit, but he doesn’t solve anything…’the villagers said.

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