Azerbaijani NGOs issue statement about risk of disaster in Sarsang reservoir

The environmental non-governmental organizations in Azerbaijan have issued a statement about the risk of disaster in the Sarsang reservoir, which is in a state of mismanagement, News.Az reports. 

Signed by 16 NGO representatives, the statement reads:

“We, the non-governmental organizations representing the civil society of Azerbaijan, have made the joint statement by which we express our deep concern about the emergency situation in the Sarsang reservoir.

It is unacceptable that the Sarsang water reservoir is deliberately used as a means of ecological and socio-economic terror against the population of Azerbaijan by Armenia and the remnants of the illegal regime patronized by it.

The Sarsang reservoir, which was put into operation 47 years ago, is in serious need of repair and restoration. For more than 30 years, Armenia has illegally exploited this water reservoir and engaged in economic and environmental crime. The continuation of these actions is unacceptable.

In the recent joint statement issued by the official bodies of Azerbaijan regarding Sarsang , it is noted that the current state of mismanagement of the reservoir poses a serious threat to settlements, farms and infrastructure facilities located in its downstream part.

For many years, water from this reservoir was released to the villages populated by Azerbaijanis during the winter without taking into account the seasonal needs of the area, and as a result, settlements, agricultural fields and communication lines were flooded in the winter. Water was not released during the hot summer season, which caused a severe water shortage, caused problems in the irrigation of agricultural fields, and the green areas dried up and was destroyed.

According to the Helsinki Rules of 1966 and the Berlin Rules of 2004, the right to water is essential to life and health and is a precondition for the enjoyment of other human rights.

Armenia has never taken into account the calls by the international community regarding the Sarsang reservoir. As a clear example of this, Armenia has not taken a lesson from Resolution No. 2085 dated January 26, 2016, adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which assess these actions as environmental aggression aimed at creating humanitarian and environmental problems for the citizens of Azerbaijan. The above mentioned Resolution states that the improper management of the Sarsang reservoir has the risk of a major disaster that can lead to numerous casualties and a new humanitarian crisis .

The continuation of illegal activities of Armenia that occurred in the past period can cause a terrible humanitarian disaster in the Sarsang reservoir at any time.

Tartar, Aghdam, Barda, Goranboy, Yevlakh and Aghjabadi regions with great agricultural potential and fertile soil resources, the territories of which require irrigation, have become victims of Armenia's arbitrariness in relation to the Sarsang reservoir. We are protesting against this! If Sarsang water reservoir is used for its intended purpose, 100 thousand hectares of arable land can be involved in active agricultural cycle.

In addition to other environmental crimes committed by Armenia, it must pay compensation to the State of Azerbaijan for the great damage caused to the economy of Azerbaijan as a result of illegal exploitation of the Sarsang reservoir and its use as a tool of environmental terrorism.

Those who continue environmental terrorism in the Azerbaijani territories under the temporary control of Russian peacekeepers should be brought to justice by the Republic of Azerbaijan.

We appeal to the relevant state bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan to take all possible measures in regards to the emergency situation in Sarsang reservoir!

Armenia and the remnants of the illegal regime patronized by it should immediately stop the environmental terrorist activities against Azerbaijan and the management of Sarsang reservoir has to be handled to the relevant state bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan.”

1. Amin Mammadov, Deputy Chairman of the "Water Experts Union" Public Union

2. Gamza Yusubova, Head of the “Environmental Education and Monitoring” Public Union

3. Mammad Asadov, “Saf Su Amelioration monitoring center” Public Union

4. Elchin Mukhtarli, Head of the Health Service Public Union

5. Salim Balayev, Head of the Public Union of Ecological Enlightenment "Ecolog-2010"

6. Irada Hasanova, Head of the “Sky and Eco” Assistance to Social and Economic Development Public Union

7. Gorkhmaz Ibrahimli, Head of the “Biosphere” Public Union

8. Vamig Babayev, Head of the “Shafag” Ecotourism Public Union

9. Elman Jafarli, "Green World" Environmental Awareness Public Union

10. Rahila Mehtiyeva, Head of the "Socio-Economic and Environmental Development" Public Union

11. Musa Muradli, Head of the Environmental Information Public Union

12. Sadig Hasanov, Head of the “Towards Healthy Life” Public Union

13. Sevil Isayeva, Director of the “Ekolex" Environmental Law Center Public Union

14. Jahangir Alizada, Head of the “Health and Healthy Life” Public Association

15. Chingiz Nazarov, Head of the “Eco-TES” Environmental Research and Education Public Union

16. Zamina Safarova, Head of “For Development and Welfare” Public Association


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