The United National Movement has nominated Samira Ismailova as Bolnisi’s Majoritarian candidate for the Parliament. At a meeting with the local community, Ms Ismailova made the following statement: “Not a single project has been implemented at the local level since 2012.”
FactCheck took interest in the statement and verified its accuracy.
According to the information received from various state agencies, multiple projects have indeed been implemented in the Municipality of Bolnisi since 2012, both by local and central budget funding. For instance, a portion of completed and ongoing projects for the year 2016 alone looks like this: rehabilitation of kindergartens, asphalting roads and repairing sewage and water pipeline systems. Of additional note is the creation of housing for socially vulnerable people at a cost of GEL 305,748 from the local budget.
According to the information of the local municipality, the Ministry of Agriculture carried out irrigation system rehabilitation work in order to expand the coverage of irrigation water. The projects envisaged the rehabilitation of the Imirasani irrigation system’s headworks as well as the main, secondary and tertiary distribution channels and the on-farm network. GEL 3.3 million was spent for this project. Additionally, another large project was launched last year to rehabilitate water supply systems. After the completion of this work, the Bolnisi community will be able to have a water supply for 18-24 hours instead of the ten hours which they have now. The implementation of the project is funded by the European Investment Bank at an estimated cost of GEL 4 million.
Furthermore, those projects already completed include the construction of a 9 kilometre-long road leading from Bolnisi tothe Sioni church and the improvement of the Bolnisi landfill. The landfill project included equipping it with a modern infrastructure as a part of its rehabilitation. The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure carried out the construction work at a cost of GEL 330,000. Additionally, the Public Centre building was opened in Kazreti last year which will enable the population to take advantage of approximately 200 private and public services.
According to the information obtained by FactCheck, multiple projects have been implemented in Bolnisi since 2012. Of these projects, the majority comprised those infrastructural and included the rehabilitation of internal roads, kindergartens, replacing water pipes and repairing irrigation and sewage systems in the municipality.
In 2016, more than GEL 500,000 was spent for the rehabilitation of kindergartens. Additionally, water supply rehabilitation projects (with an estimated cost of GEL 4 million) aimed at solving the water shortage problems in the municipality, are still underway. The rehabilitation and improvement of internal roads and work on the sewage and water pipeline systems are still ongoing.
However, it is clear that despite the completed and ongoing projects, there is a myriad of problems in the Municipality of Bolnisi. Regular water supply in certain villages (and the town of Bolnisi itself), waste management, the protection of rivers and ravines from transformation into landfills and the complete rehabilitation of village access roads still remain as problems.
The aforementioned difficulties notwithstanding, the fact stated by Samira Ismailova is clearly incorrect. Therefore, her statement is a LIE.