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Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili visited Samegrelo within the framework of a regional tour on 2 April 2014. During his visit Gharibashvili reviewed the shore protection work in Anaklia and stated the following: "This shore protection work in Anaklia was not planned previously. As always, the previous government did everything wrong. Infrastructure and hotels should be established there. We need precise calculations in order to plan the work correctly."

FactCheck

took interest in the facts stated in the statement and verified its accuracy.

Irakli Gharibashvili criticised the previous government for the inconsistent implementation of the work in Anaklia. As we can conclude from his statement, the Prime Minister considered the implementation of shore protection work as a necessary prerequisite for the long-term development of the Anaklia resort.

In order to request information about the planned and implemented shore protection work in Anaklia in the previous years, FactCheck

contacted the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure.

As a response to our letter, the LEPL Municipal Development Fund of Georgia notified us that the Fund did not conduct shore protection work in Anaklia until 2013. According to the Fund, an agreement was signed on 12 June 2013 and the first stage of construction of  the Anaklia shore protection facility is underway (GEL 15,800,759.49 contract price). According to the letter, work has already been implemented on 2.3 km of the shoreline with the project forecast to be completed next year. As for the shore protection work planned for the next year in Anaklia, according to the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia, there are already plans for the second stage of work. This, in particular, includes shore reinforcement on 1.5 km of the shoreline. The tender for this aforementioned work has hitherto not been conducted and so the Fund is unable to disclose the cost of the project.

The Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure has published extensive information about the shore protection work in Anaklia. According to the Ministry, the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia is implementing the construction of the shore protection facility in Anaklia with the financial support of the Asian Development Bank.

The project will be implemented in two stages and 4,100 meters will be protected in total. As the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure stated, the shoreline will be stabilised and a sand beach created. In total, the construction of a 3-kilometer long and 60- meter wide shoreline is planned. According to the Ministry, the cost of the work of the first stage is GEL 15,355,551.74 and the period of the construction is set at nine to ten months. More than 100 people will be employed during this period with local residents comprising 80% of the workforce.

According to the information published by the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure, the shore protection activities will be implemented from the Enguri River confluence to the Tikori River confluence (a total length of 2,600 meters). Along with the shoreline protection, a 2,300-meter long and 60-meter wide shoreline will be stabilised and a sand beach created.

As for the second stage of the construction, the shore protection and the stabilising the shoreline from the Tikori River confluence to the south (in thedirection of Poti with a total length of 1,500 meters) will be implemented. Along with shore protection, a sand beach will be created during the second stage of the work with a length of 1,500 meters and a width of 60 meters. The estimated cost of the second stage is GEL 10-15 million. The orientation period of the construction is seven to eight months.

According to the Ministry, tetrapods (hydraulic structures) are being installed on the shoreine and will be placed into the water as soon as weather conditions improve.

The Anaklia shoreline project is being implemented by the Modern Business Group company which will finish the first stage of the work in July 2014. As the company explained, dwellings and agricultural land belonging to local residents will not be flooded as a result of the construction work and conditions will be improved for tourists. FactCheck

talked to expert Irakli Papashvili, Head of the Navy Team of Gama, a scientific research company. According to Papashvili, the Lazika port project prepared by Gama also included shore protection work on the surrounding area of Anaklia. However, this work was coordinated with the construction of the port. The protection of shores and buildings from sea waves is necessary as a result of changes caused by the implemented work and this was the purpose of the project.

According to the expert, the current shore protection work in Anaklia, while the exact location of the future construction of the port is not determined, might become an obstacle. Shore reinforcement work requires the construction of special hydraulic structures on the seabed which will change the terrain as well as the direction of the waves towards the shore. In addition, Papashvili is sceptical about the effectiveness of the current shore protection work. According to his assessment, the way in which the aforementioned work will protect the shore is a separate issue. As a result of this shoreline work, the port cannot be constructed at the location initially proposed by the Gama project.

FactCheck

also talked to Spartak Eragia, Director of Mshenproekti Ltd, who has prepared his own project for the construction of the Anaklia port. According to Eragia, the current shore protection work in Anaklia will be an obstacle for the construction of the port in the future. He stated that the current work is not coordinated or agreed with the government’s plan and he also remains sceptical about the results of the construction work.

The statement by Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, also confirms the uncertainly prevailing in the government about the specific location of the construction of the port. As Kvirikashvili commented on the topic of 13 May 2014, the report of a Japanese company working on this issue will be ready on 15 June. The issue of where the port will be built will be decided after the preparation of this aforementioned preliminary report.

Conclusion  During our work on the verification of Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement, FactCheck

found out that the shore protection work had not been implemented in Anaklia until 2013. According to the agreement signed on 12 June 2013, the first stage of the current shore protection work is being implemented in Anaklia. The work on 2.3 km of shoreline has already been conducted with completion slated for next year. In addition, the second stage of shore protection work in Anaklia is planned for 2015. The work implemented within this second stage includes protection of 1.5 km of shoreline.

FactCheck

talked to expert Irakli Papashvili, Head of the Navy Team of Gama, a scientific research company. According to Papashvili, the Lazika port project prepared by Gama also included shore protection work on the surrounding area of Anaklia, although this work was coordinated with the construction of the port. The protection of shores and buildings from sea waves is necessary as a result of changes caused by the implemented work and this was the purpose of the project.

Papashvili is sceptical about the effectiveness of the current shore protection work. According to his assessment, the port cannot be constructed at the particular location initially proposed by the Gama project and it remains doubtful how successful the current shore protection will be as a result of the work hitherto completed. Spartak Eragia, Director of Mshenproekti Ltd, agrees with Papashvili and has prepared his own project for the construction of the Anaklia port. According to Eragia, the current shore protection work in Anaklia will be an obstacle for the construction of the port in the future.

Taking into consideration that shore protection work was previously neither planned nor implemented in Anaklia but was required as concerned the construction of the port and the surrounding area and also in view of the expressed sceptical attitudes of the aforementioned experts concerning the results of the current work, FactCheck rated Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement, "This shore protection work in Anaklia was not planned previously. As always, the previous government did everything wrong," as HALF TRUE.

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