Wednesday, July 17 2019 16:03
Ani Mshetsyan

Naira Zohrabyan: It is unacceptable that various political forces are  trying to politicize the issue of Sevan

Naira Zohrabyan: It is unacceptable that various political forces are  trying to politicize the issue of Sevan

ArmInfo. As a result of the long and irresponsible attitude of the authorities, Lake Sevan today has faced many problems. On July 17, during the working discussion "Problems of Lake Sevan and ways to solve them", initiated by the "Prosperous  Armenia" party, PAP MP Naira Zohrabyan said.

She noted that Sevan is one of the main components of the national  security of Armenia, and environmentalists repeatedly raised this  question, but no answer was received. According to Zohrabyan, she was  many times informed that for many years the country received grants  for carrying out cleaning work in the coastal areas of Lake Sevan.  However, now, when we see a depressing situation, it becomes obvious  that these grants were used for other purposes," the MP said.

The MP also noted that today various political forces are trying to  politicize this issue and use it for their own purposes. "Such a  position is unacceptable, however, during our today's hearings, we  intend to understand all the issues related to the Lake's problems  and find ways to solve them," Zohrabyan stressed.

Zohrabyan also complained that the ministers of Healthcare and the  Environment were not present at the hearings. "We sent them an  official invitation, however, they did not want to appear in the  parliament and take part in the discussion. I consider such behavior  of ministers as disrespectful attitude to the legislative body of the  country. Moreover, today I will address the Prime Minister of Armenia  with a written request about the reasons the absence of government  members in discussions. All this acquires a particularly strange  character, given the fact that they are interested parties and  constantly give interviews on Lake Sevan issues, "the MP concluded.

 It should be noted that Lake Sevan is the main source of drinking  water in the region, one of the largest alpine lakes in Europe and  Asia, located in the heart of the Armenian Highlands, at an altitude  of 1914 meters. This year, blue-green algae bloomed in large numbers  in the lake, after which the Ministry of Healthcare of Armenia called  on the residents of the country not to swim in these parts of the  lake, as these algae are toxic. In turn, the "bloom" of Sevan caused  serious concern to environmentalists, who sounded the alarm.  Moreover, experts said that it is necessary to take appropriate  measures and save Sevan. As a cause of  "blooming" of Sevan there are  two reasons, the first is the distribution of blue-green algae, and  the other reason for the lake's "blooming" is called a decrease in  the water level in the lake.

According to the well-known environmentalist in Armenia, an expert on  water resources, Knarik Hovhannisyan, this is not about the so-called  "swamping" of Sevan, but about the lake's eutrophication process. The  first signs of such a "disease" of Sevan occurred as far back as the  1940s and 1960s of the last century. The causes of Sevan  eutrophication lie in the increase in lake water temperature, as a  result of which the deep "cold" layer decreases, which leads to a  change in the habitual biodiversity. This process is also promoted by  sewage from the entire drainage basin, which contains, in addition to  municipal wastewater, household waste, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.,  that are washed away from irrigated lands, also contributes to this  process. In this sense, according to the expert, the work of only  three treatment facilities, which perform only mechanical water  treatment, is completely inadequate.

A very important and dangerous factor for the lake eftrophication is  the small hydroelectric power stations built on the rivers flowing  into the lake, which often take water from the rivers above the  allowed limit, thus not providing the necessary amount of  environmental protection. Often on these structures there are no  so-called "fish passes" necessary for spawning fish. As a result of  all this, according to the ecologist, in recent years there has been  a disappearance of the cancer population in the lake and some species  of fish, which are natural nurses of Sevan. Not a small " input" to  the lake pollution is brought by several hundred tourist facilities  around the perimeter of the lake, which practically do not have  sewage treatment plants and wash their drains directly into the lake.  There are also several dozen fish farms that artificially grow trout,  which use feed of unknown composition - antibiotics, preservatives,  dyes, etc.

As a result, these processes led to the fact that the coastal strip  of the lake became unsuitable for recreational use, as well as for  irrigation purposes. These factors contribute to the disturbance of  the nitrogen-phosphorus balance, which leads to lake eutrophication.According to Hovhannisyan, it is urgent to stop the flow of sewage  into the lake without their prior biological treatment, to force  hydropower plants to begin work in the framework of approved projects  and contracts without violating environmental protection  requirements, and prohibit artificial fish farming in the lake. "We  are already witnessing the global warming of the climate and  recklessly adding to this the anthropogenic impact on the aquatic  ecosystem of the pearls of Armenia," summarized Knarik Hovhannisyan.   

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