Imagine drinking water from a water system blessed by the Catholicos. http://www.armenianchurch.net/news/index.phpARTASHAT WATER SUPPLY PROJECT BRINGS SAFE DRINKING WATER TO ARMENIA’S ARARAT REGION THANKS TO EFFORTS OF USAID, FAR
On Wednesday, August 26, His Holiness Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, conducted a water blessing ceremony in the village of Qaghtsrashen, where church leaders and government officials gathered to celebrate the completion of the Artashat Water Supply Project – a water distribution system that will serve the town of Artashat and 27 surrounding villages in Armenia’s Ararat region.
Attending the ceremony were Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, President of the Fund for Armenian Relief and Primate of the Eastern Diocese; Marie L. Yovanovitch, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia; Hovik Abrahamian, Speaker of Armenia’s National Assembly; and other clergy and dignitaries.
The Artashat Water Supply Project was financed by a $3.16 million grant from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and executed by the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) in cooperation with the government of Armenia.
His Holiness Karekin II thanked USAID, the U.S. government, FAR, and the faithful of the Eastern Diocese for helping realize this project. With Archbishop Barsamian, Ambassador Yovanovitch, and Speaker Abrahamian, His Holiness cut the ribbon symbolizing the official opening of the new water system and proceeded to bless the water.
“For us, today’s ribbon-cutting is an example of the obstacles that can be overcome, and the great goals that can be achieved, through collaborative effort, intelligent use of resources and expertise, and an atmosphere of mutual trust and openness,” said Archbishop Barsamian.
Over the course of two years, crews cleaned and restored two existing reservoirs and added a third 4,000-cubic-meter reservoir, bringing the system’s total reservoir capacity to 8,000 cubic meters of water.
Work also involved the installation of nearly 50 kilometers of water mains and lines, which will make it possible to distribute clean drinking water from Garni sources to some 100,000 people living in the Ararat region.
The new water system, which will be managed by the Armenian Water Company, will eliminate the need to pump water from local wells – a practice that was both unsafe and inefficient.
“I am confident that the project will significantly improve the health and well-being of people in this area,” said Ambassador Yovanovitch, “and will support the government of Armenia in its efforts to foster economic development of the regions outside of Yerevan.”