Cyprus Mail

Villagers forced to buy bottled water

Villagers have to buy their own drinking water

By Angelos Anastasiou

DRINKING water from the supply of Tersefanou village will be temporarily channelled to Ayia Varvara, Alampra and Pera Chorio Nisou villages, the Water Works Department said on Monday.

The quality of the water supply in the affected villages had been deemed unfit for public consumption last week, following sample checks by government agencies.

Speaking after a meeting on Monday with Agriculture Minister Nikos Kouyialis and the three community leaders of the affected villages, Water Works Department head Kyriakos Kyrou said as a first step, it was decided to reinstate the supply of potable water to the villages by temporarily channelling water from the Tersefanou supply.

“We are currently examining the type of piping which will be required for this purpose,” he said.

Asked how the problem was created, Kyrou said that natural erosion caused parts of the pipe’s protective layer to break off and enter the water supply.

“The part of the pipe that caused the problem is 2.3 km long and must be replaced within the coming months,” he said.

Kyrou added that the Water Works Department’s plans include the construction of a very large pipe west of the Nicosia-Limassol highway that would carry water from the Vassilikos desalination plant.

Ayia Varvara community leader Marios Georgiou expressed his constituents’ concern over risks to their health, but also acknowledged the assurances by the authorities that no imminent risk existed.

“We have been assured that human health can only be risked after continuous consumption of the water for a period of 20 to 30 years,” he said.

Georgiou said Ayia Varvara residents are forced to buy either bottled water or drinking water from various commercial sale points.

However, he cited remarks by Kouyialis that the problem would be resolved within three to four days.

Pera Chorio Nisou community leader Yiannakis Georgiou said that in a letter to Kouyialis the communities requested expediting the interim solution.

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