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Water to arrive in the north in a ‘few days’

Ersin Tatar

Turkish Cypriot ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar said water from Turkey will arrive by pipeline to the north in a few days, following complaints of drought due to months of delay in repair works to the pipeline, reports said on Tuesday.

The pipeline, which fills Panagra dam in the north, was closed for repair works and originally water was set to restart flowing from August 30, but was pushed back to September 25, and then again to September 29.

On Tuesday, some Turkish Cypriot media suggested water could start flowing after Friday as the last 500 metres of repairs were completed.

However, on Monday night, Tatar said water would start flowing in a few days, while reports earlier in the week hinted the decision to supply water would have to be taken in Turkey first.

‘Head’ of the water department Dursun Oguz also said last week works were delayed due to inclement weather conditions at sea.

On Monday, Tatar said the villages in the Mesaoria plain and the Morphou area would be the first to receive the water when it began flowing again.

Last week, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Duzen wrote water suppliers driving tankers were unable to keep their customers satisfied due to the persisting drought from the delay in the pipeline repair works.

Tanker driver Ahmet Hoca said they are having difficulty meeting the needs of all the people they supply, and that if the wells in each of the villages drys out from the conditions there will be a problem.

Last month, Tatar visited the site of the repair works with Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, where the former was assured water would start flowing to the north on September 25.

The pipeline was damaged in January.

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