Left Alone on the Border

Shida Kartli – Conflict Zone: 

Since the August 2008 war, when Georgia lost the control over the part of its territory, the village of Dvani is the last settlement controlled by the Georgian authorities. Nowadays, couple of hundreds of people lives in the village. Most of them had been forced to leave their houses during the war, but they returned soon afterwards, even though it was very dangerous.

The Ossetian checkpoint is visible from the house where the meeting of locals and journalists took place; it is located in about 400 feet. Journalists representing the leading media outlets, both Georgian and international, took part in the mission organized by the Go Group Media. More than twenty villagers came to the meeting. Many of them told the journalists that their main problem was the lack of water.

  • The mission organized by the GO Group Media, had the dual goal – to make journalists accustomed with the everyday life and problems of local population, and to try to help the latter to address the society, to give them an opportunity to speak about their worries, to be heard and understood. Several journalists representing the leading media outlets – both Georgian and international – participated in the mission.

Some of our colleagues were astonished to realize that want of water was named as the number one problem, since the lack of security was supposed to be stated as the main concern. Water has not been supplied to Dvani since the end of the war: the reservoir from which water is supplied to the nearby villages, is located on the territory controlled by the Ossetian side. According to the villagers of Dvani, the local authorities had promised to solve this problem, but they didn’t know when exactly.

Locals told the journalists that many inhabitants of the conflict zone wished to start small businesses, but it is impossible without the assistance from the government. ‘No bank will give you a loan if they learn that you live in Dvani, because this is the conflict zone. We ask the government to mediate between us and the banks, for otherwise we will go nowhere and nobody will be able to work’, Dvani resident Yuri Kopadze said.

Villagers also complained that humanitarian aid that used to be allocated to the inhabitants of the conflict zone soon after the war, has not been delivered to them any more.

Mission participants

Goga Aptsiauri, radio Freedom, Media.Ge
Olesya Vartanyan, radio Ekho Kavkaza
Skip Isaaks, American veteran-reporter
Nino Dalakishvili, freelence journalist
Gavin Rees, Director, Dart Centre Europe
Malkhaz Chkadua,Interpressnews
Eka Chitanava, Liberali magazine

GO Group Media
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