For the residents of Arpi, a village in Armenia's Vayots Dzor province, the last two months of summer passed in an unusual regime. The villagers had to establish a night guard shift to protect the residents from the bears’ possible invasion of the village. The wild animals would particularly target the parts of the village which remained dark in night time. The lighted and crowded main street did not attract the bears. Solving the problem of the secondary streets lighting is now a priority in Arpi.
The main street of the village, an approximately 2 km long section, was illuminated last year with the support of VivaCell-MTS and the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC). The partners have installed 51 LED lamps here. The second phase of the project has kicked off. Another 60 lamps will be needed to light the four other streets of the village. As a result, 2250 m will be illuminated. The safety and community budget saving problems of the biodiversity-rich settlement will be solved.
“The program implemented in remote villages has always been seen from the perspectives of energy saving, economic efficiency, creation of civilized conditions and environmental issues. The problem of safety is taken into consideration, too, and it is not by occasion. Borderland villages face the issue of protecting themselves from the enemy, while other villages have an issue with animal invasions. To provide all that, it is said at least 80% of a village has to have lighting. And that implies a bigger project. To reach as many people’s needs as possible we oftentimes opt for stage by stage solution: we illuminate the main streets first, and then move on to secondary ones. And it is important to see that the program serves its purpose,” VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian said.
The opportunity of developing infrastructures with modern technologies and the work performed by technical staff have inspired the residents. The efficiency of the LED lamps lighting system has already been tangible in the village. The head of the village states: the cost is low and the lighting is satisfying.
“This summer, our village was heavily covered by the news. The reason was the bears causing major damage to the villagers’ properties. I think things will change after the implementation of the second phase of the street lighting program. These lamps are energy-saving and powerful. Their technical capacities ensure good lighting and significantly reduce the energy consumption. The result is obvious as compared to regular lamps,’ said the head of village administration Gagik Hovsepyan.
The organizations continue to focus on infrastructure development project. The problems are being identified; solutions are planned and implemented in different settlements of Armenia.