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Who will clean Mtkvari?

By Messenger Staff
Monday, July 10
Due to recent intensive rains much garbage was washed down by the country’s main Mtkvari River.

Those living in the capital city could see the much polluted river, covered with plastic bags, bottles and similar.

Both Tbilisi Mayor’s Office and the country’s Environment Ministry say that cleaning of the river, which is one of the faces of Tbilisi, isn’t in their competence.

They stress that they cleaned the river in the past, but it was “goodwill, not an obligation.”

Thus, there is no body in the country, which has a direct obligation to clean the river from garbage.

The Government of Georgia meanwhile says that tourism is its priority and, as it appears, dust on the main river is one of the “attractions.”

It is the fact that many in Georgia still need control not to drop litter and fines have been increased to address the problem.

However, here are some points.

First: there are not enough people to enforce the change affectively and second: in many regions or villages there are not even dustbins and locals are forced to drop litter in the areas which are risky for health and from where the garbage can be easily washed down in rivers.

Of course, much depends on people. However, in this direction the government’s role and obligation is higher.

The government can set high fines and enforce the recommendation that will reduce the problem, and provide opportunities for people to place their garbage on relevant areas.

The government is also obliged to keep the section of its main river clean, as having the littered main river is a sad fact at least.

Mtkvari is one of Georgia’s main aquatic arteries. Its basin includes north-eastern Turkey, central and eastern Georgia, almost the whole of Azerbaijan, Armenia and north-western Iran.

The total area of the river basin is 188,000 square km; the river has a total length of 1,515 km.

In Georgia alone it extends for 390 km.

The abundance of water resources in Georgia is ranked 3rd in Europe. More than 26,000 rivers flow on Georgian territory. In total, they make up almost 60,000 km of waterways.