* By Nikolas Papadakis
The government has begun promoting the implementation of the Achna Wastewater Treatment Plant, a project designed to serve a large number of areas in the Province of Famagusta. The discharge of sewage in Achna will be done by the Sewerage Complex of Kokkinochorion and requires the construction of pumping stations in some areas, including Liopetri.
However, in Liopetri, it was decided to build the sewage pumping station in a residential area!
On April 25, 2021, a protest was organized in Liopetri, at the place where the construction of the pumping station is planned, in which I was present together with my friend, Executive Secretary of the Movement of Ecologists, Famagusta District and MP candidate Michalis Paraschos on behalf of Oikolos Paraschos. We saw with our own eyes exactly where the pumping station intends to be built and we realized that it is indeed a space surrounded by houses.
Trying to understand the logic of those who decided on the location, I met with the resident of Liopetri, Kyriakos Tsiakourmas, who is leading the effort to move the pumping station from the residential area to an adjacent non-residential area (600 meters from this point).
Kyriakos conveyed his deepest concerns to me and gave me information to understand the implications of this uncompromising attitude of the government to the community's request to move the pumping station to a more suitable area.
First, letters were sent from the mayor of Liopetri to the Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment since 2013, signed by residents of the community, conveying their concerns and requesting the transfer of the pumping station.
After some years, the residents of Liopetri were informed that the cost of transporting the pumping station to the uninhabited area indicated would amount to 200,000 euros, which was considered high. This, while we are talking about a project worth a total of 54 million euros, while in similar concerns of the residents of Xylotympos, Mr. Tsiakourmas informed me that the pumping station had been moved.
When it became clear that the project would proceed despite the protests of the residents, a demonstration was organized on November 13, 2020 and April 25, 2021.
The dangers of a sewage pumping station in a residential area are many. Starting from the stench that is expected to emerge not only from the pumping station but also from the surrounding sewers.
To reduce the stench, the use of state-of-the-art filters is required, which should be changed every 6 months, possibly at a significant cost to the management company. It is not unreasonable to think that there is a risk that the change of filters may not be done with the required frequency in order to save costs.
There are many examples of stench due to the existence of sewage pumping stations. In Protaras, in the area of Agios Mama, in Anthoupolis.
There will inevitably be significant noise pollution from the operation of the machinery, while there is also a risk of overflow of the sewer pipes which can lead to sewage discharge into buildings or roads.
Also, the existence of the pumping station will definitely attract flies and mosquitoes in the area.
Finally, as a result of the above issues, it is almost certain that the value of housing in the surrounding area will be affected.
The issue is above party factions and ideological differences since the price that the residents of Liopetri will be asked to pay is extremely high.
The problem in Liopetri is an example of how the government is provocatively ignoring the needs of the citizens of a province that has become a poor relative in terms of infrastructure and support projects for the local population.
Today is Liopetri. With the same ease that the government intends to proceed with the sewage plant within a residential area in Liopetri, it may well proceed with similar authoritarian actions, not only in the province of Famagusta, but in any other part of Cyprus. Today they are the inhabitants of Liopetri. Tomorrow, you may be in the place of Liopetritis. Tomorrow, the sewage plant, the asphalt plant, may be next to your house.
The residents of Liopetri need support against the authoritarian practices of the rulers who do not take into account the problems that may be caused in the daily life of the ordinary citizen.
The Movement of Ecologists - Citizens' Cooperation is and will be next to the residents of Liopetri in their reasonable effort to preserve their standard of living and their basic rights.
* Nikolas Papadakis
Candidate for Member of Parliament for Famagusta
Ecologists 'Movement - Citizens' Cooperation