The Villages on the Getik River

Over the weekend, we were in Tavush and Gegharkunik visiting Aghavnavank, Dzoravank and Dprabak villages. We met with the residents and got acquainted with the problems the villages face. Beneath the picturesque beauty of the nature, lie many problems, the most crucial of which, here too, is irrigation water. Water resources are not scarce in these villages․ There is a river nearby, but there is no water pipeline. The issue, however, is mostly due to the misuse of water resources.

The villages were not chosen randomly.

The Getik river runs for 58 km, starting from the Sevan Mountains in Gegharkunik and reaching Tavush. The villages of Aghavnavank, Dzoravank and Dprabak are situated on this route. These Armenian villages share the same past. There was a time when Azeris lived in this part of our country, and Aghavnavank was called Salah; Dzoravank, Gharaghaya; Dprabak, Chakendi. In 1950, Azeris lived in Aghavnavank. The medieval churches of the settlement, however, are a testimony to the village being Armenian. Only in 1988 was the village returned to its rightful owners, and Aghavnavank began to live and breathe Armenian. It was decided to perform a baptism ceremony for the village, and the invited priest baptized all the residents.

Aghavnavank has many worries, the priority one being the lack of irrigation water. There is a river nearby, but there is no water pipeline. The landowners whose lands are on the banks of the Getik are lucky. The others don’t even get a sight of the river water. They are waiting for people from the capital to come and solve their problems, but only tourists visit Aghavnavank and the nearby villages from Yerevan, admiring the beautiful nature of the Getik river basin.

When you look at the map, Dzoravank village is divided between Gegharkunik and Tavush provinces. They say that the village is a gateway between the two provinces. Dzoravank is a paradise on earth, but the people of Dzoravank fail to make good use of their amazing nature. They prefer to leave for abroad.

Dprabak is the third of the villages situated on the banks of the Getik. During the Soviet years, the enemy lived here and called the Armenian village Chakendi. Only in 1991 was it possible for the Armenians to rename the village and inhabit it. Dprabak faces the same problems as neighbouring Aghavnavank and Dzoravank.