Public Defender Responds to Protests Launched by Residents of Shukruti Village of Chiatura Municipality
Residents of the village of Shukruti in Chiatura municipality have been blocking the Shukruti mine in protest since February 17, 2020. In a conversation with the Public Defender's representative, locals said that the 24-hour mining activity at the Georgian Manganese LLC significantly damages the environment, their houses and auxiliary facilities. In the village, where 280 families live, almost all the houses are damaged. Foundations, walls and floors are cracked. Several houses were completely ruined. Plots of agricultural land collapsed at several places and graves are now endangered.
In addition, the population says that as a result of the company's activities, the environment was polluted, part of the forest was cut down; natural springs and wells went dry; the soil became barren; vine and other perennials died out. They believe that the company irrationally uses natural resources. The current and expected damage endangers the property and healthy environment of the local population.
Residents of the village protested several times last year too, but in vain, as verbal agreements reached with the company have been repeatedly violated. This time, the population is not going to stop protesting until the loss suffered by the village is not fully assessed and all the families are not fully compensated for their damaged property (houses, auxiliary buildings, plants, etc.).
The Public Defender of Georgia calls on the relevant agencies to use all the resources to identify the causes of damage and to conduct result-oriented negotiations with the company.
The Public Defender also calls on the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development to mediate and personally engage in the negotiations between the Shukruti population and the company to protect the locals’ rights to property and a healthy environment.
The Public Defender will continue examining the case.