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20 July, 2024
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EU replaces dangerous asbestos sewer pipes in Nicosia

Project funded by Aid Programme to benefit both Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities


The European Commission announced Thursday that work has begun to replace old asbestos pipes in the Nicosia sewer system. The project is funded by the Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot Community and will be carried out by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The replacement will happen in three areas: within Nicosia, in the UN Buffer Zone, and towards the Nicosia Wastewater Treatment Plant. The first phase covers 846 meters of Mehmet Akif Avenue (Dereboyu) from Kumsal Park to the shopping street. This part of the project will cost about 1 million euros and will take place between June 15 and September 15.

Built in 1986, the Nicosia sewer system used asbestos pipes. In 2000, a 2 km section was replaced due to pipe deterioration. Now, after more than 30 years, the remaining asbestos pipes are in bad condition, with parts collapsing. While some emergency repairs have been done, 4,200 meters of pipes still need to be replaced to prevent potential hazards.

“These works are critical to safely bring wastewater generated by all the people of Nicosia to the bicommunal Nicosia Wastewater Treatment Plant, where it can be properly treated,” said Judit Rozsa, acting Director-General for Structural Reform Support at the European Commission, in a statement.

“Both the sewerage network and the Wastewater Treatment Plant are evidence of a good partnership between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots for almost 40 years. The European Commission is pleased to support this joint effort, which helps the reunification of Cyprus,” she added.

Jakhongir Khaydarov, head of UNDP Cyprus, highlighted the project's importance, saying, “The replacement of the Nicosia Trunk E sewer network is a crucial infrastructure project for the whole of Nicosia, benefiting both communities. It shows our commitment to improving the well-being of the people of Nicosia and supports Sustainable Development Goal 6, which aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, aligning with the UN Charter.”

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