Hard-to-reach rural areas which are slow to join the energy grid contribute to deforestation
The highland village of Lahic, located in the central part of Azerbaijan, was supplied with gas for the first time this week. Prior to that, the villagers used wood from local forests as well as gas cylinders and other alternative methods for heating and household needs.
Lahic was not the only village in Azerbaijan where gas pipelines did not reach, though, according to official data, almost 95 per cent of Azerbaijan is supplied with gas.
According to economist Togrul Mashalla, these figures correspond to reality – almost all of Azerbaijan is connected by gas pipelines, except for hard-to-reach mountainous areas. The same regions also lack electrical power due to difficulties in laying cables. The locals usually use wood to heat houses, which leads to uncontrolled deforestation.
Lahic is one of the main touristic centres of Azerbaijan due to its beautiful nature, ancient architecture and concentration of traditional craft workshops.
Not only do foreign tourists flock to the village, but also residents of Azerbaijan itself. The government of Azerbaijan has in recent years been actively engaged in the development of Lahic.
Their goal is to make it enjoyable not only for tourists who visit for a few days, but also for people permanently living here. For example, in addition to the gas pipeline, a new school for 400 pupils and a road to Demirchi village were built.