Ukana Pshavi and Piraketa Khevsureti Go on the Internet for the Very First Time
While, according to the official statistics, Georgia is one of the most connected countries across the globe with over 71% of Georgians having access to the Internet, until recently the high mountain regions of Ukana Pshavi and Piraketa Khevsureti had neither telephone nor Internet communication. This led to serious challenges in local communities. According to the survey conducted by the Kakheti-based organization Center for Civic Activities (CCA) in 2017-2018, the absence of telephone and Internet was one of the main reasons for local citizens and especially, youth leaving their villages in the mountains and moving to the lowlands.
Connecting Pshavi, Khevsureti, and Gudamakari to Internet was a 400,000+ GEL deal. The Small and Medium Telecom Operators Association and its Executive Director developed the Internetization Project and intensively negotiated with the government, international organizations, as well as with responsible private companies to secure funding for the Project. The local youth from Pshav-Khevsureti, with support from CCA, founded a community-based organization and implemented a rigorous advocacy campaign to push forward this initiative. The www.mtisambebi.ge e–portal provided the much needed media support.
As a result of this combined and dedicated effort, as of July 6, Ukana Pshavi and Piraketa Khevsureti are now connected to the Internet and the Internetization of other parts of Georgia’s eastern mountains goes on.
EWMI ACCESS has been supporting the CCA’s work in Georgia’s remote areas for past several years. As part of its most recent ACCESS-funded project, CCA studied the pressing problems of the mountain settlements of Kakheti and Mtskheta-Mtianeti regions and worked with local citizens to address their needs. We are happy that our support has enabled the CCA’s dynamic group of professionals and civic activists to achieve this significant milestone in their work.