Rehabilitation Project of Absheron Lakes
As a consequence of political stability, economic development in Azerbaijan and its international image in the world, the First European Games was weld in Baku. It was one the most important events of 2015 all over the world. Opening and closing ceremonies and some games were held in the main sport arena – Olympic Stadium Complex, the residents and visitors enjoyed not only this stadium but also the beauty of surrounding areas of the stadium – a beautiful lake, promenade, park, green areas, public playgrounds, children’s playgrounds and so on. But looking back this area was considered ecological danger in the near past.
Everything started to change in this dangerous area by the implementation of “The State Programme for social and economic development of Baku city and its settlements in 2014-2016” dated on the 17th January 2014 and the Decree “On additional measures for improving the ecological condition, protection and use of Boyukshor Lake” approved by a Resolution of the President dated on the 26th December 2013. With the coordination of the Ministry of Economy and Industry “Tamiz Shahar” JSC completed the first phase of the project in May 2015. The opening ceremony of the promenade and park was performed by the President and First lady.
Boyukshor Lake and its surrounding areas have been changed from ecological danger into recreation area in a very short period of time. But it is only a half of the target. Because complex rehabilitation project of Boyukshor Lake has two phases. Boyukshor Lake has been divided into two parts by a dam with 1570 m height in order to implement the first phase and to isolate project area. This dam will be a foundation of 8-line highway which will connect Ziya Bunyadov Avenue with Balakhani highway. The other part of the lake will be treated in the second phase of the project.
Since Soviet period industrial and municipal wastewater and oil sludge discharged into Boyukshor Lake have been significantly reduced. Before the implementation of the project, sewage waters from 76 sources were discharged into the lake. All these sources have been completely eliminated in the project area and the number of these sources in adjacent areas is reduced up to 20 sources. Contamination level of the treated part in the lake bottom has been reduced from 121 thousand mg/kg to 86 thousand mg/kg and it means that the lake bottom meets ecological norms. Sewage lines were built across the southern part of the project area and sources of pollution have absolutely prevented. This prevention helps to improve water quality. The main contaminated area of the lake is near to Balakhani settlement. 1850 meters dam was built in order to prevent oil waste pollution sourced from Old Balakhani oil fields in the side of Balakhani settlement across the historical borders of lake watercourse. Removal and treatment of debris generated on the lake bottom over many years are being done. In the first phase of the project total 2.8 million cubic meters sediments have been cleaned and stored in temporary disposal areas for future utilization. Protective actions are carried out and pollution with municipal and construction waste has been completely eliminated in the lake and its coastlines.
All construction works of the first phase have been completed. A promenade and a park have been built on the east and south shore. Total landscaping area is more than 15 km. Oil-contaminated soils have been treated. Groundwater contaminated with metal plates has been completely prevented from being discharged into the lake on the eastern shore and drainage system has been created.
The length of the coastal walking area is 2.5 km. Sport and children’s playgrounds have been installed, separate running and biking lanes have been laid, bicycles have been provided, 80 thousand trees and decorative bushes have been planted here. Fountain complex installed on the lake does not only have a beautiful view, but also helps to enrich water with oxygen in order to improve its quality. In other words, there is every opportunity for residents and guests of the city to have a good rest. Special facilities powered by solar energy are used for management of the lake, improvement and monitoring of water quality.
The lake will be returned to its historical watercourse, water level will be balanced and ecosystem will be restored in the second phase of the project which will complete entire rehabilitation of Boyukshor Lake.
Rehabilitation project of Boyukshor Lake is being implemented within the scope of the Tasks on improvement of environmental situation of 9 lakes of Absheron Peninsula (Boyukshor, Zigh, Khojahasan, Girmizi, Puta (Lokbatan), Gu, Binagadi, Zabrat, Bulbula) of state programs on socio-economic development of Baku and its suburban settlements approved by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
To provide sustainability in the rehabilitation of Absheron lakes, according to the Decree “On Measures to improve the environmental situation of Zigh lake” of the President of the Republic Ilham Aliyev dated 15 October, 2014, realization of works for rehabilitation of the aforementioned lake has started.