Klimos river/ Acı river : Proposal for a common project

Klimos / Acı river, is 5,7 km in length and passes through the Egkomi and Ayios Dometios Municipalities of Nicosia. The river, which crosses the Buffer Zone (BZ) and continues to the Turkish Cypriot sides/community of the island, has been made to flow underground in order to serve the needs of the continuously urbanized municipalities. Without taking into consideration the ecological functions of the river, and with no safety zone applied on its sides, the area around Klimos / Acı river became vulnerable to flash-flooding. The section of the river affected by floods covers a distance of 3.3 km.

The urban sprawling becomes evident in the route of Klimos / Acı river as well as the disappearance of habitats for many species. Klimos / Acı river is the home of the freshwater turtle Mauremys rivulata a middle size turtle, currently existing only in the extend of the river, which is within the Buffer Zone in Ayios Dometios, where it is protected.

The environmental problems arising every year from Klimos / Acı river overflow, urgently require a solution. Floating on Klimos / Acı river within Buffer zone creates many difficulties that need the cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to ensure a permanent solution to this problem. The Technical Committee on the Environment has previously implemented of mutual field visit to make an autopsy on the area in order to help find a solution to the problem and cooperated with the municipality of Ayios Dometios to a joint clean-up of the area.

Over flooding of the river, growth and expansion of reeds trapping all kind of garbage leading to creation of stagnant water and odors along with outbreak of mosquito and insect infestation and growth are only some of the problems that the citizens are facing every day. Even though the reeds are sprayed on weekly basis and cleaned 3 times a year the problem remains, and more drastic measures need to be taken.

On the other hand, Klimos / Acı river is characterized by a rich ecosystem of freshwater species such as the rare turtle Mauremys rivulata (which is endemic species of Cyprus and in danger of extinction), birds, frogs, reptiles and freshwater plants and it should be protected as such. Therefore, cleaning the reeds must be handled manually in order not to put the turtles or other species in danger. Creation of a road for bikes from which both the people and animals can benefit, plant trees that could block the expansion and overgrowth of the reeds, the expansion of the riverbed to its original state that is now blocked, and installation of garbage traps are some of the indicative actions that could help to minimize the problem.

As this is a problem that affects both sides/communities, the support of the Technical Committee on Environment could bring both the Greek and Turkish Cypriots together and suggest solutions that could help to resolve this problem.


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