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30 Aug, 2008 18:12

Worker shortage slows Tskhinval repairs

A shortage of workers is hampering efforts to rebuild the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinval, according to Russia’s Federal Service for Special Construction. At the moment, the priority for builders and emergency workers is to open schools in time for th

Half of the work will be conducted by Russian forces and another part by a Chechen construction company.

Mikhail Tashlyk, a Spetsstroy official said: “Yesterday we met with the Prime Minister of Chechnya. A Chechen construction company will be in charge of construction works in the south of the city. They have adequate experience.”

Around 65 buildings have been already completely restored.

Seven out of 14 schools will be opening their doors on September 1 and about 1,500 children will start the academic year. Official says another four schools will be also completely restored by September 1.

Around 400 people are currently working on restoring schools and locals are being paid for their help.

Meanwhile, students are rebuilding Tskhinval University. Around 100 students from North Ossetia have come to help. They are also bringing furniture and books.

Furthermore, Russia’s Chief Health Officer Gennady Onishchenko said running water is already available in most of the capital and the water ‘on the whole complies with the norm’.

Onishchenko said that humanitarian aid will be controlled and a vaccination programme will be launched for local inhabitants as the risk of an outbreak of contagious diseases remains. This is due to the fact that as during the first weeks after the attack many corpses and animal carcasses were left lying on the streets.

Power supplies in Tskhinval are also expected to be restored by the end of next week.

Meanwhile, South Ossetia and Abkhazia are ready to officially recognise each other’s independence, according to South Ossetian representative in Sukhum. Robert Kokoev also said that the two republics may soon sign a military cooperation agreement.