Young Cypriots awarded for their views on the value of water on the island

17 Jun 2021

Young Cypriots awarded for their views on the value of water on the island

The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar, the US Ambassador, Judith Garber, and the co-chairs of the Technical Committee on Environment, Michael Loizides and Salih Gücel met in Nicosia this evening to recognize and congratulate the winners of the photo contest announced on 22 March, which invited young people to submit photos on their views on the value of water and address this year's theme: "What does water mean to you?".

Spehar mentioned the importance of bringing awareness to the water issue on the island: "This competition was launched on World Water Day, which is significant for Cyprus. This is an island surrounded by the sea, while it frequently suffers from fresh-water scarcity. In several ways, water defines life in Cyprus," she stated.

At the ceremony, which took place at the Home for Cooperation, three young Cypriots were awarded for their photo submissions: Aliosha Bielenberg (representing Evgenia Chamilou), Merve Ilkan, and Kemal Hasim. Anna Charitou, one of the contestants, also attended the ceremony and Eliza Kozakou, one of the winners could not join. 

Ambassador Garber presented photo books to each of the winners and highlighted that their photographs will remain on display at the US Embassy. 

When asked about his photo submission, Kemal explained: "I wanted to portrait Raschensee because its history and beauty impressed me a lot. Since old times, people around the world are investing in for creating, storing, and protecting water resources. They even sacrifice their homes and agricultural areas for storing water. Raschensee is one of those places where people had to abandon their homes for creating a place for storing water. Unfortunately, water management is a huge problem in our country, and I hope that the authorities and people will pay more attention to this topic in the future." 

SRSG Spehar congratulated the participants and remembered that some of the competitors took part in the Youth Champions Programme organized by UNFICYP last year. "I hope you found that a meaningful experience and I’m very glad that you chose to join this competition," she stated.