Submission to the UPR Review of Azerbaijan (3rd cycle) concerning the rights of communities affected by hydrocarbon development in Azerbaijan
...[T]he villages located near the extraction sites for natural gas and oil are severely impoverished, lacking access to the most fundamental social and economic rights, including: right to health, water, sanitation, adequate food, housing, and right the to education. This Submission to the Universal Periodic Review will address the rights enshrined in Articles 11, 12, and 13 of the ICESCR for 8 villages impacted by oil and gas exploration in Azerbaijan: Balakhany, Bibiheybet, Gala, Ramana, Sangechal, Massive III, Ezimkend, and Umid...Most villagers interviewed from the Sangechal, Massive III, Ezimkend, and Umid settlements near the Shah Deniz gas extraction site complain about air quality. Massive III villagers specifically noted a yellow dust that accumulates on window screens, coming from the gas terminal. Villagers in Sangachal reported a marked deterioration in air quality after the gas terminal was built. A noxious, sulfurous odor is noticed particularly at night, accompanied by visible smoke coming from the terminal...Lack of access to clean drinking water is a central concern of residents from Balakhany, Bibiheybet, Gala, Ramana villages. All four villages lack clean drinking water, and, as a villager from Bibiheybet said, “It is difficult to find a single person who does not complain about their kidneys.” Villagers cite kidney problems as the main widespread health issue arising from drinking the available water. Another respondent from Bibiheybet said that every member of her family suffers from kidney stones, and attributes this to the fact that the water available is full of debris, and according to reports, causes illness.