Infrastructure for Economic Development in Georgia

Boslebi is a small village with an impressive history. Located in Kvemo Kartli, along the ancient caravan routes that linked Byzantium, Armenia, and Persia, the area was a major commercial center of medieval Georgia. Close to the village is the Dmanisi archeological site where the earliest evidence of Homo erectus on the Eurasian continent was discovered in 1991.

Today, the village of Boslebi is home to 200 households. The majority of these families cultivate beans, cucumbers, and corn, as well as producing meat and milk. Boslebi was previously one of the main suppliers of food products for the town of Dmanisi, especially meat products. However, during the last decade, decaying infrastructure has begun to limit the village’s economic growth. In order to address this problem, community members began working with CHF International’s Georgia Employment and Infrastructure Initiative (GEII) to revitalize their economy.

Over the last two years, three infrastructure projects have been implemented in Boslebi, with the assistance of GEII. The first project addressed the village’s power supply problems, by replacing old transformers, reinstalling wires, reinforcing damaged poles, and fencing in the transformer substation. The second project rehabilitated the potable water supply system, providing water to all of the village’s inhabitants. Finally, the third project improved the condition of damaged roads in order to link Boslebi and the neighboring village of Kakliani with the regional hub.

These three projects successfully laid the foundation for the villagers to start implementing new business ideas. For example, while completing the road rehabilitation last summer, Mr. Tengiz Kuliashvili, a resident of Boslebi village, applied and obtained a loan from the People's Bank to open a new mill. His mill now provides processed corn and wheat to five surrounding villages. In addition to his job, two more positions were created. The residents of Boslebi, who contributed cash and labor for all three infrastructure projects, enjoy a 50% discount on the services provided by Mr. Kuliashvili's mill.

Gocha Kuliashvili, CDC Coordinator of the Boslebi community, comments: “We have already improved the major part of our village’s infrastructure, paving the way for new business initiatives. Recently one of our farmers announced that he would establish a cheese factory in our community. He has a small farm in Boslebi with great potential to launch a successful business. The electricity, water, and road rehabilitation projects promoted better access to investments in long term development.”