Water Dams Explored

Oct 15, 2020

One of the many attractive features that Cyprus has, is that of the water dams which are scattered everywhere, especially in the Pafos and Limassol region.

In addition to the human necessity of such water dams, they could be used for a variety of sports for which the dams are especially suitable, such as rowing, canoeing, small boat sailing, water ski training etc.

Some of these dams are a beauty to the visitors eyes and as an example we point out the Xyliatos dam (near Nicosia) where forest trees and especially pines emerge through the water, the waterfall and with a footpath for all walks to go around.

Most of the dams have a nature trail to go around, most suitable for lovers of nature, dog walks and bicycling, whereas others include picnic areas with tables etc, as well as sanitary facilities. These dams, at this point of time that they are overflowing, is a visual pleasure, a unique work of nature for Cyprus.

Unfortunately, the dams are not exploited to their full potential and we blame the Government at times for not promoting them as an attraction in themselves and we also blame as well the local authorities for the same reason. We believe that now we might have a chance to implement some of the following and other ideas, with the recent set-up of the new Minister of Tourism, who has produced good work over the 24 month of his appointment, whom we expect will look into the subject more closely. To this end the use of the dams and the exploitation of the local environment, will help towards local and foreign visitors to extend their tourist season visits, a beautiful place to bond (business including) and extending the Cypriot outdoor activities.

During the years of Mr A. Christou who was the mayor of Limassol and following our own suggestion, he called a meeting of all Limassol District Municipalities and Authorities (and including the S.B.A.) to discuss how nature could help in outdoor activities. The matter of the dams was discussed and the people representing the public Water Department, expressed their own ideas and that of the tourist officers, but both expressed their reservation that such ideas were blocked, since the use of the dams required regulations to be approved by the House of Representatives submitted to them 14 years ago and are still pending!! The S.B.A. representative suggested also the use of a fun small train connection going through the Fasouri plantation and leading to historic places, such as Curio, Kolossi castle etc.

It is a fact that the water dams are not always full, but over the last couple of years, God has blessed Cyprus with plenty of rainwater, hence it is time for consideration.

Dams could be explored by private Cos (or others) with the cooperation of the Water Development Department, to allow the use of their embankment by 1-2 café/ restaurants, clubs relating to sports etc. These investors (legal issues apart) should construct parking and access passages to the water level including the construction of boat shelters. These investments could attract the Cyprus Sports Association (KOA) funds, as well as that of the E.U. and others (including private clubs).

As we are at present, the sea sports do not lend themselves for all the year round use and they depend on the weather condition and facilities provided, losing valuable entertainment/sports time.

The dams depending on their size, could be used for different sports/activities. Such as the Polemidhia dam for ski lessons, Xyliatos dam for fishing, Kourris and Yermasoyia dams for sailing/rowing, whereas others such as the Lefkara one for hiking and bird watching. These are just an example since there are sizeable dams in the Pafos region worth considering for similar and other uses.

Four years ago we have attended a dragon boat race at the Yermasoyia dam and despite the limited facilities we had a great fun family time (this sort of sport, dear readers, we watch only in the TV usually in the far eastern countries).

Coming back to the elongation of the tourist season, it is notable that Ayia Napa Municipality has become most successful by hosting several football teams which helps extend its tourist season, most rewarding to the hoteliers and entertainment establishments during the off peak season. We see very limited initiative by other Municipalities, whereas the bureaucracy of the Governmental is most shocking and does not help – see a proposal to construct a theme-adventure park at Troodos, with the investor having waited for 4 years to get a reply on the level of the lease rent and notwithstanding the Government’s initial approval, he has pulled out of the project being fed up of waiting.
Other ideas of unexplored Cyprus countryside beauty are again the numerous Theme Parks that are/have taken place at Ayia Napa, such as the Sculpture Park, the indigenous plants, the Love Bridge, the sinking of boats to create reefs etc. For the latter, Larnaca is taking the initiative with the very recent sinking of two large ships for divers (see Zenovia which is the 3rd most attractive divers’ spot in the world). An example to be avoided is the recently constructed beach volley courts at the Protaras area which hosted the international games of universities and which after the games, was abandoned and it is now vandalized (no reaction by the local Municipality or the local hoteliers – shocking). Larnaca is taking over this sport but it is not the same. Limassol could use the Ladies Mile beach area (master plan waited for the last 3 years with funds available), Pafos the “German” Farm House and we even had a couple of games at Nicosia central area (not successful). Akamas park is a rising star for out of door sports when and if it will happen after a 20-year waiting period.

We will insist for the exploration of Cyprus nature and its diversity since it is widely admitted that our tourist product of sun and sea is not sustainable nowadays. The pandemic forced the locals this year to visit Cyprus, as opposed to excursions abroad and based on recent reports the public is most enthusiastic (especially for the mountains and Pafos region) being quite excited by their discovery – as excited as children opening their presents – so there is a benefit out of this tragedy.

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