Luckily, my work is kayaking and rafting so I spend almost all my days on the river. This summer I set up a kayak school in Kobarid on the banks of the Soča – one of the best rivers in the world for learning how to kayak. It is wonderful to see people getting inspired for our beautiful sport every day.
Unfortunately, this blog post is not a story about kayaking, it is about politics and justice. The Upper Soča Valley municipalities are implementing a change to an existing bylaw that charges kayakers and rafters for the use of the river, even though its free use is a constitutional right of everyone. The changes include increasing the daily fee for kayakers from €3 to €20 per person by 2024 – an increase which will damage local hospitality and sports businesses, as the prices will deter the best and most loyal visitors of the Soča Valley. With the current fee, the municipalities raised tens of thousands of euros in excess of what they put back into maintaining river access points. We need to appeal to those in power not to hurt the ones that they are supposed to serve.
These changes are a tax on the kayakers and rafters, to be spent on developments that would serve all visitors of the valley, but also to benefit the ones in power and their friends. Please help us stop this discriminatory and unjust charge from becoming a trend that would hurt the sport that we love. Please read about the changes we propose and sign the petition by following this link: www.peticija.online/posteni_pogoji_za_vse_uporabnike_soce
If you have time to attend the Soča for All event on the 26th of October, please come kayaking with us, have some food and drink, and be there when the petition will be handed to the ones in power. More about the Soča for All! event here.
Thank you! – Andraž