The Access Initiative

Zinc and Lead Flowing Into the River of Kamenicka Reka

Tai Members

Florozon-Center for Environmental Democracy

By Kiril Ristovski (Posted: August 29, 2008) 

This month the TAI research team from Macedonia explored one of the largest cases of pollution of the river Kamenicka Reka. Namely, the mine Metal SASA is working near to Kamenicka Reka . After average of slag effusion done in 2003, reported spilling of an 70000-100.000 m3 metals of lead and zinc by the SASA mine. The authorities did not take appropriate measures to stop or prevent the pollution of the river.

The TAI team has conducted research for this case and acknowledges the discovery of serious information. A few months ago, the citizens of this city had collected and supplied signatures to the Ministry of Environment in order to get information regarding the pollution levels of the river. The local residents claim that despite supplying a list of residents signatures, they did not receive the requested information and remain uninformed.

When the TAI researchers made a request to the State Inspectorate for the Environment for the information of this case, the team was informed that there is no pollution in the river. Yet, the TAI team received results from private measuring conducted by a private laboratory on the request of NGO Zdravec and DEM from MACEDONIA. The results show clearly that water of Kamenicka Reka, flowing across Makedonska Kamenica, is alarmingly polluted with lead, zinc and cadmium. The results that TAI received from NGO Zdravec show high concentrations of dangerous metals that are 2-6 times above the maximum limit.

The local residents claim that water is polluted because of the mine SASA located near by the river. Throughout the week this mine spills slags of metals in to the river. Many residents verified this serious fact during interviews with TAI team researchers.

The TAI team has made an effort in this case, making public announcements intended to inform the public of this rampant pollution, and to persuade competent institutions to increase efforts to stop this pollution process. Rather than avoiding responsibilities, the State Inspectorate for Environment needs to take action, to conduct water measurements and to implement penalties for non-compliance. Typical in this case is that the Ministry for Environment denies that the river is polluted, despite opposition from the TAI team.

It is very important to mention that this river is pouring into the Kalimanci accumulation, water that is in use for watering many agricultural fields.

This TAI story was published on 08/21/2008 in most popular editions of dally newspapers “DNEVNIK” and “Macedonian Sun”.

Posted by Kiril Ristovski

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