Tailing Dumps - Open Wound of Armenia

Tailing Dumps - Open Wound of Armenia

EcoLur

The tailing dumps operating in Armenia, where mining waste generated as a result of processing is stored, are mainly located in Lori and Syunik Regions. People living near tailing ponds often complain of health problems, agricultural poisoning and low yields. The other day we received another alarm signal from the resident of Mets Ayrum, Lori Yegion, where "Nahatak" tailing dump owned by Akhtala ore dressing plant is located.

Arthur Mikoyan, a resident of Mets Ayrum, beat an alarm signal that his 5-month-old grandson was taken to Alaverdi hospital with respiratory problems a few days ago. The child was kept for two days, the throat was cleaned and sent back to the village. Mikoyan is convinced that one of the reasons is living next to Nahatak tailing dump operated by "Akhtala Ore Dressing Plant" CJSC.

According to him, the majority of the population of the village complains of joint pain and headache. "We ask the company why you don't install special equipment near the tailing dump so that the air doesn't get polluted. They said it was an expensive pleasure, we don't have enough money to buy it," he said.

Studies on the bond between health and environmental pollution are not yet being conducted at the state level in Armenia. There is no appropriate methodology. The Health Ministry has currently developed a methodology for assessing the environmental impact of environmental health risk, which has been submitted to the World Health Organization (WHO) experts and is currently being approved.

In addition to the fact that there is no tool to establish a link between human health and environmental pollution, the legislation of the Republic of Armenia leaves it up to the residents to find out if the business is harming them and to demand compensation in court.

“The villager lives on his land area. Whatever he grows, he takes to Alaverdi. But when they know that the harvest is from the Mets Alaverdi, they do not buy it. They say it is poisonous. We use that food. On the other hand, irrigation water comes from the Debed - it is polluted water. You water, then you see a white, yellow sediment. The trees have also fallen ill,” Arthur Mikoyan said.

He was present at the meeting of the representatives of Akhtala OPC and the residents of Mets Ayrum taken place a few days ago. According to him, the compensation demanded by them is minimal, which can be paid by the administration of the company from the point of view of mitigating the damage caused to them. "When we are posing our demand, they say we will bring a stamped paper, then who will stand in front of us?" But does the the person having stamped the document know how Mets Ayrum resident lives, what air they breath, he doesn’t know. Let them live here for 2 days, breathe in the aid, understand what is going on and what kind of document they are stamping,” Arthur Mikoyan said.

April 25, 2020 at 18:17