Society 17:00 12/06/2018 Armenia

Yerevan residents suffering from landfill stench amid state bodies’ negligence

A landfill site with some 10 hectares of space that connects Haghtanak and Silikyan districts in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, poses a serious threat to the health of residents leaving near the garbage dumping site, causing serious respiratory problems and allergic reactions especially among children.

The landfill keeps burning due to the accumulated toxic gas release for days, with the stinky smoke reaching to the nearby settlements from Haghtanak and Silikyan districts, Parakar, Merdzavan and Aygek villages up to the area of Zvartnots International Airport.

The inhabitants of the nearby neighborhoods are alarming about the issue, calling the attention of Government, Health and Nature Protection ministries, Yerevan Municipality, District Council, doctors, sanitary and other structures to the problem. 

“Starting from 6am when winds begin blowing, it becomes impossible to leave the house. The stench and smoke are everywhere. The kids are suffering from bronchial and throat problems, coughing all day long and feeling weak due to the toxic gases in the air,” Serzhik Harutyunyan, one of the nearby residents, told Panorama.am.

The apartment building housing Harutyunyan and 24 other families is located some 200 meters away from the landfill, with the inhabitants forced to keep their windows shut down during hot weather. 

The nature protection ministry announced about closing the landfill still after the first major fire broke out at the site.

Harutyunyan also says there is a big pigsty close to the landfill belonging to a famous businessman, adding all the sewage water is flowing to the site. He stresses the issue is raised ahead of every election, with the residents applying to the Yerevan Municipality and District Council, but both structures refuse to bear responsibility for the issue.

With promises for closing the landfill remaining up in the air, the citizens are determined to apply again to the relevant state bodies.

Serzhik Harutyunyan states the residents will have to block the roads of their districts to make the authorities deal with the issue.

Armen Yepremyan, an inhabitant of the capital’s Haghtanak district, states the landfill operating since 1994 is illegal, with numerous complaints by the nearby residents, as well as the press reports based on them remained unanswered. The Health Ministry has also failed to deal with the issue.

“Where can people flee from their homes? The landfill poses a serious threat to the public health,” Yepremyan says.

The last major fire broke out in the landfill on 19 April, burning down some 2,000 cubic meters of garbage.

Photos by Armen Yepremyan





Source Panorama.am
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