About the Harmfulness of Mets Ayrum Tailing Dump
On June 24, 2019, Oleg Dulgaryan, a resident of Mets Ayrum village and a president at Centre for Community Mobilization and Support, made a speech at the Environmental Public Trial. Dulgaryan talked about the Nahatak tailing dump in his village and about the numerous damages caused by its activities.
First, Dulgaryan touched upon the fact that the tailing dump does not have a circular water system, and the whole content full of heavy metals is dumped into the river, the water of which is used by more than 20 villages to irrigate their gardens.
According to Dulgaryan, in 2015 the tailing dump has already occupied a much larger territory than initially, adding that it is located in the center of the village.
Among the physical damages, Dulgaryan mentioned parks, crofts and natural sources feeding the village that remain under the tailing dump. Because of water line problems, now the village uses drinking water from a source located 5 meters away from the tailing dump.
Dulgaryan said that in 2014 chemist Seyran Minasyan examined the Ayrum peach, finding out that they contain about 5-6 times more heavy metals than the norm. There is also arsenic in fruit, which causes poisoning.
In another study, conducted by American University of Armenia, it was estimated that heavy metals in the blood of children in Akhtala and surrounding areas exceed the norm.
As for safety norms, Dougaryan adds, there is no elementary fence around the tailing dump. Children play and the animals pasture around the tailing dump.
Dulgaryan concluded by claiming that citizens of the Mets Ayrum community demand that the government finds out the impacts of the tailing dump on health and make compensations, as well as compensations for agricultural products and that all the incompetent bodies be held accountable.
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