The problem on the river was noticed by MFF Regional Coordinator Vitold Ashurak and MFF member Siarhey Pantus on June 12. They tried to telephone the Ministry of Environmental Protection and other authorities, including ONT TV channel’s hotline, but received no replies. The information from the officials arrived the next day; they claimed that the dead fish, the stench, and the dirty water are the results of the high summer temperatures.
“After the statement by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, we decided to find out the exact areas of algal bloom. We found a creek that flows into Dzitva, and noticed that it stinks. We searched for its source, and found out that several factories and wastewater treatment plants are located there, as well as Shirokaya village,” Pyx.by was told by Pantus.
According to him, they talked with the locals, and they immediately showed the pipe with about half a meter diameter. “There’s a real stench there,” said the activist. The locals told us that there is always something flowing out of this pipe little by little, but something extremely stinking has been flowing out of it for many days recently. They said they tried to complain to the authorities many times before, but to no avail.
“The creek flows into Dzitva. The water is clean 5 to 10 metres above the bed, and the bottom is clear, while downstream the stench is unbearable. A cloudy grey sludge flows into Nioman one kilometre above the place where people are bathing,” said Pantus.
“The USSR seems to have long passed away, but the machine remains; they use the same algorithm of behaviour in emergency situations. The authorities say nothing wrong is happening, just like after the Chornobyl accident when they ordered people to take part in demonstrations waving flags,” says Ashurak.
He believes that the wastewater volume was raised because they could shift the blame to the heat. “But we have found evidence and documented it; no one can say now that the water is blooming because the weather is hot,” stressed the MFF Regional Coordinator.
Ashurak noted that he considers the current situation the result of corruption schemes, since the wastewater cleaning equipment had been purchased. “This is an example of how corruption affects our lives. For now, corruption kills fish. God forbid, children fall ill, since everyone is bathing now,” said Ashurak.
The MFF members now see their main task in spreading the information about the problem. In addition, Peski village residents intend to collect signatures under an appeal to the authorities to consider this issue.