Lesson for Humanity

Lesson for Humanity

Olga Bugrova

By nightfall, the water began to rise, and the dam could not stand it. 100 thousand cubic meters of cyanide poured into the main tributary of the Danube – the Tisza River. On January 30, 2000, a terrible environmental disaster occurred in the Romanian city of Baia Mare.
The culprit was the plant of the Romanian-Australian gold mining company. The dam blocked its poisonous cesspools. The Australian side was responsible for modernizing the protection, but did not even try. She rejected the accusations: the dam had nothing to do with it, there was bad weather – sometimes snow, sometimes rains – the waste itself overflowed. And the fish are dying because they are cold. In the very first days of dead fish, more than a hundred tons were caught.
Memorial service on the river
Two weeks after the tragedy, residents of coastal villages served a memorial service for Tisza. All living things died in it, not even bacteria remained. Poisoned water was already flowing down the Danube. In many places the river was white with belly-swimming fish.
Together with the dead river inhabitants, hundreds of people collected the corpses of birds and animals. The water was unsuitable not only for drinking, but even for technical needs.
Along the course of the rivers, water intakes were closed, dozens of hectares of agricultural land were rejected. So it was in Romania, in Western Ukraine, in Hungary and Yugoslavia. The Danube carried a bouquet of cyanide and heavy metals to the Black Sea. Environmentalists reassured: the Danube will cope, in five years everything will dissolve in water without a trace. They were too optimistic.
Lesson for Humanity
22 years have passed, but the Danube remains the dirtiest river in Europe. “Powerful pollution in 2000 could have been washed away by the waters from the Alps and the Carpathians – there is really a large influx – if not for one “but”,” says Sergey Lisovsky, editor-in-chief of the Society and Ecology newspaper:
“The Danube has not been cleaned up, it is still sick today, because for all 22 years it has been receiving pollution from industrial enterprises and housing complexes. The river does not have enough of its own resources for restoration, it still needs environmental rehabilitation. The length of the Danube is 2850 km. It is a highly navigable river “There are oil spills, and waste disposal, and floating garbage. Speaking of the cleanliness of the river, we need to talk about the installation of treatment facilities along its entire length. And this, I think, is not done by all ten countries along which the Danube flows. What happened in the year 2000, we must not forget. This is a lesson for all mankind.”
In that ill-fated year, some of the countries of the Danube basin were left face to face with misfortune. Serbia had the worst. NATO aircraft have just bombed fuel depots, chemical and oil refineries in several Serbian cities. A gigantic eco-catastrophe was provoked. And then there was no river.

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