Toxic pollution in Central Kazakhstan: EU-funded project reveals serious problems and hazards for human health

23.7.2014 - ASTANA/PRAGUE

On 7 August 2014, the international conference "Toxics Free Kazakhstan" will be held in Astana with attendance of authorities of all levels and experts, who will search for solutions of existing problems. New data were collected within project “Empowering the civil society in Kazakhstan in improvement of chemical safety” of Kazakhstani and Czech non-governmental organizations, funded by the EU in the grant amounting EUR 247,834. Serious pollution of rivers and soil, food products and even children playgrounds threatens citizens of several towns in central Kazakhstan. During coming weeks, group of experts will inform inhabitants of Temirtau, Balkhash Ekibastuz and villages along Nura river on contamination level and measures to protect their health.

“Kazakhstan cannot prosper and lead up to green economy, while its citizens suffer from polluted water, air and food products. There are number unaddressed old environmental burdens in our country, but due to carelessness of many companies, also new threats raise. We believe that immediate measures have to be implemented in cooperation of state, regional and local authorities, experts and affected citizens,” says Dmitriy Kalmykov, Director of NGO EcoMuseum Karaganda.

“Experience of European countries can help Kazakhstan to implement progressive technologies and to find a balance between economic development and protection of the environment and public health. Access to the relevant information is a first step to understand seriousness of the situation,” says Jindrich Petrlik, Director of Czech NGO Arnika – Toxics and Waste Programme.

The conference will take place in the conference room of EU Delegation to Kazakhstan. More information. Prior registration is required.) Presentations of new data on pollution of the environment will take place in Ekibastuz (July 24), Balkhash (July 31), Nura (August 4), Temirtau (August 6).

 

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