Photo: Martin Plocek, Vratislav Voznik, Martin Skalsky, Majda Slamova/Arnika

Non-governmental organizations Arnika (Czech Republic), EcoMuseum (Karaganda) and Eco Mangystau analysed in 2016 impact of pollution of the environment on camel milk. In Mangystau, it is consumed on daily basis and thus it indicates possible threat for human health.

In the villages, camel is the most common domestic animal.
Animals are used to walk freely in the steppe and come back home at the evening.
Sometimes they can enter also dangerous places, such as uranium tailing pond Koshkar Ata in the picture (2013).
Situation is not improving and polluted sites are not even fenced. Koshkar Ata uranium tailing pond in 2016.
Another source of contamination might be poor waste management. Overfull municipal landfill in Baskuduk, near Aktau (2013).
Kids playing at the municipal waste landfill.
Although the new landfill has been built at Bayandi, the situation did not improve (2016).
Old capacitors containing PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) cause dangerous pollution of the environment when leaking or being dismantled.
Cement plant in Shetpe may pollute the environment by using improper fuel. Local people complaint about dustiness.
Cow feeding on the waste container in Kuryk.
Even beaches are full of waste.
Cow walking at the illegal waste dumping site at Akshukur.
Malaya Oymasha – heavily contaminated lake is surrounded by family houses and illegal waste dumping sites.
Illegal waste dumping site at the edge of Aktau.
Improper management of the oils sludge heavily contaminates the environment.
 Animals are not avoided form access to polluted sites.
Sometimes, oil industry waste can be seen totally unmanaged.
Camels feeding on the waste containers in Kuryk.
Farmers are maybe sometimes now aware of where they animals graze.
Probably the largest illegal municipal waste landfill in Mangystau is located just behind the cemetery in Akshukur.
Saura Canyon is a popular weekend destination. Unfortunately, management of the waste is unsatisfactory.
Camel milk is considered as a clean natural product having many positive effects on human health.
People often buy camel milk or its fermented product – shubat – at local market or from private farmers.
Consumers often do not know where the milk was produced. Local markets are not controlled by the state authorities.
People usually drink shubat – or add camel milk to the tea – on daily basis. Average consumption reached 240 litres per person in 2008.

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