Two distant cities share the same story: the transnational corporation Mittal Steel bought local steel plant, increased production but "forgot" to invest into environment protection. Zenica residents to this day suffer much like the people of the Ostrava region in the beginning of the nineties. While the situation in the Czech Republic has much improved, thanks also to the pressure of the public and civic organisations, the residents of Zenica are still affected by disastrous air pollution. It is one of the reasons why Arnika representatives officially began a joint project with the partner organization Ekoforum Zenica.


Photo: Martin Plocek

Aarhus Centre Sarajevo. A similar bureau established to inform of environmental pollution and support the public in entering the decision making process is currently being set up by Arnika in cooperation with the non-governmental organisation Ekoforum in the industrial city of Zenica.
The Czech ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina Tomáš Szunyog considers resolving the environmental issues a priority.
The minister of Environment and Tourism of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Branka Đurić will be starting a database of polluters of environment this year. The ministry is plagued by a shortage of experts and funds.
Kakanj: The turbine for the coal-fired power plant was supplied by the Czech manufacturer Škoda in the seventies. Owing to the enormous smoke stack the emissions are carried into the 350 kilometre distant Hungary.
Kakanj: Children's health is at risk from the emissions from the power plant's smoke stack. There is a coal mine behind the city to add to the threat. The plant doesn't take advantage of the waste heat produced by its operation even though the turbine allows for this. This wastes the energy.
Arnika’s representatives attended the press conference held by the premier of Zenica-Doboj canton. This canton suffers from the worst pollution – the strategic heavy industry was concentrated here in the Yugoslav era.
Head of the Citizen's Support Centre and coordinator of the international project Martin Skalský of Arnika is being interviewed by the Bosnian journalists.
Maglaj: The greatest polluter in the city is the Natran pulp mill.
Maglaj: The emissions from the mills' power generator are setting on the city, residents are also troubled by the hydrogen sulphide and ammoniac from the activation tanks.
Zenica University's department that specializes in air pollution monitoring. Last year they purchased a monitoring vehicle.
The chairman of the non-governmental organisation Ekoforum Zenica with a photograph of the local steel plant in the background taken by his father decades ago.
"Bosnia and Hercegovina needs a centre to monitor pollution." The media pays great attention to the unfavourable environmental situation.
Zenica: Mittal steel plant is a monument of the one hundred and fifty thousand inhabitant strong city. Owing to its location in the valley of the river Bosnia it is practically continuously covered in smog from chimneys.
Zenica: In the inversion season the city opens up free a bus line to the summit of the thousand metre mountain Smetovi for the people to be able to breathe some fresh air.
Air pollution is a concern also for the residents of the capital Sarajevo, confirms the deputy head of the OSCE mission Nina Suomalainen.
Air pollution is a concern also for the residents of the capital Sarajevo, confirms the deputy head of the OSCE mission Nina Suomalainen.
Mayor of the Zenica municipality Husejin Smajlović is worried about air pollution, but also about jobs.
Zenica: Representatives of Arnika and Ekoforum attended a meeting with the mayor of the municipality and his advisers. The subject of the discussion was primarily the experience in fighting the air pollution which could be transplanted from the Czech Republic.
Sincere farewells after the prolific discussion.
Visoko: After the Balkan War the tanneries were bought by the German company Prevent. The plant produces mainly car seat covers for a number of car manufacturers.
Visoko: The compound holds piles of leather scraps soaked with chemicals. The plant most likely has no waste water treatment facility and so all of the chemicals end up in the river Bosnia.
Zenica: If it were not for the disastrous air pollution in the Bosnia river valley, the Zenica-Doboj canton would be the ideal location for mountain tourism, cycling or paragliding enthusiasts.

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