In 2021, the scope of monitoring studies was expanded to include Alaverdi, Shnogh, Akori, Akhtala, Teghut, Haghpat, Sanahin, Chochkan, Mets Ayrum, Pokr Ayrum, Armanis and Mgart. The study will help identify the risks to human health that locals face due to industrial pollution, evaluate these risks and develop mechanisms to eliminate them. People will have access to accurate data on the impact of mining on their health.
The research will be launched in the village of Armanis of the extended Stepanavan community, located in an area affected by the Armanis polymetallic gold deposit. On the territory of the village there is a tailing dump belonging to the operating mine CJSC Sagamar. Hazardous waste spreads through the local environment and ends up in the Chknakh River valley. Dust particles from the waste are transported by the wind and settle on the land and pastures of neighboring communities.
After the Armanis community, the research will be conducted in areas with the potential impact of mining and processing companies Teghut CJSC and Akhtala Mining and Processing Plant CJSC.
Oleg Dulgaryan, director of the NGO “Center for Community Mobilization and Support” (CCMS), said: “In the previous year, about 70 residents living in contaminated areas filed a lawsuit demanding compensation for damage caused to their health based on the results of Arnika's research. This year's research will extend the evidence base for people to further demand protection of their rights to health.”
The research is carried out together with the non-governmental organization “Center for Community Mobilization and Support” and the information non-governmental organization “EcoLur” with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic within the Transition Promotion Program.