Based on media reports as well as some complaints by inhabitants of the villages of Borizana and Kadias of Kruja, regarding the continuation of limestone furnace burning continuing, the Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC) conducted a verification mission on site.
AHC met with elected representatives, inhabitants of the area, owners of companies and, based on its observations of the situation on site, it resulted that there was clear harm to the environment, grave air pollution putting at risk the health and life of inhabitants close to the quarries. The quarry located in a piece of land that was private property lay very close to the houses of the Borizana village. It was not more than 2 km in aerial distance. The owner of the land stated that he did not possess an environmental permit for his activity. The workers we contacted appeared covered in the heavy dust released by the process and did not possess any protective gear that could prevent consequences on their faces and breathing.
In Kadias village, the situation was alarming. Some persons who did not agree to be identified, were engaged in burning material that caused marked pollution in the air and land. A heavy dark smoke spread in the air above coming out of the burning of limestone rocks in the depth of the hills. To ensure the burning in such furnaces, they appeared to use stacks of wasted tires, plastic material, industrial material, etc., with serious repercussions in the health of inhabitants.
The above verification easily creates the conviction that such activity not only is unlawful but also contains criminal elements because it causes serious harm to the environment; however, the main thing is the impact on the lives and health of people.
AHC deems it necessary to draw attention to the situation mentioned above, particularly given that state authorities tasked for inspections and controls of such activities, as well as representatives of local government units hush although they are aware of this situation.
AHC calls on responsible structures that report to the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of health and the State Police, in keeping with their competences, to conduct urgently the necessary verifications and undertake measures accordingly in order to put an end to this disturbing situation.
AHC calls on local government bodies in the Kruja Municipality, which have more competences with the new territorial administrative division, to be more active and collaborate with competent structures to rezolve the problems and concerns of the Borizana and Kadias village inhabitants.
AHC will continue to follow this case, making aware the responsible bodies that have direct responsibilities to not allow operations that cause harm to citizens’ health and lives.