Alaverdi: money and poison 2

Alaverdy Copper Factory breathes poisonous gases into the mining town, 10May2011

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about copper production in Alaverdi and how it is poisoning the lives of people in that mining town.

A recent study carried out by National Academy of Science has revealed, that food produced in and around the towns of Alaverdi and Akhtala, contains up to 10 times the acceptable levels of mercury, cadmium, arsenic, lead, nickel, copper and zinc.

This food, including various types of berries, fruits, potatoes, is consumed in the region, as well as shipped to larger towns, like Vanadzor and Yerevan and sold in food markets.

The farmers in those areas say that they are aware of the poison in their soil and the danger their products pose for human health.

“But we have no other means to survive. Agriculture is all we make a living on. Surely, we will die of hunger sooner than of poison, don’t you see?” a villager told RFE/RL.

The experts carrying out the research have warned, that all food production in the area should be halted and steps should be done to clean the soil and water of the poisonous waste that ACP’s Alaverdi Copper Factory and Akhtala Ore Plant have thrown into the nature and continue to do so as we speak.

About 1000 people work in those factories. I’d estimate they provide living to 4000 people. And a couple of people, including the scandalously infamous people like Serop Der-Boghossian get filthy rich exploiting the mines.

Is all this worth poisoning tens of thousands in the whole region and potentially in capital Yerevan as well? I’m having a hard time making up my mind…