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Alarming situation around a landfill in Montenegro

By Jeta Beqiraj.

After two years of clashes of residents from the municipality of Plav (Montenegro) against the waste collection in an open landfill on the historic Jerina Hill site, things have recently escalated. Numerous waste trucks from unknown origin have caused death of livestock and damage to hectares of plants, bringing in an ecological disaster to the area.

“Thousands of tons of waste are currently burned in the open creating a layer of ammonia on the fields of Plav and Gucia,” says Naim Prelvukaj, Coodinator of the Council for the Prevention of landfill in Martina. As we reported earlier, Naim was arrested last year for his resistance against the landfill. “The smoke created nervous system failures and the killing of animals and damage to plants”, says Prelvukaj.

Waste collection on Jerina Hill started in October 2012, when the Municipality of Plav with the assistance of the police broke the resistance of local residents and began spilling waste on Martinaj village, a few meters away from their water resources. But, despite the continuous efforts of the Council for the Prevention of construction of landfill in the village Martinaj, requests submitted to the environmental authorities of Montenegro have fallen in deaf ears, says Xhevad Lecaj, a member of the Council against dump in Martnaj: “The situation is alarming. Since two weeks, the village is covered with smoke from burned waste. We have informed the ecological inspector Sejdo Djukic, who has come to the scene and found the critical condition we are in. But until now we didn’t get a copy of his report. Our council has informed the Ministry of Envorinment but the situation still remains pending there. We also informed European organizations operating in Montenegro. After the fines and arrests we had to endure we have also sent two requests to the Constitutional Court, which they confirmed as received”

“This is a garbage disposal in the virgin nature and it ruins an ancient cultural monument of high relevance to Albanian history”, says Prelvukaj. Jerina Hill holds the ruins of the castle of Illyrian and queen Jerina. More information on this case is in the Atlas of Environmental Justice.

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