From: Associated Press
Published October 19, 2004 12:00 AM

Albania Is Building a New Dump to Store Dangerous Pesticides

TIRANA, Albania — The Albanian government is building a dump for the storage of thousands of tons of pesticides that have intoxicated a residential area near its western main port town, the Ministry of Environment said Monday.


The World Bank and the Dutch government are paying US$5.5 million (euro4.4 million) for the project in Porto Romano, 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Tirana, to deal with 20,000 tons of pesticides left over from the closure of a chemical plant, spokesman Ilirjan Qirjazi said.


Albania also received a grant of US$250,000 (euro200,000) from the Japanese government for a feasibility study and itself invested 200 million leks (US$2 million, euro1.6 million) in the project.


The 28,000-square-meter (24,000-square-yard) dump, considered one of the worst environmental trouble spots in the country, will be surrounded by a wall and will hold the pesticides in an effort to avoid water pollution.


Porto Romano is home to more than 20,000 people who moved to the area mainly after the end of communism in 1990. Five families living inside the perimeter of the former plant will be moved and sheltered somewhere else by the town hall, Qirjazi said.


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The work is expected to be over within a few months.


Post-communist Albania, one of Europe's poorest nations, is suffering from environmental pollution from former chemical plants that are now closed as well as from fumes generated by second-hand vehicles.


Source: Associated Press


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