Mazanderan; another environmental disaster after KhuzestanPublished by International Liberty Association on March 2, 2017
Mazandaran’s Department of Environment has complained against the mayors in the province for accumulating nearly 200 tons of waste in northern forests each day. With the waste leachate penetrating the groundwater resources, Mazandaran province has now the highest rate of gastrointestinal cancer in the country.
According to reports in Iranian media, Director-General of Mazandaran’s Natural Resources and Watershed Management Sattar Babayee Kafaki has said on Monday 27 February 27 that “if we are not serious about preserving natural resources and forests, soon a problem similar to Khuzestan’s will be raised here.”
Thousands of tons of abandoned waste in the northern forests threaten the health of millions of people in the region.
The list of environmental disasters such as drying up of Urmia Lake in north-west Iran, loss of wetlands in the south, and loss of woodland at an alarming rate is growing. Mismanagement is the single most significant factor contributing to the environmental disasters like Khuzestan’s dust storms.
Mazandaran’s biggest problem is the abandoned waste in forests. A quick look at the headlines of local media best describes the problem: “here is the place where waste grows”, “Caspian sea and the forests which turned into garbage bins”, and “Iran’s forests are not feeling good.”
The situation is so critical that Mazandaran’s Department of Environment had to publicly complain against the mayors in the province for dumping 200 tons of daily waste in the northern forests.
Trying to justify their actions the mayors have said that they had no other option but to discharge the waste in forests, otherwise they would have been forced to leave them in cities.
Nearly 2700 tons of waste is generated daily by Mazandaran’s 3.2 million population.
In an interview with ‘Belagh’, a local website in Mazandaran, an environmental activist has said that in Mahmoudabad village, the waste is discharged just two meters away from the seashore while in Sorkhrood, it’s accumulated just 20 meters from the coast. In Ghaemshahr, the waste has been accumulated in riverbed for the past 40 years. In Fereydoonkenar, the height of the accumulated waste has reached ten meters. Also in Tonekabaon it’s now 40 years that the waste has been discharged in Telar river, with its height now reaching 15 to 20 meters.
Warning over the situation in Mazandaran’s capital, Sari, the activist said: “There’s a lake of waste leachate next to Kiasar Park, which is generated by accumulated waste”.
With the waste leachate penetrating the groundwater resources, Mazandaran province has now the highest rate of gastrointestinal cancer in the country, said the activist.