Five thousand roses to clean soil in polluted Macedonian city

Posted by erauch, October 17, 2010

A town in northern Macedonia is planning to plant thousands of roses to rid its soil of dangerous industrial pollution. The soil in Veles, a town with a population of 50,000, has seven times more than the international safety limit of heavy metal content.

Residents are also seeking redress in a protracted lawsuit against the government, which they accuse of failing to properly tackle the 30-year-old issue.

The lead and cadmium pollution was caused by a temporarily defunct lead and zinc smelter in the town. The smelting plant was bought by Metrudhem, a Skopje-based company established in the British Virgin Islands, for €2.3 million in 2008.

“The situation is not just worrying – it is truly alarming,” said Nenad Kocic, president of Vila Zora, a grassroots group that campaigns for a healthier environment. “The heavy metal content exceeds international limits and is devastating for health.”

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