The Albanian Helsinki Committee (AHC) followed with concern the video footage published by investigative show “Fiks Fare” of Top Channel television. The footage showed the disturbing pollution caused by the burning of limestone furnaces in the villages of Borizana and Nikël of Kruja.
A few weeks ago, AHC observers conducted verifications in the villages of Borizana and Kadias of Kruja. AHC’s verifications created the conviction that the activity of the quarries and limestone furnaces in these villages not only was unlawful but also contained criminal elements because it seriously harmed the environment and had serious consequences for the lives and health of people.
While AHC is following the address of this issue, establishing contact with responsible state institutions and requesting information from the prosecutor’s office and the police regarding criminal referrals and criminal proceedings that have been initiated and their status, new facts emerging from the investigation of the Fiks Fare reporters are very disturbing.
Besides the alarming environmental pollution in the villages of Borizana and Nikël, the Fiks Fare reporters obtained testimonies from employees in the quarry furnaces who stated that employees of public order and the environment structures were corrupted continuously in order to not obstruct the activity of limestone quarries in Borizana and Nikël.
The lack of an effective solution so far to the pollution caused by the burning in limestone quarry furnaces in the villages of Kruja, accompanied by new facts that shed light on the passive corruption and abuse of office of public officials, seriously aggravate the situation of the inhabitants in areas affected by the pollution. These inhabitants expect state institutions to undertake measures to protect the environment, life and health, for which there can be no illegal compromise that would open the way to the burning of limestone through cancerous materials.
While we have no information from public health structures regarding the potential consequences of such pollution on the health of these inhabitants, AHC is bringing to attention the previous call, addressed to responsible structures under the Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Health, and State Police as well as Kruja Municipality to implement and enforce the law rigorously and collaborate among themselves by providing a final and effective solution to the pollution of the environment in the villages of Kruja.
We also call on the prosecutor’s office to carry out objective, complete and comprehensive investigations on any suspicions regarding corruption and abuse of office by public officials in the public order, local government and environment structures with inspecting responsibilities in these villages.