Polish government knew about pollution that caused fish kill in Oder River but did not sound the alarm
Poland's government was said to be aware of the pollution in the Oder River that caused the death of tons of fish. However, Warsaw allegedly kept silent
and did not alert its neighbors.
According to Strange Sounds
, the Polish government had known of the deaths in the river since July. Huge numbers of dead fish, alongside dead animals such as beavers, were first spotted at the town of Olawa in the country's southwest. However, officials did not sound the alarm over the matter until it was too late.
Biologist Ewa Drewniak, who works with Polish opposition political group Civic Coalition, accused Warsaw of not reacting fast enough to the situation.
"Dead fish have been flowing in the Oder for the past two weeks, and people have not been informed about it," she said.
"I've seen scores of people bathing in the river a week and a half ago. They were not aware of the danger; this is scandalous."
Drewniak was not alone in her criticism of the Polish government's slow response.
Polish lawmaker Malgorzata Tracz castigated the country's government institutions
for their lackluster efforts to respond to the ecological catastrophe. She pointed out that government institutions did not even warn residents against touching the contaminated river water.
According to Tracz, around eight tons of dead fish were found near Olawa alone. The member of the Sejm – the Polish Parliament's lower chamber – called for an in-depth investigation to "punish the people that did it."
"The problem is huge. It is not something that can be ignored, or that will be overcome on its own."
Officials from neighboring Germany also rebuked Warsaw for failing to honor an international treaty by not informing them immediately about the Oder's probable contamination. It was only on Aug. 9 that German authorities learned of the issue, thanks to a boat captain who reported the fish kill.
"We know that the chain of reporting that's envisaged for such cases didn't work," Christopher Stolzenberg, a spokesman for the German Ministry for the Environment
, told media outlets in Berlin.
Warsaw promises swift action against those responsible
The Oder River, the second-longest in Poland, begins at the Czech Republic's Oder Mountains and runs north into Germany and Poland before emptying into the Baltic Sea. The recent fish kill caused the carcasses of at least 10 tons of fish to surface and clog the waterway. (Related: Mystery deepens surrounding mass FISH KILL in Europe's Oder River
Przemyslaw Daca, the head of Poland's National Water Management Authority, said that 10 tons of dead fish had already been taken out of the river. He added that anglers and volunteers helped in removing the fish carcasses.
Meanwhile, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Aug. 11 that active-duty soldiers and reservists from the Polish Armed Forces were being deployed to help get rid of pollutants from the river.
For his part, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki promised that authorities would bring all the culprits to justice. He remarked that "huge amounts of chemical waste" were probably dumped intentionally into the Oder. The resulting pollution caused environmental damage so severe that it will take the river years to recover.
"Huge amounts of chemical waste were probably dumped in the Oder River with full awareness of the risks and consequences. We will not let this matter go. We will not rest until the guilty are severely punished," Morawiecki said in a video posted on Facebook.
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Watch the video below to know more about the fish kill in Oder River
This video is from the Alex Hammer channel on Brighteon.com
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