NCRI - 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.

Thousand tons of abandoned waste in northern forests threaten the health of millions. Meanwhile, environmental activists emphasize on training and informing people.

The list of environmental disasters such as drying up of Urmia Lake, loss of wetlands, and Khuzestan’s dust storms is now added by yet another problem, namely northern forests pollution. Warning over the situation, Director-General of Mazandaran’s Natural Resources and Watershed Management Sattar Babayee Kafaki said on Monday February 27, “if we are not serious about preserving natural resources and forests, soon a problem similar to Khuzestan’s will be raised here.”

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 has complained against the mayors in the province for accumulating 200 tons of daily waste in northern forests, following which arrest warrants for 80 percent of the mayors were issued. This, however, didn’t resolve the problem. Trying to justify the actions done by their relevant offices, the mayors 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 three million two hundred thousand population. The amount is tripled with the presence of nearly 15 million tourists each year. Besides, the waste generated is abandoned in forests, rivers and the sea.

In an interview with ‘Belagh’, a local website in Mazandaran, an environmental activist said that in Mahmoudabad, 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 Mazanadarn capital Sari, the activist says that “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, says the activist.

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