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SOS - Radiation (Part 3)

February 24, 2006

SOS - Radiation
Part III

Ecological Disaster Still Affects Inhabitants

It is so far unknown what gas or toxic chemicals erupted from the catastrophe at Ninotsminda bore-hole # 100, on September 10th 2004. As a result of the three-day eruption of gas and oil, a large territory of forest was devastated, water and soil were polluted and people poisoned with toxic gas. The inhabitants of Sagarejo say that an increase in cases of cancer in the region can be blamed on the ‘CanArgo-Georgia’ oil company.

“Since the expulsion of gas and oil from Ninotsminda bore-hole #100 on September 10th, 2004, our health has deteriorated. We were trying hard to convince ourselves that our drinking water was clean. However, after Irakli Pagava, an academic, carried out research nine months after the eruption, we were supplied with gallons of clean water. The fact is that we have been drinking polluted water already for twelve months. Both the inhabitants of Ninotsminda and the neighboring villages suffer from different diseases or undergo health complications or deterioration. The population complains especially of diseases of the stomach-intestine and lungs. Only four children have been born in the course of nine months and two from them are physically disabled. A doctor, who is also an inhabitant of our village and works under constant pressure, confirms that a rate of cancer diseases has been increased”, says an inhabitant of Ninotsminda.

According to the inhabitants, the polluted environment directly affects them as well as their children’s health. A vivid example is Marika Sukhiashvili, whose analysis carried out in Germany states that there is high level of benzol in her blood. “Experts believe that the reason for this is an environment polluted with oil”, claim the inhabitants of the village Ninotsminda.

Another bad affect of the eruption occurred in Marika Chavchanidze, who was placed in hospital diagnosed with intoxication and allergic reaction of the windpipe. Like Sukhishvili and Chavchanidze, the inhabitants of the Sagarejo region suffer the results of the catastrophe at the bore-hole.

According to the inhabitamts of Sagarejo, a big area of forest (220 hectares) has been devastated and people have been poisoned. Because an insignificant sum of 845 000 laris was allotted by the oil company and only 200 000 laris of this has been distributed to the population, people’s frustration and concern runs high.

Soso Tsabadze, a representative of the ‘CanArgo-Georgia’ oil company, noted that the attitudes people have toward them were groundless. “The company has assisted the inhabitants of the Sagarejo region and plans further social investments there. As for the water, it wasn’t polluted during the eruption”, he said

The Sagarejo regional dispensary oncologist says that cases of oncological diseases have increased in Sagarejo.

Gela Mtivlishvili from Kakheti