Illegal landfill in Martinaj village-Plav Gucinje, Montenegro

<div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Description</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld"></td><td class="columns"><div class="less">With decision no. 0301­28/4, the municipal assembly of Plav on 23 November 2012 began determining the location to dump waste in the municipality of Plav. According to the official sheet that defines the spatial surfaces, cadastral parcels was No. 80, KO DOSUGJE II, no. 1/1/1, with 213,000 m2 of space. In fact, the actual location of the open landfill belongs to the village Martinaj space, parcel no. 900, Martinais 1, with a surface of 479,011 (twice as big). This proves misuse of the official cadastral Office and deception of the citizens for the construction of an illegitimate landfill with invalid documentation.</div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">This open garbage dump is located in the historical site of Kodra Jerina, the historical headquarters of the Illyrian Empire in III and IV century BC. At this spot the resistance against the Ottoman Empire in defense of Albanian Christianity started in 1710. Locating a landfill here thus constitutes a grave violation of the laws for the protection of the cultural heritage of minorities.<br/><br/>The landfill is also located close to water wells of householda of one of the neighborhoods of Martinaj village. All this flow into the river Luca, the collector of all waters of Plav, which lies 380 meters from this open landfill waste. The risk of unforeseen consequences increases due to the current composition of the limestone soil, which allows the seepage of fluids into the ground, without any separation or categorization.<br/><br/>With the formation of the Council for the Prevention of landfill, formal complaints were directed at all relevant local, governmental, regional and international institutions. Ignored by all they then led mass to the protests, with pamphlets, appeals, including putting a live wall with their bodies in front from trucks.<br/><br/>Road blockades by citizens protesting the landfill were crushed with the force of Montenegrin police and led to the arrests of protesters. Naim Prelvukaj­coordinator of the Council for the Prevention of landfill was arrested twice, and also physically mistreated. Jevrem Berkovic, a Montenegrin academician who is known as the founder of the Montenegrin state has spoken out against his arrest. <br/><br/>Yet despite this, the dump was opened in November 2013.<br/><br/>The ecosystem, which is a natural beauty, is choking on garbage and with the advent of warmer seasons are causing an unbearable odor and are providing the risk of viral diseases of birds, wild animals, unprotected animals, insects.<br/><br/>This open landfill was imposed against the will of the community which requires to live in a clean environment and to protect the lungs of their children from poisoning caused by this open garbage dump, far below any European normal standards.<br/><br/>The unilateral decision of the municipal assembly of Plav to open the landfill contradicts the will of the local community, the Law on Waste Management, the Strategy for Waste Management and the Law on Environmental Protection, while the falsified documentation on the location violates all laws of the Montenegro state. Trying to cover a heritage zone for an ethnicity contradicts the Law on Protection of Rights and Freedoms, in this case the original Albanian minority. Opening a waste dump closed to the residential area goes against the will of the community and is in contravention of European Union integration procedures of Montenegro. Moreover, waste collection on the ruins of an ancient Ilirian city in Plav Gucia which is known as a natural pearl of the Balkans, goes contrary to the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage<br/><br/>Apart from Naim Prelvukaj, other activists have been arrested during the mobilizations. Their names are: Xhevat Lecaj, Zeqir Hasanxhekaj, Miftar Balidemaj, Milivoje Vucelic, Naser Prelvukaj, Luan Balidemaj, Mustafe Balidemaj, Luan Balidemaj , Isa Prelvukaj, Sadik Hasanxhekaj, Isnije Hasanxhekaj, Haxhe Kukaj, Xhemajl Kukaj, Edona Xheka, Hasan Balidemaj,Isni Balidemaj, Bujar Hasanxhekaj, Ylber Hasanxhekaj, Zeqir Hasangjekaj, Mustaf Balidemaj, Bali Hasanxhekaj, Genc kukaj, Naser Kukaj, safeta Kadriq, Hasan Prelvukaj, salih Hasanxhekaj, Agim Hasanxhekaj, Gezim Balidemaj, Hasan Lecaj,Feriz Prelvukaj, Shefqet Balidemaj dhe Sadik Kukaj.<br/><br/>On 18 th August 2014, Naim Prelvukaj was arrested for the thirds time and stayed in jail for 11 days in Bjello Polje, because of his engagement in the protection of rights to healthy environment and his resistance to waste trucks which aimed to be sent to the Kodra Jerina. Even after his release, Naim is still suffering hearth arrhythmia problems due to the chock and the treatment he received.<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Basic Data</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Name</td><td>Illegal landfill in Martinaj village-Plav Gucinje, Montenegro</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Country</td><td><a href="/country/montenegro">Montenegro</a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Province</td><td>Plav-Gucinje in Montenegro</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Site</td><td>Martinaj-Plav Gucinje municipality</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Accuracy of Location</td><td>HIGH local level</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Source of Conflict</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (1st level)</td><td>Waste Management</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Conflict (2nd level)</td><td>Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Specific Commodities</td><td><a href='/commodity/domestic-municipal-waste'>Domestic municipal waste</a><br /><a href='/commodity/industrial-waste'>Industrial waste</a></td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Project Details and Actors</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Details</td><td class="columns"><div class="less">According to activists, the garbage dump includes all types of waste such as: strong base material substances originating from industry, organic waste, the materials of iron plasma bags, sanitary, metal, wood, organic bones, feces, containers of herbicides, etc. risking serious environmental pollution. </div><a class="seemore" href="#">See more...</a><div class="more" style="display:none">There is no official information about the quantity of waste dumped or operating costs. <br/><br/>In one form or another 10 thousand inhabitants are affected, while most endangered are villages: Martinaj, Dosudje, Zagraje, Hakaj, Kukaj, Cherry, Krusevo choline, Gusija, turned, Grncar, Vojno Selo and from the gases that are released, the Plav municipality itself.<br/><br/>Mixed population of rural and urban, nation: Albanian, Boshnjak, Montenegrin.<br/><br/><a class="seeless" href="#">(See less)</a></div></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Project Area (in hectares)</td><td>Surface 479,011 m2, Kodra Jerina-Martinaj, Zone 1</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Level of Investment (in USD)</td><td>No data available</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Type of Population</td><td>Semi-urban</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Potential Affected Population</td><td>Up to 10,000</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Start Date</td><td>11/2012</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Company Names or State Enterprises</td><td><a href='/company/ndermarrja-komunale-publike-dhe-per-ceshtje-banesore'> Ndermarrja Komunale Publike dhe per Ceshtje Banesore</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/montenegro'><small>Montenegro</small></a><br /><a href='/company/ndermarrja-per-perpunimin-e-drurit-doo-alps'>Ndermarrja per Perpunimin e Drurit DOO Alpet</a> from <a href='/country-of-company/montenegro'><small>Montenegro</small></a></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Relevant government actors</td><td>Municipality of Plav; Montenegro Police; Ministry of Health of Republic of Montenegro; Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Republic of Montenegro; Ministry for Spatial Planning and Environment of Republic of Montenegro; Environmental Protection Agency of Republic of Montenegro; Committee on Tourism, Agriculture and Environment of Republic of Montenegro.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Environmental justice organisations and other supporters</td><td>Environmentally responsible Action Group, community and the engaged media.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">The Conflict and the Mobilization</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)</td><td>HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">When did the mobilization begin</td><td>In REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Groups Mobilizing</td><td>Local ejos<br /> Neighbours/citizens/communities<br /> Ethnically/racially discriminated groups<br /> Local scientists/professionals<br /> Albanian ethnic miniority, Albanians in the diaspora</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Forms of Mobilization</td><td>Blockades<br /> Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)<br /> Objections to the EIA<br /> Official complaint letters and petitions<br /> Public campaigns<br /> Street protest/marches</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Impacts</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Environmental Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Waste overflow, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Other Environmental impacts<br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Health Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..) <br /><strong>Potential: </strong>Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>Psychological violence and heavy stress for the activists cause health impacts like heart arrhythmia and anxiety. </td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Socio-economic Impacts</td><td><strong>Visible: </strong>Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Other socio-economic impacts, Militarization and increased police presence</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other</td><td>Desecration of cultural heritage</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Outcome</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Project Status</td><td>In operation</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Pathways for conflict outcome / response</td><td>Corruption<br /> Criminalization of activists</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Development of Alternatives</td><td>The Committee against the landfill has appealed to all relevant institutions to prevent any further waste landfilling on the Kodra Jerina and to find another location where a modern sanitary landfill with an appropriate center for the treatment and recycling of waste can be built.</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Do you consider this as a success?</td><td>Not Sure</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Why? Explain briefly.</td><td>We consider as a success only the fact that we have succeeded to inform public opinion about the current situation in Martinaj. But, we du not consider it as a success for the fact that in a country where the law is not respected, where the primary interest is the individual and not the State and citizen, where the will of the comunity is and violated his rights are breached by clans, groups an individuals, any citizen initiative can not be successfully in the case that this iniciative conflicts with their interests. We do not consider our steps as successful about the fact that these clans are related in to government corruption, and with falsified documents and mounted processes are violating the will of its citizens and are using the power of the majority over the minority, trampling fundamental human rights, for clean air, water and environment. And the future will show if this will be an environmental justice success for our community.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Sources and Materials</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Links</td><td><table><tr><td><p> Telegrafi<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Pas intervenimit te policisë,Malesoret kerkojnë ndihmë nga Tirana dhe Prishtina(video)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Martinaj: Mbeturinat nga Berani okupojnë Kodrën e Jerinës<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Banorët e Martinajve të Plavës kundërshtojnë deponinë mbi fshat (video)<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> POLICIA MALAZEZE KA ARRESTUAR NAIM UJKAN PRELVUKAJ-MARTINI<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Në Martinaj, arrestohet Naim Prelvukaj<br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Documents</td><td><table><tr><td><p><strong>Kodra Jerina</strong> <br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>Smoke by the dump in Martinaj</strong> <br/><a class="refanch small" href="" target="_blank">[click to view]</a></p></td></tr></table></td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Other Comments</td><td>In one form or the other over 10 thousand inhabitants are affected by the waste landfill pollution, and the villages mostly affected are: Martinaj, Dosudje, Zagraje, Hakaj, Kukaj, Cherry, Krusevo choline, Gusija, turned, Grncar, Vojno Selo and the Plav municipality itself.</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div><div class="horipane"><div class="title active">Meta Information</div><div class="content"><table class="table"><tbody><tr><td class="fld">Contributor</td><td>Council for the Prevention of Construction of the Lanfill in Martinaj Naim Ujkan Prelvukaj-Martini, Coordinator. Email: [email protected]:00382/69-744-964 & 00386/49-723-888. Martinaj, Plave Gucinje, Montenegro</td></tr><tr><td class="fld">Last update</td><td>10/09/2014</td></tr></tbody></table></div></div>