Last update:
2019-08-08

ROMA_Environmental discrimination of Roma people along Sajó wetlands in Hungary

Fewer resources in building public infrastructure and providing access to water, heating, and sewage in the flooding part of the Sajó river where Roma community reside.


Description:

Roma communities live in a settlement surrounded by wetland fields of the Sajó River in the town of Sajószentpéter. [1] 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:ROMA_Environmental discrimination of Roma people along Sajó wetlands in Hungary
Country:Hungary
State or province: Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county
Location of conflict:Sajószentpéter
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Water access rights and entitlements
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific commodities:Domestic municipal waste
Water
Ecosystem Services
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

For almost 4 decades, the local government refuses to provide water and sanitation for the Roma part of the to Sajószentpéter town-- "across the bridge" [1]. When participatory research by The Sajó River Association for Environment and Community Development was conducted; the same day when the Roma settlement was flooded again; the government upgraded water pipes for the community [1].

Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:2000 [1]
Start of the conflict:01/01/2004
Relevant government actors:???????????????
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:The Sajó River Association for Environment and Community Development
https://www.radaysalon.org/environmental_justice/
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Neighbours/citizens/communities
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Waste overflow
Potential: Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Infectious diseases, Other Health impacts
Potential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Violations of human rights
Outcome
Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Strengthening of participation
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Development of alternatives:The Sajó River Association for Environment and Community Development conducted a participatory research based on photographs and workshop with the Roma community [3]. The participatory research had as an objective to rise the environmental issues and health impacts the Roma community face and live for decades, but also rise awareness and point to the core issues about environmental injustices taking place in the community and at the expense of the Roma people[2] [3]. Finally the research has produced the Declaration of Environmental Justice of the Sajó River at local, national, and international level [3].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Although access to water has been improved in the community; it is not know whether or not the place where Roma people reside is still flooding or if sewerage and water quality control are preformed by the local government; and or if any other health idamages have occurred due to institutionalised environmental injustice around water and flooding for the Roma in the town.
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Harper, Krista and The Sajó River Association for Environment and Community Development, Hungary, "Across the Bridge: Using

PhotoVoice to Study Environment and Health in a Romani Community." (2009)
[click to view]

[2] Bari, J., Harper, K. (2007). Water, Cultural Diversity, and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends. In Barbara Rose Johnston, Lisa Hiwasaki, Irene J. Klaver, Ameyali Ramos Castillo, Veronica Strang (Editors). Springer Publishing France.

[3] The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Justice. 2018. 2nd edition.
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[4] News Hvg.hu: Floodings in Miskolc and its surroundings.
[click to view]

Other documents

Woman collecting water from the public wells on the street Photo by Mariann Bari in "Across the bridge" document by Krista Harper
[click to view]

Boy standing next to latrine outside the house Photo by Mariann Bari in "Across the bridge" document by Krista Harper
[click to view]

Another flooding in 2010 A girl standing in the patio surrounded by flooded land in the Roma settlment. Source: Hvg.hu
[click to view]

The Sajó wetlands landscape of the Sajó wetlands, which in the Roma part of the town is used as informal garbage dump by other residents in the town. Photo by Mariann Bari in "Across the bridge" document by Krista Harper
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Ksenija Hanacek, ICTA-UAB
Last update08/08/2019
Comments
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