Instead of oxygen, people breathe gas and heavy metals
Rîbnița Cement Plant SATÎ RCK - is one of the enterprises that form the budget in the separatist territory of the Republic of Mplșdova, Transnistria. The construction of the factory began in 1958, the first technological line was put into operation on November 6, 1961. By 1970, three more production lines were opened resulting in the increase of the factory´s production capacity to 950 thousand tons of cement per year. At present the capacity of the factory is 1 million tons of cement and 955 thousand tons of clinker per year.
On January 16, 2008, the entire village of Solonceni, Rezina district, was "snowed" with a brick-colored substance. Dust on houses, earth, trees scared and terrified the natives: people began to breathe harder, to cough, to feel dizzy and even nauseous.
The incident on January 16 was not the only one in Solonceni village that year. On the night of January 7-8, the snow carpet had turned from white to reddish-brown. The tenants said that such phenomena happen often, now they become more obvious due to the snow.
The authorities are avoiding, for the time being, making public the cause and source of the pollution. Independent experts assume that the "red dust" produced at one of the plants located just a few kilometers from the village: the cement plant or the metallurgical plant in Rîbnița.
So far, the only analyzes performed in Solonceni were those of the Center for Ecological Investigations, made at the request of the State Ecological Inspectorate. The results of the analyses taken from the snow and water are shocking. They exceed the maximum allowable concentrations for fish farming 18,750 times for copper, 814 times for iron, 918 times for suspended substances, 40 times for petroleum products and other chemicals.
The authors of the ecological investigations claim that "the substances found in the sedimented powder at Solonceni represent waste from the cement factory on the opposite bank of the Dniester, located at a distance of 5 km, but also production waste from the metallurgical plant in Rîbnița".
And now the problem of hazardous emissions remains constant, many residents of Ribnita complain about air pollution by the cement plant:
According to experts, emissions from the metallurgical and cement plants are extremely dangerous, especially when it rains. Then comes the so-called acid rain phenomenon, which destroys everything around.
Chisinau acknowledges the gravity of the situation, but blames the separatist authorities on the left bank of the Dniester for refusing any dialogue.
Almost every day, the villages near the town of Rezina are covered in a cloud of dense smoke. The toxins are emitted by the cement and metallurgical plant in Rîbnița. The poisonous cloud can be seen with the naked eye, especially in the morning, when businesses are in full swing.