Waste threatens environment

30 March 2001

Millions of tonnes of highly toxic waste dumped in western Kazakhstan’s Koshkar-Ata lake are causing serious concern due to shrinkage of the lake. With the present speed of evaporation the lake will dry up completely in five years. Liquid and solid wastes from uranium production dumped in the basin since 1964 now cover an area of 77km2, but only 35km2 are flooded. Kumarzhan Muratov, senior doctor at the regional oncological clinic, says breast, lung and oesophagus cancer were at their highest levels in 2000.

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