From the end of December to January, the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe was hit by heavy rains, highlighting growing environmental problems in countries hoping to join the European Union someday.
The river swells with rainwater and draws waste from illegally reclaimed landfills near embankments, as is typical after a storm from the Mediterranean hits Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A floating barrier was constructed along the Drina River in Bosnia and Herzegovina to prevent waste from floating further downstream of the river and slowing down the hydroelectric power plant. According to EuronewsA second barrier was built to collect debris that passes through the first barrier.
Trucks and machinery will be deployed along the Dorina River and throughout the region during heavy rains to break through these floating barriers and remove debris from hydroelectric dams.
This was the case after a heavy rain attack in late December and January. A thick layer of debris deposited on Lake Popetch in Serbia. Plastic, rusty metal scraps, tree trunks, and caskets are reportedly cluttering water. Associated Press said..
In Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it rained 8.26 inches (219 mm) in December and 6.60 inches (168 mm) in January. Normal rainfall is 2.69 inches (68 mm) in December and 1.62 inches (41 mm) in January.
In Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, rainfall in December reached 1.61 inches (41 mm) and 4.27 inches (108 mm) in January. Normal monthly rainfall is 1.82 inches (46 mm) and 1.72 inches (44 mm), respectively.
Even when it’s not raining, you can see a pile of burning garbage from the road and a plastic bag clinging to a tree branch.
According to AP, the accumulation of this waste problem has been going on for decades, and authorities have blamed negligence and lack of efficient waste management policies in Serbia and Bosnia.
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Many of the Balkan countries are still recovering from the series of wars and crises that destabilized the region in the 1990s. Environmental issues are not considered a top priority, as countries are trying to build economies that lag far behind the rest of Europe.
Burning this extra waste also increases the dangerous levels of air pollution faced by many cities on the Balkan Peninsula.
Environmentalists in the area warn that many landfills are leaking toxic substances into rivers due to poor management, threatening the health of ecosystems, wildlife and surrounding areas.
The Drina River and one of its tributaries, the Lin River, are the two main rivers on the Balkan Peninsula, each with reported litter flow earlier this year. During the summer, adventures and rafters gather in these emerald rivers, enjoying winding waterways and seemingly pristine nature.
Edita Slatina said she used to visit Lim River with her parents on weekends as a kid, but now it’s a pain to take her son there.
“We need a solution as soon as possible,” she told Euronews, adding that he wanted to be able to go to the Lim River to swim and catch fish with his grandfather. .. “I want to be a memorable place for my son.”
Jugoslav Jovanovic, a Serbian state-owned Srbijavode company responsible for the country’s water system, said that focusing on clearing the dams each year would ultimately only return to landfills.
“We have to find something in common and work together to solve this,” he said in an interview with AP.
Authorities in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia have held meetings to discuss ongoing issues, but as of early 2021, little progress has been made.
Finding an efficient way to manage waste in Serbia and Bosnia is just one of the hurdles countries face to join the European Union.
The first step for a country to join the European Union is Important criteria for membershipThis includes a stable institution that guarantees a functioning market economy that can cope with democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and the competition and market power of the European Union.
Additional conditions have been added to the Western Balkans, primarily related to regional cooperation and good neighborhood relations.
According to emerging Europe, Serbia and Montenegro are in the process of accession negotiations, with Albania and North Macedonia recognized as official candidates in 2020. However, Bosnia and Herzegovina are considered “potential candidates” and require many changes based on the complex structure of the country’s government.
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