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Pesticide Dump in Armenia Threatens Rural Community

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The road to the pesticide dump weaves through a region bedeviled with landslides.

Environmentalist groups claim a land-fill of pesticides suspected to have come from Soviet-era collective farms could be contaminating the ground and threatening two settlements only a few kilometers from the edge of the capital Yerevan. The Nubarashen chemical waste dump is believed to contain nearly 600 tons of about 50 types of old extremely hazardous toxic chemicals, including the lethal DDT.

The dump, which was created in the 1980s, was uncovered in March 2010 by heavy digging machines. The government said it spent about $88,000 to repair the dump. But environmentalists believe the government-funded project did not fix the hazard issues and that during the winter thaw chemicals may leach into the soil again.

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Anahit Hayrapetyan is a freelance photojournalist based in Yerevan.

Pesticide Dump in Armenia Threatens Rural Community

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