THE IMPACT OF MINING OVERBURDEN DUMPS TO HUMAN HEALTH: CASE STUDY: OUTSIDE OVERBURDEN DUMPS IN KOSOVOM. DUGOLLI
Energy production based on lignite, through decades, has caused considerable environmental damages in the area of Mining and Power Plants, in Kosovo. The coal layers are relatively close to the surface in Kosovo, as a result of ongoing neo-tectonic developments, manifested by vertical movements, the uplifting and subsiding of separated blocks, and the impact of exogenous factors. On this type of mines, the layer of soil that covers lignite, in depth from 5 100 m, is excavated and usually dump near mines. These masses of soil (overburden) create hills that are spread on hundreds of hectares. Those overburden dumps are not stabile, they can move, create cracks, and collect the rain water. In addition, people living around these overburden dumps, usually use this land for different purposes such as agriculture and farmlands, in uncontrolled way and they are not aware about the risks they are posed to. This paper presents the research in outside dump Kalaja and Lugu i thellë and Lismir Kuzmin, located around the mines in Kosovo, in order to determine the level of negative consequences that these dumps have to peoples life. The findings show that, except for the environmental degradation and pollution, the damage to people goes further. These dumps are currently unstabile and tends to slide, have rough slopes, presents a risk from flooding and mass erosion to the villages around. In addition, the land used as pasture and for agriculture, shows high concentration of nickel and chromium and there is an assumption that heavy metals have already entered the food chain for already an extended period. The consequences are felt to humans health, their social life and goes even to their next generations. This research gives an overall picture of a present condition of the overburden dumps and proposes a measures to be taken, in order to improve peoples safety. It gives a good base for further examinations and for protective and remedial actions to be taken.
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