Hungary’s Toxic Spill Points to Vulnerability of Water Resources

Posted: 2010-10-11

The Central and Eastern Europe region of the Global Water Partnership (GWP CEE) has called for pollution prevention and the regular inspection of polluter operations in light of the toxic sludge disaster in Hungary.

GWP Hungary pledged to participate in the technical evaluation process and to provide a technical assistance facility for the prevention of similar catastrophes. In addition, the GWP Hungary network and individual members are supporting those affected by the spill.

Within days of the disaster, GWP CEE met in Prague, Czech Republic, for its previously scheduled Council Meeting. GWP CEE made clear its deep regret for the deaths and injuries and homelessness caused by the spill. “Rescue services are now dealing with protection against further pollution,” GWP CEE said in a statement.

Tributaries of the Danube River have been contaminated, but it is too soon to know whether Europe’s second longest river will be affected. Cleaning up of the pollution will take years and cost billions of Hungarian forint.

In a separate statement, GWP Hungary said, “At this point, dealing with the catastrophe is the most important thing,” noting that several mitigation measures taken by the Hungarian authorities has significantly reduced the threat to the environment.

GWP CEE has worked for years with the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) on several issues related to the Danube, not least its water quality. More information on the toxic spill is available on the ICPDR site and the official site of the Hungarian government.

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