Even though the tailings dam along the road leading to the Svinets neighborhood in Akhtakla has been closed for the past two years, the threat of the toxins washing into the Akhtala River and then into the Debed River are real.
Due to the snow melt and recent heavy rains, the toxic wastes at the dam have been moving from their original position.
The dam is not monitored nor is there any fencing around the perimeter. Neither are there warning signs to ward off local villagers.
When Hetq contacted Akhtala Mayor Hayk Khachikyan he said that the problem facing the area wasn’t only the threat posed by the Svinets tailings dam but the Metal Prince mining company’s tailings dam on the road leading to the village of Pokr Ayrum.
Mayor Khachikyan said that he had sent a letter to the Ministry of the Environment on March 15 but has yet to hear back from them.