By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan's Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry has registered several mineral deposits in the country’s Zangilan region, Trend has reported.
“Some 11 mineral deposits have been registered in Azerbaijan’s Zangilan region,” representative of the National Geological Intelligence Service of the Azerbaijani Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry Shahin Atashov said.
He stated that the total reserves of the Okhuchay facing stone deposit reach 6.6 million cubic meters, adding that the field was not used before the occupation.
“During the occupation, operational work was carried out at the Alabashli section of the field. To determine the degree of depletion of the field and assess the caused damage, it is necessary to conduct geological studies,” Atashov added.
Moreover, Ecology and Natural Resources Deputy Minister Firdovsi Aliyev stressed that the assessment of environmental damage inflicted on Azerbaijani lands by Armenia during the occupation period is underway.
The deputy minister underlined that international experts will also participate in the monitoring process and familiarize themselves with the consequences of the inflicted damage.
“For 30 years, Armenians lived in the houses built by us and burned them, leaving these lands. Over the years, on an area of 100,000 hectares, they set fires, causing heavy damage to the local flora and fauna. In this regard, an investigation is also underway,” he stated.
Touching on Armenia's pollution of the Okhchuchay river, the ministry’s representative Mehman Nabiyev stated that the monitoring carried out during the first three months of the year, revealed that the content of nickel, iron and copper-molybdenum compounds in the river is many times higher than the norm.
According to the monitoring, the content of nickel was by 7 times, iron 4 times and copper-molybdenum composition 2 times more than the norm.
"Starting in the Zangezur ridge, Okhchuchai flows through the Zangilan region and flows into the Araz River. Waste from the Kajaran copper-molybdenum treatment plant at the source of this river, as well as domestic wastewater, are discharged into Okhchuchay. This leads to an excess of heavy metal compounds in the river," Nabiyev said.
It should be noted that mineral deposits located on the territory of the Karabakh region account for 40 percent of Azerbaijan’s mineral water sources.
Armenia’s three-decade occupation of Azerbaijani territories extensively damaged the ecosystem, wildlife and natural resources in and around the formerly occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region.
A Moscow-brokered ceasefire deal that Baku and Yerevan signed on November 10 brought an end to six weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani army declared a victory against the Armenian troops. The signed agreement obliged Armenia to withdraw its troops from the Azerbaijani lands that it has occupied since the early 1990s.
Currently, the work is underway to restore Azerbaijan’s liberated territories. Azerbaijan will carry out the restoration and reconstruction work on its recently-liberated territories in four stages. The initial stage includes the solution of the issues of governance and security, infrastructure, while the subsequent stages include the solution of the issues of social services activities, reconstruction and development of the economy.
The Azerbaijani government allocated AZN 2.2 billion ($1.3bn) for the reconstruction of the liberated territories in 2021. In particular, these funds will be used to restore the infrastructure (electricity, gas, water, communications, roads, education, health, etc), as well as cultural and historical monuments.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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