Nicosia inundated by bad smells

Nicosia inundated by bad smells

The environmental Protection Administration chief of North Cyprus was trying to hide behind some excuses in order to avoid issuing a lofty fine against politically powerful owners of a chicken farm who allegedly ordered tons of waste produced by their chicken farm and factory as well as poultry manure in the fields between the Alayköy (the former Yerolakko) and the now-deserted Nicosia International Airport, inundating not only the northern Turkish Cypriot part of Nicosia but southern Nicosia too and many other Greek Cypriot settlements around.

Environmental Protection Administration chief Osman Bora Çağakan told reporters that poultry manure was not classified in the law among subjects hazardous to the environment. Thus, while he agreed that the bad smell emanating from the tons of poultry waste and manure dumped by the chicken farm and industrial food complex owned by the Hacıali family, the director stressed that other than a friendly request to the company not to repeat dumping waste and poultry manure in that area, his department could do nothing more.
In order to penalize and issue a fine for the poultry waste and manure being deposited in areas close to settlements, the director said, there was need for a change in the law. However, legal experts and environmentalists underline that the current legislature empowers the Environmental Protection Administration to take punitive action against those who dump around residential areas anything that might produce bad odor. Yet the director was adamant despite all appeals by the environmentalists and citizens complaining of bad smell, claiming he had no power to either measure or penalize bad smell.

However, the law indeed empowers the directorate to take measures against bad smell sources that might have an impact on public health. The same bad smells impounded Nicosia few years ago, and after a public outcry, the politically powerful Hacıali family took a step back. Even though the National Unity Party (the late father Hacıali was a founding member and several times a parliamentarian) now has some other serious headaches over nepotist and corruption smelling undertakings of the tourism minister, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar must be capable of smelling the poultry manure dumped a few kilometers away his office. Indeed, the bad smell coming from the poultry manure dump of Hacıali might be a trivial issue for the premier.

Doctors are advising Nicosia residents because of the higher risk of the COVID-19 infection not to turn on air conditioners. Temperatures are running high and people need ventilations to cool off. They cannot open windows because of the bad smell either. A paradoxical situation.

But the problem is not valid only for the Turkish Cypriot quarter of Nicosia and the nearby Turkish Cypriot-populated villages. In the Greek Cypriot-populated southern Nicosia and southern villages there is even a more complicated problem. If the local administrators were clever enough and tried to learn what’s happening in the nearby Turkish Cypriot areas from social media – as currently the crossing points are closed and no direct contact might be possible – they would easily figure out that the nasty bad smell was not coming either from a small Klimos lake near the village of Aydemet, the pig farm near Lakadamia, a dairy farm close to the buffer bone or the airport no-man’s-land.
People might be prevented from crossing to the other zone but neither birds, wild animals nor the bad smell of the poultry manure might be prevented.