Category Archives: Eastern Europe/Central Asia

Pollution Warrior Profile: Umed in Tajikistan Saves Families From Toxic Landowner

When homes started being built on a highly-contaminated site in Jami district, Khatlon region, Pure Earth’s coordinator in Tajikistan, Ulugov Umidjon Amonovichis, fondly known as Umed, sprung into action. Umed informed the local authorities and presented them with all the environmental assessment data he and team members had collected via Pure Earth’s TSIP program. Understanding the threat posed to the families living in these new homes, the authorities, on the spot, reversed a 2014 approval allowing the land owner to lease property and are prosecuting him for knowingly putting residents health at risk. Continue reading

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Getting Lead Out Of Sovetskoe (Kan), Kyrgyzstan

This post comes from Alena Temnikova, Pure Earth’s regional coordinator in Kyrgyzstan. When lead and zinc ore mining began in the 1950s, the first workers lived in tarpaulin tents and barracks. Then houses were built and the town of Sovetskoe (recently renamed … Continue reading

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Mongolia Teaching Van Trailblazes A Path To Mercury-Free Mining

This post is from Pure Earth summer intern Sarah Baer, a youth philanthropy leader in her junior year at the University of Pennsylvania. In the remote reaches of Mongolia, Pure Earth’s project team has put together a teaching van to educate miners on … Continue reading

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New Signs Of Life: Greenery Sprouts From Once-Toxic Beach

What a difference a year makes. Last year, Pure Earth embarked on our first cleanup project in Azerbaijan—at a toxic beach along the Caspian sea in Sumgayit—in a region we had designated as one of the “World’s Worst Polluted Places.” Today, … Continue reading

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A Tremendous Loss: Dmitriy Tereshkevich

The Pure Earth family is sad to learn of the sudden death of Dmitriy Tereshkevich, our country director in Kazakhstan. He was just 33. His passing is a shock and a tremendous loss to everyone at Pure Earth worldwide, and to the … Continue reading

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A Mother’s Story: Mongolian “Gold Ninja” Goes Mercury-Free For Her Children

This is Mrs. Mungun (not her real name), a single mother with two children living in Central Mongolia.  When times got tough for her, she became a “gold ninja” to feed her children. About 20% of the rural Mongolian workforce are “gold … Continue reading

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Project Highlights 2015: A String Of Firsts

Over the past year, we have started to finally see a shift connecting the silos that have kept efforts on the environment, health and development in separate disciplines. The catalyst for much of this progress has come from the creation … Continue reading

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A Toxic Beach in Azerbaijan Gets Cleaned Up, Solar Baths Become Safer

Read the story on Medium. This summer, when families return to stake out their spot in the sun along the coast of the Caspian sea in Sumgayit, Azerbaijan, there will be one crucial difference. The beach will no longer be toxic, and … Continue reading

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The Mystery of Mining Waste Dumped In An Armenian School

Beyond Akhtala, the site of our very first cleanup project in Armenia (read more in Armenia’s Toxic 10th-Century Monastery), our team came across various other polluted sites including a school, which apparently had been used as an informal dumping ground by a … Continue reading

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Armenia’s Toxic 10th-Century Monastery (PHOTOS)

The modern world has finally caught up with Akhtala, a historic town with a 10th-century monastery and church in Armenia. Years of mining and metals processing have provided jobs to the community, but at a grave cost.  The grounds of the historic … Continue reading

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