Tajikistan (Beshkent): Obsolete Pesticides Cleanup
Tajik Environmental Protection Committee, local administrators.
Beshkent is located in the Khatlon Region, the most densely populated part of the Republic of Tajikistan. The cleanup of contaminated areas in Beshkent (along with sites in Sherobod and Sangoba) was completed under the supervision of the Committee of Environmental Protection of Tajikistan in January and February 2020
The remediation team removed 139 metric tons of pesticides and 546 metric tons of contaminated soil in Beshkent. The pesticides and contaminated soil were repackaged and transported to a specially designated hazardous waste facility in Vaksh, Tajikistan.
The main sources of contamination at the site were the remains of a former pesticide storage building and a pile of soil and pesticides situated by the road. There are houses right next to this site. The climate is dry and powdered pesticides mix with dust carried by the wind. Pesticides vaporize when the temperatures of outside air are high, especially in the summer. This causes the issue of strong smell and breathing problems for people living nearby. Local children were especially exposed to breathing the vapors and inhaling dust when playing outside.
It is expected that local administration will plant juniper trees on the cleaned up site and locate a small park there.