The Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) Antalya Provincial Coordination Board announced that despite the fact that Düden Waterfall and Stream is a Qualified Protected Area, it is of great importance to answer their questions about the covering with foam and the subsequent death of thousands of fish and to identify the sources that cause pollution in the region. He announced that they are always ready to contribute to the works so that the disaster experienced is not repeated and a permanent solution can be found.
The press statement made by TMMOB Antalya Provincial Coordination Board is as follows; “Environmental problems occur when people disrupt the natural environment they live in. Unfortunately, people also harm the environment in order to provide them with better living conditions. In the system we are in, the only area where we get service without paying a fee is our nature. That's why most of us are indebted to him our lives even though we are not aware of it. We can pay this debt by leaving a more livable nature and healthy natural assets to future generations.
Among the damage to the environment, the most affecting human life is the damage to water.
Water… The most important factor in the existence of life and therefore for us. Throughout history, it is the most powerful weapon of civilizations, a reason for war when it comes to. It is indispensable for our metabolism, the source of our life.
Water is life, water is a right, water is not a resource but a natural entity. Water, which holds an important place among our natural assets, is under a vital threat due to mismanagement, overuse, lack of legislation, climate change and pollution. First of all, we want to underline that water is not a resource to be used, but an asset that should be protected. We also know that our existing laws and regulations are not enough to protect the water supply.
Düden, which is one of the important water resources of our Antalya, flows under the ground of Antalya for 10 km and pours from Lara to the Mediterranean, offering a fascinating visual feast. It has become a natural symbol for Antalya. The waterfall is surrounded by rich vegetation. Due to these natural features, Düden Waterfall and Stream was registered as a "natural site-qualified natural protection area" by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization on 03 July 2020.
Düden Stream, which is one of our important water values, has experienced a serious pollution that resulted in thousands of fish deaths these days, when we talk about drought frequently. On January 11, 2021, it was revealed that there was a problem of foaming and odor in the stream bed downstream of the Upper Düden Waterfall, this foaming and odor continued along the stream bed and then fish deaths were observed in the area. Subsequently, polluted water that caused fish deaths in the water reached the sea.
In the statements made by the governorship; It was reported that many enterprises in the region discharged their wastewater to the soil and underground in an uncontrolled manner, 13 enterprises were imposed an administrative fine of 2.901.628,00 TL and the operations of 11 facilities were suspended. It is worth noting that; fines alone are not a sufficient deterrent. These enterprises, which mean nature and therefore human life, need to be moved to the furthest points from water resources and our existing laws and regulations must be overhauled urgently to protect water.
DEAR PRESS MEMBERS,
As you know, our city's population growth rate is above the average of Turkey. Rapid population growth; It brings along housing, infrastructure problems, environmental pollution and uncontrolled industrialization and creates pressures on water resources. The fact that Düden Waterfall and Stream is a Qualified Conservation Area but has to struggle with pollution shows that these pressures are not managed properly.
On our water resources; In order to minimize the negative effects of various pressures such as climate change, population growth, urbanization and industrialization, basin management plans should be implemented in coordination with all institutions and trade associations.
Due to the geological structure of the city, it has a poor tolerance to all kinds of pollution that will be discharged to the ground.
With the sensitivity that Antalya's drinking and utility water needs are met from groundwater, the urbanization process should be managed correctly and regular inspections should be made. It is necessary to establish systems that will instantly detect a possible pollution and monitor water quality.
Although it is watched that Düden Stream is physically returning to normal, the problem is not fully solved. Therefore, we have questions that we expect to be answered;
- Are all unlicensed companies that do not have environmental permits and licenses identified in the region that may affect the Düden Stream?
- Have any audits been made to the companies audited before?
- Are permanent measures taken against any pollution, since Düden Waterfall and Stream are Qualified Natural Protection Areas?
- Will the inspections continue to be carried out regularly?
- Has the root cause of high concentration pollution been identified?
- To what extent has the pollution affected the agricultural areas and are there any researches about possible damages to human health?
- What kind of work will be done to eliminate fish deaths and the damage to the ecosystem?
Answering our questions is of great importance in determining the source and sources that cause pollution in the region.
In order to prevent such a pollution from happening again, it invites the authorities to make a statement about what measures they have taken and as TMMOB Antalya Provincial Coordination Board; As always, we inform the relevant institutions and the public that we are ready to contribute to the work to be carried out today so that this disaster is not repeated and a permanent solution can be found.