Kosovska Mitrovica, 26 May 2008 – By setting-up the Roma camps in 1999 in North Mitrovica, in a territory with very high concentration of lead, where Roma still live, UNMIK is responsible for having Roma exposed to a very high lead contamination. World Health Organization (WHO) did testing of the children’s blood lead levels, and the results shown that the Roma camp Osterode is save from lead, but the results of those testing were never shown to public, not even to the parents of the tested children.

Roma representatives asked the local health institutions in Mitrovica to check children’s blood levels in the roma camps in Mitrovica. The testing were conducted on April 2008, in camp Ostorode 51 children were tested and in Cesmin Lug camp, where 53 children were tested. Results of those testing point on children’s high lead contamination still, although there were big efforts invested on decreasing or curing the lead since 2006. Even after actions such as relocating Roma from the camps Kablare, Zitkovac and Cesmi Lug to the camp Vojni Remont/Ostorode as a saver camps.

These recent results point that all these previous actions and programs implemented with intentions of decreasing lead contamination did not bring much results. UNMIK works, still with big peremptoriness, on relocating Roma from Cesmin Lug to the camp Ostorode as a “safer” camp. On the other side, all what the Roma want is, no more relocations from camp to an other more poisoned camp (Ostorode) but final and safe housing for their families. If lead level in blood reaches over 10 dl/ml this situation is consider as risky.  

Testing of the children from Ostorode:

  • From 51 tested children 13 of them are very highly contaminated and the maximum that the equipment could measure and it is marked as “hi”.
  • 14 children have more than 40 dl/ml
  • And only one child have 7,2

Cesmin Lug camp:

  • From 53 children seven are very high contaminated maximum the equipment can measure in results marked as “hi”
  • 14 children have over 40
  • And only one child have  6,1

 

Skender Gusani and Dai