The Kouris River in Limassol has been turned into an illegal and potentially dangerous dumping ground with local communities in the area accusing the government of standing idle.
The local authorities of the communities the river passes through – Erimi, Episkopi and Kantou – are up in arms over the problem, complaining that people are sneaking to the area in the cover of darkness to dump different types of rubbish including construction debris to and household waste into the dry river bed.
After a visit to the area, Phileleftheros reported seeing piles of rubbish at intervals all along the river’s 10km stretch from the Kouris Dam to the Kouris Delta. Dumped items included everything from plastic containers, to cardboard boxes and care tires.
The paper also spoke to Erimi community council president Panicos Hadjihambis who said, “We have repeatedly cleaned the specific area using our own funds and with no financial support from the Agriculture Ministry. But, some people continue to come in right after us and, through their reckless behaviour, turn it into a rubbish site”.
Hadjihambis said he and the other community leaders had repeatedly complained to the Agriculture Ministry about the problem but state officials had yet to take any action.
“This unacceptable situation cannot go on. The authorities must accept responsibility and take effective measures to protect the area,” he continued.
He said all the authorities should work together to ensure the area was more effectively monitored and anyone caught offending fined. He also said that stricter fines should be imposed that the ones current in force.
Hadjihambis also suggested plans to create a linear park along the river would help remedy the problem by opening up peoples’ eyes to the beauty of the area, while also improving the quality of life of residents in the area.