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Oued Laya/Naggar Landfill. Governorate of Sousse

    This landfill was built in 2008 over an area of about 100 hectares. It is located in the middle thousands of hectares of fertile farmland and olive groves. Since its construction, this landfill has been a major source of nuisance for residents of surrounding areas. Its impacts are summarized as follows:

    • The bad odors from the landfill and the leachate ponds are felt in a radius of more than 3 km from the landfill. These nuisances mainly affect residents of Oued Laya and Naggar population of over 3,000 people.
    • There leachate in the landfill is poorly stored / managed and as a result, huge amounts have infiltrated the underground and contaminated the groundwater within a radius of 1 km from the landfill. As a result, several wells have been contaminated by leachate. Laboratory tests indicate high levels of nitrates, which lead us to believe that this contamination is caused by leachate. Government officials dispute this conclusion despite the fact there is no other potential source of pollution in the area.
    • As a result of the contamination several wells in the area have been commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health since nitrate concentration exceeded all tolerable limits. Since this area is remote, farmers in the region do not have access to drinking water. Laboratory tests have shown that some water is not even suitable for irrigation. According to our estimates, the groundwater is contaminated in a radius of about 1 km downstream of the landfill.
    • Sheep in the area surrounding the landfill show signs of illnesses characterized by the appearance of mucous liquid around the mouth nostrils. It is not clear whether this disease is related to the activities of the landfill. In the near future, will take the necessary steps to see whether there is a linkage.
    • Since the revolution of 17 December 2010/14 January 2011 took place, residents of Oued Laya / Naggar multiplied sit-ins to demand improvements to be made to the landfill infrastructure. Several meetings were held with local representatives of the governorate of Sousse (Deputy Governor...) and the Ministry of Environment. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed. It includes specific details on the improvements to be undertaken and they are essentially:

    • The minimization of the open front surface.
    • The establishment of a better strategy for waste management
    • The establishment of a better strategy for leachate management
    • The coverage of leachate ponds

    • Despite all the efforts made, improvements have been very slow.