Environmental Health
2014 – Increased Public Health and Environmental Protection of Farmers with Plots near POPs Hotspots

2014 – Increased Public Health and Environmental Protection of Farmers with Plots near POPs Hotspots

Project duration: 6 months
Financial and other support: OSCE office in Yerevan 
Project objectives:

  • Investigate agricultural plots (soil and grown products) in rural communities on the matter of contamination by pesticides;
  • Contribute to health risk reduction related to pesticide usage by strengthening the capacity of rural communities.

Target villages: 
Odzun and Gargar in Lori marz, Partizak in Aragatsotn marz, Achajur in Tavush marz and Vardenik in Gegharkunik marz. These villages have a range of different agricultural activities starting from potato growing to small family plots for various crops, vegetables and fruit. The important common characteristic of the five villages is proximity to a current or ex-storage of banned and obsolete pesticides. 

The project activities:

  • sampling of water, soil and selected products in the villages and laboratory analysis;
  • survey on predominant practices and knowledge to identify the level of exposure to pesticides and related health and environmental risks;
  • and awareness raising of health and environmental risks of pesticides.

The survey was conducted among the population of Partizak, Achajur, Vardenik, Odzun and Gargar communities (180 people) with the help of a pre-designed questionnaire. AWHHE also conducted monitoring of former pesticide storage areas. Soil sampling was taken from the obsolete pesticide stores, as well of crops grown in the vicinity of these storage sites (a total of 30 samples). To analyze for the content of residues of organochlorine substances, the samples were sent to the Analytical Laboratory of the Waste Research Center SNCO of the Ministry of Nature Protection. Laboratory studies have shown that the samples taken from the former pesticide storage area of Vardenik and its surroundings present the highest risk to human health and the environment among all the samples taken from other storage areas.

Meeting with administration of Achajur village, Tavush marz and sampling 

achajur-village achajur-village2


Odzun village, Lori marz: old pesticide storage building

odzun-village odzun-village2

Gargar village, Lori marz: sampling and awareness raising among farmers

gagar-village gagar-village2

Partizak village, Aragatsotn marz: sampling  and meeting with village mayor

partizak-village partizak-village2


Vardenik village, Gegharkunik marz: sampling next to the old demolished storage of pesticides

vardennik-village3 vardennik-village2