(Image courtesy of Aiva / Creative Commons / Flickr)
Brentwood School

Opinion: Immense amounts of trash threaten the Drina River

Crystal clear water as far as the eye can see loops around and through magnificent mountains with jagged rock and lush greenery. The sun, just peeking out from the clouds, shines down from the beautiful blue sky and sparkles onto the turquoise tinted water.

If you squint your eyes just enough, you can see the families of colorful fish that are traveling below the surface of the water. This includes the Mladica, a protected species. Some would even call this magical place “a perfect mixture of peace and wildlife.”

This was a typical day in the Drina River. Was.

The Drina River is a famous body of water that travels through Bosnia and Herzegovina. Although the river is still around, it is nowhere near the same as it used to be. Due to irresponsible waste disposal in the Balkans, the Drina river is threatened by huge islands of garbage.

Associated Press reporter, Elder Emric, shed some light on this disastrous issue.

“This is causing an environmental emergency, and is threatening a regional hydro plant,”  Emric said.

When at first an interesting sighting in the river would be a family of fish, or even just the water itself, now it is more common to see an absurd amount of trash, including a washing machine, or even a computer. Furthermore, plastic bottles, wooden planks and rusty barrels are a common sighting.

According to EuroNews, each year 6000 to 8000 cubic meters of waste are taken out of the Drina River. 

This issue has been prominent for quite some time now. A trilateral meeting of the ministries of the Republika Srpska, Serbia and Montenegro was held in Visegrad two years ago, on this issue, yet it seems to still be unresolved.

Furthermore, these islands of waste that are threatening the regional hydro plant have led to speculation that the production of electricity is endangered.

Nedeljko Perisic, director of the Hydroelectric Power Plant, expressed his distress regarding this problem.

“This is a decades-long problem of our company. As the last link in the chain, we are left to fight this problem on our own. Our predictions and findings are not optimistic,” Perisic said. “In the upper part of the Drina River, but also its tributaries, the situation is not good at all. According to our estimates, it is about tens of thousands of cubic meters of waste that we do not know how we will deal with all this on our own.” 

So now here comes the question: What next? How can you help?

Well, in order to incite change, we must spread the word and inform others. An issue like this not only threatens the Balkans, but it concerns the entire ecosystem.

In order to prevent this disaster from worsening, it’s time we all do our part and share this issue with others.