The citizens of Sarajevo have been facing the issue of air pollution for years now. Experts believe that it is obvious that the trend of pollution will be continued this year, and the biggest consequences will certainly affect the health of citizens.
The heating season has started in Sarajevo. Due to the numerous households that heat with solid fuels – coal and wood, this year again the question is rightly asked – will Sarajevo be one of the most polluted cities in the world this winter as well?
Cantonal authorities distributed subsidies to help citizens switch from solid fuels to environmentally friendly ones as soon as possible. About two and a half thousand citizens applied for subsidy projects on two occasions.
“Now we have the opportunity, with the help of the Kingdom of Sweden, to get additional funds, and somewhere around 500 hundred applicants will be covered. It means that a total of (so far) around 600 applicants will replace the furnace,” statedEnver Hadziahmetovic, Minister of Physical Planning and Environmental Protection of Canton Sarajevo (CS).
Anes Podic, from the Association of Citizens “Eco Action” thinks that the cantonal authorities are not doing enough and that there are still no specific steps to solve this problem: “Only this year it is a slightly larger amount since Sweden donated a few million BAM. Otherwise, it is a matter of several hundred thousand where a few dozen or maybe a few hundred households are helped – we will solve the situation at that pace only in 100 years.”
“Polluted air affects all population groups – from the youngest to the oldest. The youngest population is most endangered, and then there are people with chronic diseases, people with asthma, people with chronic bronchitis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases,” said Mahir Tokic, a pulmonologist.
Apart from home fireplaces, other factors affect the decades-long problem of pollution – from those that cannot be influenced, such as the geographical location of the city, to factors caused by human activities, such as traffic and the construction of tall buildings.