A team representing the citizens of Khongor soum in Darkhan-Uul province and the head of Mongolian National Green Movement, A.Saruul, yesterday accused the Government of concealing the fact that toxic chemicals such as cyanide were found in the soil of Khongor, and of covering up the World Health Organization (WHO) report on the extent of toxicity in the soum. Still births among both humans and animals are even now taking place and skin diseases and other strange complaints are also common, but no reason for this has been formally given so far, they alleged and blamed “a certain official” for masterminding the cover-up. They also charged Mongolians in the WHO, the Government, MP D.Khayankhyarvaa, former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs M.Enkhmandakh and former Vice Minister for Health D.Tuya with connivance in this.
WHO analysts told civil representatives at the soum on Friday that Khongor was not as poisoned with mercury as were Bornuur and Zaamar but there was certainly toxicity there, with chemicals such as arsenic, cadmium and mercury 0.5-24.5 times more than it should be. They also said they had recommended action to reduce the toxic level and protect residents.
The soum team told media that while officials protect their jobs by hiding facts, 60 people have died, many women have had miscarriage, and maybe all residents, from babies to old people, have cancer. They demanded administrative action to save the lives of the 2,300 residents of Khongor soum; invalidate illegal court decisions related to the soum; relocate people to safe areas with pure water and provide proper medical care to all afflicted people.