Following several years of accusations by the NGO “Arsena” concerning contaminated drinking water in Gevegeleija, the Municipality of Gevgelija has just announced a tendering process for the construction of a new water supply system for the city.

“Meta” attempted to contact Mayor Ivan Frangov on the telephone so he that he could explain to us the reasons regarding the construction of new water wells when, according to his previous statements, everything is fine with the existing ones, however, he did not answer or respond to our phone calls.

In a notice published on the Municipality’s website, its states that the new water supply system will be constructed with a loan from the World Bank and a grant from IPA- Program.

The project plans to build two new wells near the River Vardar, a new pipeline, and reservoir on Mrzenski hill.

The estimated cost of the new water supply system amounts to 105,258,839 denars, of which 70,738,500 denars are provided by the World Bank, and 260,000 euros will be provided via a grant from the EU IPA funds.

Bids from interested companies should be submitted by October 4, 2016.

The construction of a new water supply system in Gevgelija comes after many years of criticism from non-governmental organizations claiming that the drinking water in Gevgelija contains high levels of arsenic.

The civil initiative “Arsena” in July of this year published their analysis of the water samples from Gevgelija, which showed the presence of large amounts of arsenic, and the chemical element, vanadium.

“Only a month ago the concentration of arsenic was 21.3 micrograms per liter of water, which is now 19.7 micrograms, which is still 97 % higher than the prescribed health standards for drinking water”, stated “Arsena” then.

The Mayor of Gevgelija claims that both “Soros and Arsena” are deliberately making these accusations in an attempt to destroy the reputation of the Municipality.