Air Monitoring in Tuzla report

Air Monitoring in Tuzla report
The Citizens of Tuzla Have Rights to Know! (1st of January – 1st of July 2006)

The Center for Ecology and Energy (CEETZ) is a professional non-governmental organization that encourages sustainable development in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the field of environmental protection, by utilizing a combination of education, community work and implementation of projects.
CEETZ was established in September 2001.

Five air quality monitoring stations are installed all around the city of Tuzla. Citizens of Tuzla receive information about air quality once a month through the media. The information is not clear for normal citizens, and in cases of critical values of air pollutants there are no special announcements or measures undertaken for health advisories.

We would like to achieve clearer and timelier information about air quality for the citizens through this project.

THE PROJECT ACTIVITIES

Establishment and work of the working group

On the 26th of January 2006, a meeting was held with a representative of the Public Health Institute TK and they agreed to cooperate on the project.

On the 30th of January 2006, a meeting was held in the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University of Tuzla by professor Midhat Suljkanović, and he showed interest for participation in the Working Group.

On the 1st of February 2006, a report was sent to the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection TK with the goal of presenting the project and possibilities for cooperation in the Working Group framework.

On the 1st of February 2006, a letter was circulated to the offices of Tuzla Municipality, various media houses, the Tuzla power plant and among the NGO sector

On the 9th of February 2006, a report was sent to the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection TK with the goal of obtaining access to reports on the air quality monitoring for 2004 and to regulations about air quality monitoring, which were delivered by the representative of this Ministry at the first meeting of the Working Group.

On the 10th of February 2006, the first work meeting was held of the Working Group for air monitoring within the framework of the project “The citizens of Tuzla have rights to know!”. More information about this meeting can be seen in the minutes from this meeting.

On the 14th of February 2006, a report was sent to the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection TK for delivering daily values of pollutants in the air.

On the 16th of February 2006, a meeting was held with representatives of OSCE and they considered participation in the project. More information about this can be seen in the ANNEX.

On the 23rd of February 2006, the second meeting was held of the Working Group for air monitoring, where a new plan for the intervention measures was considered and possible methods of giving air quality information to the public.

On the 6th of March 2006, a meeting was held with representatives of the Public-Health Institute where we considered means of obtaining information about air quality and transforming that information into a way clear for public.

On the 10th of April 2006, the meeting of the Working Group was held with aim of preparation materials for the meeting in the Ministry.

On the 12th of April 2006, letter was sent to the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection TK which was connected with informing of public.

On the 10th of May 2006, we got answer letter from the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection and we planed the meeting at the 18th of May 2006.

On the 18th of May 2006, was elaborated the new model of public informing at the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection TK (more at the minutes from the meeting).

On the 5th of Jun 2006, meeting was held at the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection TK where we defined some changes which will bring better and more clearly informing of public.

On the 30th of Jun the meeting of the Working Group was held with aim of preparation materials for the leaflet about the project. We also discussed about effects of the projects and decided to send one letter to ministry with our suggestions.

Information collection about air quality monitoring and the means of informing citizens

Contact with the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection TK

On the 3rd of February 2006 a meeting was held with Mrs. Jadranka Miraščić, who is a minister in the Tuzla Canton government. We presented the project “The citizens of Tuzla have rights to know!” and agreed that the Ministry should make a proposal for a representative for the Working Group. More information can be seen in the minutes of the meeting in the ANNEX paragraph about „information collection“.

Contact with the media

Interviews were recently finished with the public media of Tuzla Municipality, in accordance with the project.
It can be said that the media which were interviewed are the most popular in this area are: Tuzla Canton TV, TV Tuzla, Slon Radio, Radio Soli and Vesta Radio. We asked the responsibility people from each the following questions:

  1. Did they receive information about air quality from the authorities?
  2. When did they first receive this information, and how often?
  3. Did they present that information and when?
  4. Are they obligated by law to present the air quality information?
  5. For which period of air quality measurements did they receive information?
  6. Did they receive that information temporarily, and if not how long did they not receive the information?
  7. If they were to obtain air quality information, would they present it?
The answers from the response peoples were as follows:

Tuzla Canton TV has received air quality information since 2003, when the monitoring itself started. They received that information every working day, but not on weekends. They announced the air quality information after the main daily news at 19 o’clock for information from the previous day. TVTK doesn’t have any legal obligation to present the air quality information, and they said that they are the only television which announces air quality information. The station is planning to inform citizens about air quality in the future, once they receive the data from the authorities.
If the authorities begin to send up-to-date daily information, they will find a proper time for informing citizens about that day’s air quality for the areas where the stations take measurements.

TV Tuzla didn’t receive any information from the authorities for air quality information, and the present situation remains unchanged for the moment. This station also doesn’t have any legal obligation to announce air quality information, but they would like to do so, if they received information from the authorities.

Slon radio receives data from the authorities for the monitoring, but they don’t announce this data, because it doesn’t make any sense to them to provide information from the previous day: “Why should we present something already finished and done with? We don’t have any use for that.” This station doesn’t have any legal obligation to present information, like all other media outlets.

Radio Soli has received and presented the air quality data from the beginning, presenting it in the afternoon every day when they received the information. This information was also from the previous day. They stopped receiving the information from the authorities 5-6 months ago, and thus their presentation of the information stopped at the same time. This radio station doesn’t have any legal obligation to present the information, but they would present it if they received it again.

Vesta radio received the air quality information from 2004 until August 2005. This information was presented at different times, depending on when they received the information. It was sometimes presented in the early morning, but not always. Temporarily they don’t present information about air pollution, but they are also interested in doing so in the future.

From all of these interviews we can make the conclusion that the media has no legal obligation present air quality results, but they are prepared to do so. The most important thing is, that all the media, which received and are receiving this information, obtained it a day later than it was measured. For some this was the most important reason for no longer presenting the air pollution information, because the results lack relevance when it comes a day after the fact.

Searching on the internet 

A large quantity of information about the air quality monitoring in the region was collected by searching on the internet. There are many reports about Croatian and Slovenian monitoring. We must emphasize that we have analyzed much when we compared the reports from the Ministry of Tuzla Canton to those from other countries in the region (Croatia and Slovenia). We can clearly see that monitoring is at a high level in those countries and that there are also the laws there which are enforced.
Monitoring done by our neighbors is very similar to our own, when considering the pollutants and their concentrations that are measured. It is very difficult to find some information about air monitoring in the cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the moment, there exists no concrete monitoring of air quality in others cities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, except by unenforced laws.

Preparation and survey for citizens of Tuzla

Preparation of the questionnaire 

On the 3rd of February 2006, the coordinator of the project created a first draft of the questionnaire and sent that to the CEETZ team for consideration and suggestions.
On the 8th of February 2006, another draft of the questionnaire was sent to the REC offices.
On the 9th of February 2006, the questionnaire was finished, integrating REC suggestions.
On the 10th of February 2006, the questionnaire was presented and finished at the Working Group meeting.
On the 10th of February 2006, the questionnaire started distribution.
The team and 4 volunteers of CEETZ took part in the distribution of the questionnaire.

Results of the questionnaire 

The questionnaire was distributed to 600 people in Tuzla Municipality to random people (meaning not to a targeted group). The citizens who answered the questionnaire had different ages and occupations.

Preparation and distribution of promotional material 

The flyer about laws for free access to information was made in February.
On the 10th of March 2006, 1000 flyers about laws for free access to information were printed.

Distribution of the flyer will occur through street campaigns, seminars and by distribution to mailboxes. The flyer about the air quality categories will not printed, because the air quality categories were changed and the new flyers will be in accordance with the new system of informing about air quality.

On the 16th of May 2006, were printed 2160 leaflets at the subject “The pollutants in the air and health risks”. The material were distributed at the seminar, street campaigns, regional meeting in the Budva. The pattern of the leaflet can be finding in the annex.

On the 27th of Jun 2006 were printed 1000 leaflets about the results of the project.

Education through workshops

On the 23 rd of February 2006, the first workshop was held with the subject “Pollutants made by burning fossil fuels in power plants, personal furnaces and in traffic”. 16 participants took part in the workshop and the leader of the workshop was Sabit Begić, a professor from the department of chemical engineering.

On the 7th of March 2006, the second workshop was held with the subject “What don’t they measure in the air, what should they measure?” 14 participants took part in the workshop and the leader of the workshop was professor Midhat Suljkanović.

On the 25th of April 2006 daily workshop was held at the subject „Access to environmental information”. This workshop was organized by representatives of REC which had a big influence at the good results of the workshop. 21 participants took part in the workshop from the government and nongovernmental organizations and others.

On the 16th of May 2006, the fourth workshop was held at the subject “The pollutants in the air and health risks”. 16 participants took part in the seminar and the leader of the seminar was Nihada Ahmetović.

On the 17th of May 2006 workshop was held for the fifth and sixth classes of Elementary school Mejdan which took part at the street campaigns within the framework of “The citizens of Tuzla have rights to know! “ project. The subject of the workshop was pollution and air monitoring. 57 pupils and 1 teacher took part and the leader of the workshop was Ajša Klopić.

On the 8th of June 2006 the sixth workshop was held for the pupils of the Elementary school Mramor which took part at the street campaigns too. 27 pupils and 1 teacher took part and the leader of the workshop was Ajša Klopić.

On the 14th of June 2006 the workshop was held for the seventh class of the Elementary school Mejdan which took part at the street campaigns too. 24 pupils and 1 teacher took part and the leader of the workshop was Ajša Klopić.

Street campaigns

The preparation of the posters for street campaigns was started in the second half of February. Cooperation with a potential school to take part in the campaigns was established, and their teacher took part in education, within the framework of the project.

On the 28th of February 2006, a meeting was held with representatives of the Radio Station Kameleon, which offered five sites for billboards free of charge. We agreed that the campaign will include the production and presentation of jingles and programs. One jingle was prepared.

On the 15th of March 2006, 5 billboards were printed so that they would accompany the radio campaign; they will gradually be put up in publicly-frequented places of the city at staggered intervals, so that at least one will be up at any given moment throughout the campaign.

On the 30th of March 2006, T-shirts were purchased and will be distributed to participations at the street campaign.

On the 7th of April the first street campaign was held and 23 persons and representatives of CEETZ (employers and volunteers), pupils and teacher from elementary school “Mejdan” took part at campaign.
We dressed the same T-shorts and we walked legally through the center of Tuzla with transparent and we made brakes at the frequent places to deliver flyers about Laws for free access to information. This happening was made different comments by citizens but one middle age man was direct and said to as “That is grate children!”
The campaign has been of great interest to the media (4 radio interview and 1 TV interview).

On the 21st of April 2006 the second street campaign was held within the framework of this project on the Day of Planet Earth. 29 participants took part: staff, volunteers of CEETZ and the pupils from the Elementary school “Jala”, “Mejdan” and “Slavinovići”. The flayers about air pollutants were distributed at the subject air pollution. Campaign was support by the media (2 radios and 1 TV interview).

On the 5th of June 2006 the third street campaign was held on the Environment Protection Day. 20 participants took part: staff, volunteers of CEETZ, pupils of the Elementary school Jala, representatives of the NGOs, Eko Zeleni Tuzla, Referent Group and Vesta. We tried to make some kind of pressure on the power because this is a election year and politics party should put this environmental problems in their policies programs. The campaign appointed on the air pollution in the Tuzla and better informing of the citizens too.

Continuous media campaign

From the beginning this project had made the big interested at the media. Every year in the same time (autumn- spring) we had the same story about air pollution but without concrete steps. Even the information about our campaign didn’t be forward to media it was sounded like the bomb and we were the chance for presentation of the project in the very short time, from state until local Radio and TV stations.

22nd of January 2006: news report on the RTV TK daily news, Džemila Agić
26th of January 2006: project presentation during the broadcast of Radio Slon’s „Agreement or Disagreement”, Sabina Jukan
30th of January 2006: article in the national daily newspaper “Oslobođenje”
30th of January 2006: web article “Ecologists don’t believe the authorities” was presented on www.tuzlarije.net
31st of January 2006: news report on the Radio Tuzla daily news, Sabina Jukan
1st of February 2006: presentation of the project in the broadcast “Black and White” TV Slon extra, Sabina Jukan
1st of February 2006: news report in the broadcast “Subject of the day” BM Radio, Sabina Jukan
6th of February 2006: presentation in the broadcast “Eco Eye” on Vesta radio, Sabina Jukan
6th of February 2006: news report on Radio Gračanica, Sabina Jukan
7th of February 2006: presentation of the project in the morning broadcast of RTV TK, Sabina Jukan
7th of February 2006: guest on the Radio TK, Sabina Jukan
7th of February 2006: guest on the Tuzla Radio program „Tuzla in the mirror“, Sabina Jukan
10th of February 2006: statement for Radio Kameleon about the first meeting of the Working Group
10th of February 2006: statement for TV Tuzla, Džemila Agić
10th of February 2006: Radio Tuzla, Dzemila Agić
10th of February 2006: broadcast about air pollution with professor Begić in Vesta Radio
13th of February 2006: project presentation on the federal TV morning program, Džemila Agić
21st of February 2006: web article on www.ceetz.org
22nd of February 2006: web article on www.ekomrezabih.net
3 rd of March 2006: presentation of the project activities on TV Tuzla, Sabina Jukan
9th of March 2006: guest in the morning program of Radio TK and TV TK, presentation of the activities, Sabina Jukan
9th of March 2006: web article „What the Tuzla citizens are breathing” on www.tuzlarije.net
10th of March 2006: project presentation for Radio “Old Town” from Sarajevo
31st of March 2006: guest in the broadcast “Sveznadar” of federal TV
7th of March 2006 statement about questionnaire at the Kameleon Radio, Sabina
7th of March 2006 interview for the Soli Radio, Sabina
7th of March 2006 interview for the RTV TK, Sabina
7th of March 2006 interview for Vesta Radio, Sabina
7th of March 2006 statement for the Tuzla Radio,Sabina
13th of April 2006: web article about results of the questionnaire at the two web pages www.ceetz.org and www.ekomrezabih.net
21st of April 2006 statement for the Radio Tuzla, Ajša
21st of April 2006 statement for the Radio Vesta, Ajša
21st of April 2006 statement for the RTV TK , Ajša
3rd of May 2006: broadcast about project activities radio Soli, Sabina
12th of May 2006: web article about REC support at the third workshop within the project framework www.ceetz.org and www.ekomrezabih.net
15th of May 2006: web article about street campaign at the www.ceetz.org and www.ekomrezabih.net
5th of May 2006: promotion of the campaign within the broadcast “Žive slike ljeta” at the RTV TK, Sabina
April-May- June radio jingle at the Kameleon radio.

Eevaluation of the efficiency and results achieved 

Results of the project are satisfied in relation to those planned:
Cooperation was made with Tuzla Municipality, the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection TK, the Public-Health institute, University of Tuzla, OSCE’s field office in Tuzla, the elementary schools “Mejdan”, “Pasci”, “Jala” and “Mramor” the media, and NGO-s through the work of the Working Group and at the participation at the street campaigns.

Four meetings of the Working Group for air monitoring were held and they showed that people can find time within their normal daily obligations to discuss important information like air quality in Tuzla and its emphasis on the health. All of the participants gave their best and were prepared to work in the Working Group, because only together can we solve the problem.

The results of our work and pressure are shown in the fact that daily reports about air quality on the web page of the TK government (www.vladatk.kim.ba) has changed: formerly they issued monthly reports, but now they do so daily; and though the information is still only from the previous day, we can say that it is a significant and positive shift.

The meetings of the Working group and the Ministry of Urban Planning and Environmental Protection TK are finished with the deal about better reporting wide groups of peoples. The Working group proposed AQI system of presentation results connected with the air monitoring and making TV bulletin too. The Ministry was decided to keep the old form of reporting but with colors for the specific categories of air pollution because it is clearly to citizens. It is necessary a long time period and very expensive equipment for the making of TV bulletin, sad the Minister.
The ministry prepared a statement about taking more active measures for air quality care (for example measuring gases from traffic).
We re-initiated Operative office meetings, which are responsible for dealing with extraordinary situations.
The ministry supports the idea of expanding the monitoring capabilities of the stations and obtaining more to include aromatic-hydrocarbons
In the neighboring municipality of Lukavac, they discussed the same topics as in our project at a meeting with a very familiar-sounding name (“Lukavac has a right to know”).
The representatives of the Working group gave their part to project through the promotion of project activities. The representative of Public Health Institute (the only one representative from the Federation BiH) Mrs. Ahmetović presented our work at the summit “The first science conference with international presence- air and water protection 20 and 21 of April 2006. It was organize by Institute of protection, ecology and informatics Banja Luka. She was presented our aims and campaign for the better informing of citizens at the state level. Miss Mujezinović from the Radio Kameleon approved to get free spaces for the billboards which had a big influence at the peoples and Miss Delić sent us TV team from the cantonal TV which reported all important activities at the project.

The questionnaire showed that 76% of the examined individuals know that air quality monitoring exists, but more then half don’t understand the information about air quality.
98% of examined individuals have the opinion that public presentation of the results is necessary and they prefer to receive it by radio and TV.

68% of individuals don’t know about laws for free access to information, and we can conclude that 73% of individuals never looked for such information; among those individuals who did look for such information, 83% were unsatisfied with it.
83% of the examined citizens don’t feel secure and protected in Tuzla regarding air pollution.

The seven workshops took the part.
The first and second workshops were held by eminent experts from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Tuzla. Conclusions from the workshops were that it is necessary to have better air monitoring and that the monitoring should be expanded to include proper measurements of carcinogenic pollutants.
The third workshop was supported by REC and participants had the opportunity to learn something new from our laws.

The fourth workshop was the most interested for the peoples because health are very important to all. The leaflets made for this workshop were distributed at the street campaigns and the big interested of public was the main effect of this campaigns.
The ministry was concluded that TV bulletin is long term process and project team was decided to use money from that purpose at the school education because the schools showed a big interest. And three workshops were held in the schools which took part at the street campaign and work in the Working group.

In framework of this project 178 participants took part at the educational workshops and 108 was children.

Presented jingle made opportunity for presentation this campaign to citizens.
Billboards in the city have a clear message understandable to citizens, and that is provocative enough that they will wish to look for information about the air pollution campaign.

From the beginning this project has been of great interest to the media. The previous media results can be summarized as follows:

Problems during the project implementation

The problems in the project are connected with the street campaigns and information about air quality monitoring. Because the information was presented monthly, we didn’t have the possibility to follow air pollutant on a daily basis, and we couldn’t organize street campaigns when values cross critical limits.

When the Ministry began presenting daily results we saw another problem: information for a three-day period were presented on Mondays (for Friday, Saturday and Sunday together) and the analysis diagram showed that pollutants often increase on weekends, because the inspections don’t function on the weekend and the industrial sector seems to take advantage of that. Additionally, the most important pollutants (SO2, NO2 and PM) aren’t even measured for this time of year, because of some technical problems with the stations.
One of the problems was that the Ministry sent us very slow answers of our letters and that made some activities slow.

Tuzla, 7th of July 2006                                       Project leader Sabina Jukan, B.S. Eng.Tech.