In February 2000 the dam of the Aurul gold mine at Baia Mare, Romania broke. 100 000m3 of cyanide polluted water was washed into little creeks and from there to the Somes, Lepos, Tisza and Danube rivers. The poisonous water killed fish, birds and aquatic vegetation in the upper stream of the river. At the same time the two main sources of livelihood in these regions, fishery and tourism, were destroyed.
The Tisza River is the second longest river in Hungary and is considered to be its most beautiful. It is often called Hungary's heart and soul.
The most polluted area is located in Hungary's poorest region, where most of the people have earned their living from the river. The recovery of the river's ecosystem will take years and meanwhile these people are forced to look elsewhere to earn their living.
The communications manager of Nokia Hungary, Anna Simai, tells how the news touched Nokia's employees there. On the employees' initiative, Nokia decided to participate in support of acquiring new water monitoring equipment for the river. The results of the monitoring will be published on a regular basis to inform the people when it is again safe to eat fish from the river and return to the area for holidays.
"There has been a lot of positive feedback from our employees. Also the Hungarian government has recognized Nokia's contribution," says Anna. "Many other companies have followed Nokia's example and have participated in efforts to help the river recover."