ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH
Environmental experts and scientists have warned that the preparation for the Sochi Olympics could have a profoundly negative impact on Sochi's unique environment, with heavy construction inside the Sochi National Park and a new 48-kilometer combined railway and motor road along the Mzymta River. Although the Russian authorities have said that they sought to mitigate some of these impacts, there are gaps in their efforts. Hundreds of residents have already seen their homes or the areas closely surrounding it irreparably damaged as a result of construction. For example, in the village of Chereshnya, residents now live in partially collapsed homes following landslides triggered by Olympic power lines. In the mountain village of Akhshtyr, residents face their fifth year without a reliable source of drinking water as well as a constant stream of heavy construction truck traffic and dust as a result of the Olympic preparations.
“We all already have chronic bronchitis, from that constant dust. Do you understand? My granddaughter [and I], too. She is nine years old. She is constantly–day and night–breathing that dust. Understand? A child!”
— Viktor Kalinin, whose house is alongside a road used by dump trucks to access two quarries and a construction waste dump used for Olympic construction. The heavy truck traffic creates large amounts of dust.