Latvia: Improving the quality of water and removing waste

Local news, 17.03.2011

A project agreement on infrastructure with Latvia was signed on 17 March 2011. Switzerland contributes 13 million Swiss francs to improve the quality of water and help clean up the heavily polluted industrial port of Riga.

Der Industriehafen der lettischen Haupstadt Riga
The industrial port of the Latvian capital city Riga. © SECO

The oil industry in the Sarkandaugava region of Latvia has caused major environmental damage and exposed the population to serious health risks. Since 1872 the Sarkandaugava region has been used for the transport and storage of petroleum products. The Swiss contribution will be used to fund a project to decontaminate the soil and water, and to remove dangerous waste matter. This should also halt the pollution of the River Daugava which flows into the Baltic Sea.

The project agreement was signed by Gabriela Nützi Sulpizio, Swiss Ambassadress to Latvia and Aleksandrs Antonovs, Head of the National Coordination Unit and Deputy State Secretary at the Latvian Ministry of Finance.

Chemical tests are used to verify the age of the petroleum. © SECO