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Pollution of Begejac channel, Kula, Serbia

The Begejac channel is heavily polluted due to discharge of untreated communal waste waters and makes life impossible for people of the town of Kula.


Kula is a small town situated on the Begejac channel, which is the part of the Danube-Tisa-Danube (DTD) channels system located in the north of Serbia. DTD is highly polluted due to the several decades of discharge of industrial waste waters and it is known as one of the environmental hot spot of Serbia.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Pollution of Begejac channel, Kula, Serbia
Location of conflict:Kula
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Water Management
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Specific commodities:Wastewaters
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Municipal waste waters of Crvenka with 10,000 citizens are daily emitted into the channel Begejac.

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Level of Investment:5,500,000 (construction of sewage system)
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:20,000
Start of the conflict:2006
Company names or state enterprises:JP Vode Vojvodine from Serbia - DTD channel management
Vodoprivredno preduzece DTD-Krivaja from Serbia - Begejac channel management
Relevant government actors:The Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Republic of Serbia; The Provincial Secretariat for Architecture, Spatial Planning and Environmental Protection; The Municipality of Kula; The Municipality of Crvenka
International and Finance InstitutionsEuropean Union (EU) - Investor in “Waste water treatment and sewage collection project Vrbas/Kula”
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Non-formal group from Kula; Vojvodjanska zelena inicijativa:; Ekoloski pokret Vrbasa:
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Infectious diseases, Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsRespiratory diseases, cancer.
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Negotiated alternative solution
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Development of alternatives:Local people demanded resolving the problem of the channel Begejac pollution. They proposed closing down the channel into pipes to prevent the direct contact with the polluted water.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The local water management company has pumped the water from the other channels to dilute the pollution, and has cleaned part of the sediment to speed up the water flow. The constructions of the sewage and the waste water treatment plant are to be finalized in 2017 that together with uncertain finalization of the central waste water treatment plant is expected to resolve the conflict. So far, there is no data on removal of the toxic sediment from the Begejac channel.
Sources and Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Transport do deponije
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Kanal muci stanovnike Kule
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Zapretili da ce zatrpati kanal
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Peticija za čišćenje Velikog bačkog kanala
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Stop smradu iz Begejca!
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Pocinje ciscenje Begejca
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Kako ublažiti zagađenje Begejca
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Ispitivanje uticaja otpadnih voda industrijskog basena Crvenka-Kula-Vrbas na Veliki Backi kanal
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Kula: Nove cene komunalija bez najave
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Od Begejca I pacovi pobegli
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Rak kosi svaku drugu kucu
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Project details Veliki Backi Kanala-Waste Water Treatment and Sewage Collection Project Vrbas/Kula
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Kula rešava problem fekalnih otpadnih voda u Begejcu
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Počeli radovi na kanalizaciji u Kuli
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Počeli radovi na kanalizaciji u Kuli
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Završena izgradnja magistralnog kolektora za otpadne vode između Kule i Vrbasa
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Documentary movie by NGO Vojvodjanska zelena inicijativa
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Channel ‘Begejac’ picture library
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Begejac smrdljivi
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Other documents

Stinky Begejac-Smrdljivi Begejac Discharge of waste water into the Begejac channel
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Protest in Kula in 2012 Local community protests against pollution of the Begejac channel
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Meta information
Contributor:Jovanka Spiric, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, vankajo(at)
Last update23/05/2016
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