GB No. 3, winter 1990/91


Głuchołazy is the town situated in the valley in the Opawa mountains. Those mountains are very important for the tourist and health reasons. Before the II World War, when those territories belonged to Germany, the town was a typical health resort, with boarding-houses and sanatoria, one of the most beautiful swimming pools in Europe and wonderful park. After the war the communists started the industrial development, what ruined the environment and the town itself. The health resort became the distant memory; with crumbling sanatoria devastated park and swimming pool. The river which flows across the town is more a sewage than a river.

Recently some steps were taken toward regaining the status of health resort; which would be connected with the environmentally safe industry and high fines for pollution. Those efforts, made by the Municipal Council, led to the establishment of Opawa Scenery Reserve.

Suddenly, in spring 1989 the press released the notice about establishment of the quarry of the brown coal in Łączki near Głuchołazy. The quarry sponsored by the same Municipal Council. The investment is dangerous not only because of the esthetic reasons but also for the ecologic balance in this territory. The quarry, 35 m deep, would cause the disappearance of the ground waters in the neighbouring villages. The planned production of patent fuel and heating with brown coal requires burning 4,5 times more coal). The inhabitants are also anxious about of the fact that "Poltegor" which is the designer of the quarry will be one of the shareholders what confirms, that the environmental effects of the enterprise are not taken into account. It is worth to stress that the decision about the quarry was made by the Municipal Council without any consultation with the inhabitants.

The first person to bring up the whole problem was senator who on the parliamentary session, broadcasted by TV on July 30 1989, accused the future company and indirectly the Municipal Council, of the attempt to make money on the unfair business, and to ruin the environment.

Głuchołazy have status of the health-resort. "The town is industrialized and what it really lacks is the tourist infrastructure i.e. hotels, camping sites etc. "wrote the local paper "Echo Głuchołaz" no. 1/89.

In August the quarry affair was considered by the Ecological Committee of the Town Committee of Citizens "Solidarność", in Głuchołazy; but it limited itself to the "Appeal to the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages".

In September the Youth Group "Solidarność" and "Liberty and Peace" (WiP) raised the question once more. The demonstration was announced and it took place on Sept. 18 in front of the Municipal Council in Głuchołazy. It was preceded by leaflets and posters placed all over the town.

In this demonstration 400 - 500 persons took part but no official from the Municipal Council was present. There was the team from the Polish Radio and they caused that whole affair once more was famous all over the country. During the meeting the signatu- res were gathered under the petition to stop the quarry - about 1000 people signed.

In January we read in the "Echo Głuchołaz", the paper which once supported the quarry, that "there will be no quarry in Łączki".

The protests of the inhabitants, the speech of senator Góralczyk the efforts of the Town Committee of Citizens in Głuchołazy have brought the results. The experiment was done once more and it turned out that the coal is not good to burn and the resources are much smaller than it was previously estimated. "So the exploitation is risky from the economic point of view..." The last sentence is good summary of the whole affair. But the question should be asked, what would happen if...

Paweł Szymkowicz
ZB no. 3(9)/90

GB No. 3, winter 1990/91 | Contents