Author: Desislava Georgieva
Published On: 12/10/2022

100 years after the digging of a canal connecting the Gebedjan (Beloslav) lake with the Varna lake, the Public Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development raised a discussion about the disastrous industrial and domestic pollution of the lakes in the last decades. A meeting with the public was held at the community centre “Consciousness 1926” in Beloslav, during which the premiere of the film “The Mirror” took place. The aim of the film is to raise awareness about environmental problems and to change the attitude that pollution of the lake and the Black Sea coast is a problem that only institutions should solve.

Until the final dredging of the canal, Lake Beloslav was freshwater and full of freshwater fish and crayfish, subject to intensive fishing, and the Gebedjan crayfish were famous. Now that there are more and more pollutants in the lake, mostly from the tailings of Solovay Sodi and from the Provadia River, the responsibility for preserving the reed beds as a natural filter for the lakes is huge.

The municipality of Beloslav owns 530 acres of reed land, which keeps the dangerous poisons coming from the tailings and from the Provadija River out of the Beloslav and Varna lakes. “I very much believe that the municipality will never sell these arrays so that they will be the natural guardian of the lake’s cleanliness,” Danko Kalchev, owner of the Glass Museum and the Slava Submarine Museum in Beloslav, said during the discussion. He told the audience about his meeting with the Indians from Lake Titicaca 5 years ago, who, while touring Varna and Beloslav lakes, said: ‘Keep the reeds – they are the lungs of your lakes. The more reeds you have, the nicer and cleaner your lake will be.”

For several years, schools of small fish have been seen in the waters around the Submarine Glory Museum. Danko Kalchev and his fellow citizens hope this is a sign of the resurgence of animal life in the lake. One of the reasons for this is the influx of oxygen after the extension of the sea-lake channel for economic purposes. During this process, the mercury residues layered over the years in the silt come up from the bottom of Lake Beloslav. Unfortunately, one part of it goes into the Nalbanka area, another flows into the Black Sea. The locals hope that the popchas, which are one of the indicators of the improvement of the overall ecological condition of the lake, will soon return to it. And that with joint efforts from now on we will create only protected areas in Varna and Beloslav lakes. The hope for this is in the children of Beloslav, some of whom attended the meeting, together with their teachers. At the end of the discussion, one of the youngsters told the audience that he wanted to plant reeds.

The meeting with the citizens and the documentary film “The Mirror” are realized under the project “Varna Lake – a mirror of the ecological state of the region”, thanks to the largest socially engaged initiative of Lidl Bulgaria “You and Lidl for a better life”, in partnership with the Foundation “Workshop for Civic Initiatives” and the Bulgarian Donors Forum. The project aims to shake up civic passivity and trigger civic participation in solving the problems of local communities related to the pollution of the lake and the sea.

The documentary “The Mirror” with the authors journalists Viliana Ivanova and Daniela Georgieva can be watched on the YouTube channel “The Mirror Ecology of Varna Lake”.

This project was made possible thanks to Lidl Bulgaria’s largest socially responsible initiative “You and Lidl for a Better Life”, in partnership with the “Workshop for Civic Initiatives” Foundation and the Bulgarian Donor Forum.