Pink Lake Kobeituz is on the verge of environmental catastrophe

Pink Lake Kobeituz is on the verge of environmental catastrophe

Environmentalists are sounding an alarm — Kobeituz, or, as it is widely known, the Pink Lake, is under serious threat. Littering, lighting bonfires and building up installations are the least of the damage that tourists cause to the lake. A more serious harm is that people take natural salt and mud from the pink lake — some tourists leave the place with full buckets.  They are not embarrassed by the fact that after digging in the reservoir, black holes appear in the lake. Environmentalists say that the lake bottom needs at least 15 years to recover from such actions. They say that the salt and mud that Kazakh residents are so eager to take with them despite the prohibitions do not have any special healing properties.

"I would like to state that salt here practically does not differ in any way from the table salt. Consequently, the salt here does not have any healing properties," highlighted Zulfukhar Zholdassov, Chairperson of the Committee for Environmental Regulation and Control of Kazakh Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources.

The existing problem has already been taken up by the relevant ministry. Kazakh Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources sent a special inspection group to the Pink Lake to check the situation there. Experts warn Kazakh residents that now this issue is under control, and those who violate the rules will face a fine. Monitoring groups consisting of volunteers, community representatives and police officers will patrol the lake shore.

"We have arrived at the Lake Kobeituz. A group of specialists from Kazakh Ecology Ministry headed by Chairperson of the Committee for Environmental Regulation and Control Zulfukhar Zholdassov is carrying out the necessary work and measures are already being taken. In addition, ecologists collected water samples for quality and bottom sediment testing," the ministry said.

Ecologists believe that the temporary closure of the lake is not a solution to the problem. After all, such actions have a negative impact on the entire existing ecosystem of the district. Experts are looking for more effective ways to avoid an environmental disaster.

"The assignment of recreational areas to private organizations could be a solution. That is, there must be a certain owner who must organize and take under control of the leisure," Zholdassov said.

The Kobeituz Lake is on the list of unique natural sites. There are only about 10 such pink-colored lakes in the world. The magenta hue of the lake, the reason why tourists come to visit the place, appears only once every couple of years. If residents continue to take the salt and mud from the lake, the beauty of the Kobeituz Lake will vanish for the next several decades, ecologists say. Currently, the lake is closed for visits. There are checkpoints installed at the entrances to the lake. From July 24, the checkpoints will also be installed on other beach areas and lakes of Akmola region to reinforce the quarantine measures. The beaches will be disinfected. The ban will be in effect until the end of the coronavirus lockdown at midnight on August 3.