Duda says Odra crisis likely caused by human activity and nature

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has said the environmental disaster on the River Odra which killed thousands of fish was probably the result of both an act of nature and human activity.

Despite extensive testing, scientists have been unable to find, so far, significant evidence of toxic substances that may have been introduced to the river.

Last week Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister said that the situation on the River Odra was a natural event and that "there were no large discharges of chemical substances, neither mercury nor other substances."

Morawiecki also said that "the Odra is recovering quickly, nature is regenerating quickly... and apocalyptic visions can now be put aside."

But on Monday Duda told a private broadcaster Radio Zet that the situation on the Odra is "unfortunately, most likely a combination of natural causes and causes resulting from human activity."

Duda added that "as regards this environmental catastrophe, as you can see, these versions of what caused it are changing very dynamically... therefore I try to refer to expert voices on this matter."

According to him, "state institutions acted in a chaotic and very often sluggish manner" over the Odra crisis.