Almost all houses have been put up for sale in the village of Polevoy, in the Sverdlovsk region of Russia. However, there is not even one buyer, who agrees to purchase a house in the settlement. The town is situated in a rather picturesque area, which local residents describe as the "Russian Switzerland." The townsfolk deserted the place of their living because of insects.
Drivers have to close windows of their cars as they drive through the town. The air is buzzing and swaying with swarms of flies. There are about 50 houses in the village in total, but people can be found in only one of them. Its owners repair their apartment in the city and there is no other place for them to go, but to stay in the village.
"Neighbors do not come to the village even at weekends. They are scared of infection. We have been living here normally for 20 years until it happened," the last of the village residents, Elena Potapova said.
A living blanket of flies can be seen resting on a wall of her house. It is impossible to hide from flies even indoors: insects penetrate inside despite closed doors and windows. None of the repellant means helps.
"I cover my face with medical bandage when I sleep so that I could breathe through it. It is like an Egyptian torture," the woman complains.
Flies occupied the village because of the efforts of a local poultry farm. Farmers piled up a former pasture near the village with chicken excrement. Flies have been breeding there for months. There is hardly any smell in the village, but it does not ease the situation.
The director of the poultry farm understands the problem of the village residents. However, he shifts blame on the hot weather in May and abundant rains in June. "We have not been able to plough up the field to hide the natural fertilizer under the ground. As soon as rains stop, we will plough it all up, and the number of flies will reduce. It is a law of nature, though: the good grows on shit," the farmer concluded philosophically.
Chicken excrement is considered to be a very valuable organic fertilizer. However, this fertilizer can become the reason of an ecological disaster, if it is stored outdoors: it may poison the ground, for example. The "valuable organic fertilizer" has thus inflicted swarming flies on the Russian Switzerland.
The continued irresolution of the W.Sahara conflict: The right to self-determination vs. Realpolitik by Dr. Sidi Omar, Frente Polisario representative at the UN