Mateusz Morawiecki made the declaration in the southwestern village of Uraz on Monday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
He visited Uraz to thank firefighters, territorial soldiers and volunteers who have been combating the effects of the environmental disaster on the Oder, officials said.
'Punishments for pollution must be more severe'
At a news conference afterwards, Morawiecki said: “If the river has been poisoned by toxins, it’s important that it doesn’t happen again.”
He added: “And so tomorrow the Cabinet will hold a special debate on ways to toughen the rules against criminals who dump various substances into rivers and other watercourses.”
Morawiecki told reporters that “in such cases, punishments should be even more severe.”
'We are focusing on removing the effects of this ecological disaster'
He said that “the beautiful Polish nature is our shared heritage and a national good” and must be safeguarded.
He added that the government “is doing everything for the Oder to return to normal, to be reborn.”
Morawiecki vowed: “We will allocate the necessary funds to restock the Oder’s fish, so that the river is reborn; so that its biological substance, the whole Oder ecosystem, is revived as soon as possible.”
He added: “Today, we are focusing on removing the effects of this ecological disaster and establishing its causes.”
Over 1,500 police, 450 firefighters deployed to combat eco-disaster
Meanwhile, Poland’s Interior Ministry on Monday said on Twitter that a total of 1,553 police officers and 452 firefighters were involved in the operation to pull the dead fish out of the Oder.
Clean-up efforts were under way in the Śląskie, Opolskie, Dolnośląskie, Lubuskie and Zachodniopomorskie provinces in the south and west of the country, reporters were told.
Also on Monday, State Fire Service Chief Andrzej Bartkowiak ordered the construction of a 700-metre barrier to help take dead fish out of the Oder in the northwestern Zachodniopomorskie region, officials said.
“Polish firefighters are also ready to help on the German side of the river,” the State Fire Service said in a tweet.
In a separate environmental emergency, dead fish were also being pulled out of the river Ner in central and western Poland, according to officials.
Source: PAP, rp.pl