From October 27 until October 29, young ecologists were collecting garbage on banks of small rivers in Glubokoe, Postavy and Sharkovschina districts of Vitebsk region. Almost 150 guys set off on the expeditions. The school students also researched the chemical contamination of the water.
The expeditions were organized thanks to the EU-funded project “Small Rivers – Big Challenges”. The initiative aims to protect tributaries of the Disna River. The ecological condition of these rivers is extremely important for local residents who use them as sources of drinking water and for agricultural ends. Moreover, school students help to preserve the biological diversity in the Baltic Sea: the Disna itself is a tributary of the Western Dvina (Daugava) which flows into the Baltic Sea.
The overall budget of the initiative is 331 000 euro, 89.95% (297 750 euro) of this sum are provided in the form of co-financing by the European Union within the Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development Programme (NSA&LA).
The participants of the expeditions were students from school ecological clubs that had been created in Glubokoe, Postavy and Sharkovschina districts thanks to the project “Small Rivers – Big Challenges”. They were led by teachers who head the clubs.
The largest expeditions were held in the district centers: on October 27, in Pastavy, on the Miadelka river; on October 28, in Hlybokae, on the lake Vialikae, which is crossed by the Berezovka River; on October 29, in Sharkauschyna, on the Yanka River. In these three towns the school students collected around 50 bags of garbage, and each of them had the volume of 220 litres!
Elena Rakova, Manager for the EU Environment and Energy Projects, visited the expedition in Glubokoe. On behalf of the European Union she thanked the school students for their efforts to protect the local nature.
Moreover, in each district cenetr representatives of the local authorities, the district inspections for natural resources and environmental protection, as well as Interakcia's managers (the foundation is the lead partner in the project “Small Rivers – Big Challenges”), were working together with the young ecologists.
During the expeditions, the chemical composition of the water was also studied. For this end the guys used compact chemical laboratories and tabs. The latter had been purchased for each of the 15 school ecological clubs organized within the project. The students upload results to reka-disna.org.
“Such impressive events, which have attracted attention by the teachers, local authorities and the Delegation of the EU to Belarus, serve as good evidence for the guys that their efforts to save the small rivers are extremely important. And the future of our planet is contingent upon the ecological consciousness of the younger generation,” noted Irina Ivanova, Project Manager of the project “Small Rivers – Big Challenges”.