Let Us Protect the River Desenka!

Grant Recipient

"Malva" (Mallow) Public Non-Profit Children's Environmental Organisation
Photoarchive

Project Leader


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Iryna Romanchuk

Contact

Pryberezhna St., 34,
Sosonka village, Vinnytsky Rayon,
Vinnytska Oblast, 23213
Tel: +38 0432 382124
Fax: +38 0432 520174
E-mail:  vinmalva@ukr.net
, vromanchuk@ukr.net
www: http://www.malva.iatp.org.ua

Goal

The promotion of the adoption of local environmental action plans by local communities situated in the basin of the River Desenka, as well as by local authorities (with fixed sources of financing) taking into account experience of adopting and realising such plans by local communities in the countries of Central and Western Europe; the raising of public awareness about the need to protect and improve the state the river, as well as about the river's exceptional role in protecting human health and the environment; and the promotion of the adoption of local environmental action plans by local village authorities.

Objectives

  • to achieve the adoption of local environmental action plans by local communities situated in the basin of the River Desenka, as well as by local authorities (with fixed sources of financing) taking into account experience of adopting and realising such plans by local communities in the countries of Central and Western Europe;
  • to organise and hold thematic meetings with representatives of the most numerous local communities situated in the basin of the River Desenka through developing public awareness about the need to protect and improve the state of the river, and about the river's exceptional role in the protection of human health and the environment; to promote the development and adoption of local environmental action plans by village authorities;
  • to hold thematic meetings and round tables ("The collaboration of local communities in the basin approach to protecting rivers", "Local environmental action plans - their objectives and development", "Clean consciousness - clean river!", "The river we want to see in 20 years") and for action groups to give performances on the topic of "Friends, let us protect the wonderful world of the river!" to work groups, schoolchildren and representatives of the local authorities;
  • to examine the environmental state of the river's built-up areas, and make an environmental map of the river, marking the main sources of pollution;
  • to conduct awareness and information campaigns in the local mass media and on the Internet.

Project Area

Vinnytska Oblast

Results

At the beginning of the project, monitoring was carried out around populated areas in the basin of the River Desenka. Negotiations were held with seven local communities regarding performances by the environmental action group and thematic meetings and round tables aimed at protecting the River Desenka; meeting dates were arranged, routes agreed and schedules drawn up for the action group.

 

An action information booklet was published and disseminated

A thousand copies of a full-colour booklet in A4 format, "Let Us Save the River Desenka", were disseminated among the councils of 20 local communities located within the river basin and among the participants of the River Desenka forum. Copies were also sent to Kalynivska, Kozyatynska, Lypovetska and Vinnytska State Administrations.

 

Action group performances, thematic meetings and round tables with representatives of local communities were held

To promote river protection in neighbouring settlements and establish the "River Desenka Brotherhood" (a public group that may undertake monitoring and river protection in the future, the "Malva" environmental action group held a range of thematic meetings. Listeners had the opportunity to hear the "Dudaryk" amateur ensemble. During the meetings with local schoolchildren and teachers, members of the action group gave a performance of "Friends, Let Us Protect the Wonderful World of the River!" (10 Ukrainian costumes were specially made for these performances) and gave a slide show. They also talked about their experience of introducing local environmental action plans in Vinnytska Oblast and disseminated nature-protection literature.

Seven local communities were visited, following a special route from the sources of the River Desenka to the estuary:

1) Samgorodok village: "Malva" activists met with the Village Head, Executive Secretary and School Director and discussed the village's environmental problems and ways to solve them using local environmental action plans. During the meeting, it appeared that there was a unique wetland complex on the Desenka. It has existed for many years and is called "Opustya" locally. Activists from "Malva" proposed the creation of a reserve, called "Opustya", on this part of the river, and gave the Village Head literature giving practical guidance on reserve creation. Members of the action group held a round table with Samgorodok schoolchildren called "The River We Want to See in 20 Years", gave a performance of "Friends, Let Us Protect the Wonderful World of the River!" and held a quiz, "How We Know Our River". They also presented the school with electronic copies of a national report on the state of the environment in Ukraine and Vinnytska Oblast. They circulated a questionnaire among the population and distributed leaflets about an Oblast-wide local-lore nature-protection competition, "Give the River Its Name Back";

2) Kordyshivka village: "Malva" members met the Village Head, Deputy of the Village Council and geography teacher. As the source of the River Desenka rises on land belonging to Kordyshivka Village Council, it was decided at the meeting to put up a signboard near the source of the river and to make the site a natural monument of local importance. A meeting, "Clean Consciousness - Clean River!", was held with local schoolchildren, and out of the meeting came the idea of creating an environmental organization for the schoolchildren. The action group also gave a performance, handed out electronic literature, circulated a questionnaire among the population and distributed leaflets.

3) Stryzhavka village: here the River Desenka flows into the Southern Bug River. "Malva" activists met the Village Head and discussed the topic, "Local Environmental Action Plans: Their Objectives and Development". As a result, Stryzhavka Village Council developed a local action plan, "Programme for Stryzhavka Local Community Development". The programme includes environmental issues, in particular, building waste disposal plants and a sewerage system in the village, conservation and clearing rubbish from the protected banks of the Southern Bug and Desenka. The action group also gave their performance, distributed electronic literature and leaflets and circulated a questionnaire among the population.

4) Druzhelyubivka village: "Malva" members met the Village Head and "Malva" associates - members of "Sadzhavka" children's environmental organization. The Head of "Malva", Iryna Romanchuk, explained about the "Let's Protect the River Desenka" project and appealed to all present to help to rehabilitate the Desenka. The action group gave their performance for the participants, and showed slides about "Malva" and a cartoon film about environmental issues;

5) Nova Pryluka village: in Nova and Stara Pryluka, Lypovetsky Rayon, several huge ponds have been built on the River Desenka. In summer, many birds nest here and stop over on migration; for this reason, "Malva" members drew the attention of the local community to the idea of designating one of ponds as an ornithological reserve. The action brigade gave a performance for the teachers and pupils, showed a slide-film and donated electronic literature and leaflets;

6) Turbiv village: this is the most environmentally dangerous settlement on the River Desenka. There are now fewer accidental discharges of water than there were in the past, nevertheless the sugar mill's sedimentation tanks still pose a danger for the river. The tanks are located in a water-protection zone on the River Kobylnya, a west-bank tributary of the Desenka. Members of "Malva" investigated the state of the river in the village, told teachers and schoolchildren about the project and gave a slide show; the action group gave a performance and handed out gifts;

7) Lisova Lysiyivka village: this was the "Malva" action brigade's last visit. One of the main questions that arose at the meeting with the Village Head was land reclamation in the river's water-protection zone. The Village Head convinced Iryna Romanchuk, Head of "Malva", that he will stop ploughing up banks and will plant trees and greenery there. At the meeting with teachers and senior pupils from the local school, the action group gave a performance of "Friends, Let Us Protect the Wonderful World of the River!" and a slide show, talked about experience gained in developing local environmental action plans in Vinnytska Oblast, and donated literature on nature protection and a CD.

The results of this action were featured in the local press as well as on the Vinnytsya State TV channel ("Eco-world") and local TV "Ishtar". "Malva" received positive reports from executive authorities and heads of enterprises.

 

A public forum was held to discuss the River Desenka

A forum (conference) about the River Desenka was held on 30 March 2004. Representatives of local communities such as Kordyshivka, Samgorodok, Nova Pryluka, Turbiv, Druzhelyubivka, Lisova Lysiyivka, Nova Greblya, Chernyatyn, Kirovka, Stryzhavka and Sosonka were invited. The organisers also invited heads of local environmental inspection agencies, representatives of the State Department of the Environment and Natural Resources in Vinnytska Oblast, the Oblast's Young Naturalists' Centre, and the mass media. In total, 31 participants attended the conference. The forum took the decision to create the Brotherhood of the River Desenka, ratified "The Statement about the Brotherhood", and elected a coordinator. Later, participants took part in planting 2.5 ha of alder trees in the water-protection zone of the River Desenka. The activity, which was divided into several stages, was held jointly with the State Department of the Environment and Natural Resources in Vinnytska Oblast, Oblast Department of the State Committee on Water Economy, "Vinoblagrolis" enterprise and Sosonka Village Council. Representatives of the above-mentioned organisations supported "Malva"'s idea to reforest the water-protection zone of the Desenka.

 

As result of this project, the ploughing up of the Desenka's protected riverbanks in Kalynivsky Rayon was halted. Samgorodok Village Council created a hydrological reserve of local importance, named "Opustya". Plans for the future are to tidy up the sources of the River Desenka and to install an information board there.

 

Plans for further work once the project is completed:

1. To continue to work with local communities in the basin of the River Desenka to introduce local environmental action plans.

2. To hold annual working meetings of the "Brotherhood" aimed at co-ordinating further activities and exchanging information about the state of the river, studying and conserving it.

3. To conduct activities together with the members of the "Brotherhood" (rafting, cleaning up the stream and banks, performances by action groups to promote river cleanliness, etc.).

 

 
© 2005 Ukrainian Rivers Network
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