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
An action information booklet was published and
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
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
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
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
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
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,