I live in a small country (207,595 sq. km, 9 463 300 people) in the center of Europe. It’s almost unknown and imperceptible one. But still it exists, and as every country in the world it has its own problems. Among them there are also ecological ones. Here we have to live side by side with: polluted water, unsuitable soil, smoky air, not processed garbage, constant noise. And the most sick theme of Belarus is radiation. It finds a place in all environmental problems of the country.
Do not spit in a well or the glug-glug problem
Let’s start with water problem in Belarus. At the first sight here seems to be no problem at all: the amount of lakes in Belarus exceeds 10 000, and the amount of rivers is twice as much. You see, there is plenty of fresh water in our country. But is it really fresh? Is it sufficient for drinking? If to look more attentively you can see that not everything is OK. Very high rate of water impurity is in the river Svisloch. According to 50 % of last year’s tests of water it contains pathogenic microorganisms and viruses. Because of raising requirements for power system sphere numerous lakes suffer. Among them there are Lepelskoye, Svir (the Belarus state district power station), lake White (the Berezovsky state district power station) and lake Lukomlskoye (the Lukomlskaya state district power station is the largest thermal power station as a part of the Belarus power system.) It goes without saying that other lakes, rivers and ground waters also suffer from such adverse factors, as concentration of water that goes from the roads and fields. Rich with fertilizers, petrol and heavy metals it flows in the rivers and is absorbed in the earth.
You’ve put too much salt in the…soil!
The economic stability of Belarus and well-being of its inhabitants is directly connected with agriculture. Fertility of soils of the country is supported by numerous fertilizers, and pesticides that do not allow harmful plants and insects to destroy the rich crop. But the good and harm always go nearby. Not all agricultural chemicals and fertilizers in Belarus are qualitative (the best are taken out for import). The fulfilled chemicals are absorbed in soil and accumulate in it. Also it is necessary to remind you about DDT which was rather popular in the mid of the 20th century. Now it is not used and forbidden as it is practically not subjected to decomposition, accumulates in tissues of plants and live organisms and causes deadly diseases. It also contains in soils of Belarus along with radiation as a terrible heritage of the USSR . It’s also worth to mention the soil in the region of waste heaps in Solihorsk. Rains falling down on the ‘mountains’ of the fulfilled hydrochloric breed, flow downwards, carrying the salt with them. As the result the soil in extensive territory around the Soligorsk place of salt extraction is so polluted that only wormwood is able to grow here.
Breathe the air while it is pure!
Air condition in Belarus is rather good. There are not so many large factories as the country mostly specialises on light industry and agriculture. The quantity of highways of the international value is not so big – approximately 20. Extent of highways in Belarus makes 85,7 thousand km, density of highways – 413 m on sq. km. One thousand inhabitants in Belarus has 261 cars. It should be considered that in Monaco the quantity of cars on 1000 persons equaled 908. By quantity of cars on 1000 persons Belarus occupies 57 place in the world. At the same time Belarus has rather high density of the railways (27 km/1000 км2 territories). According to the international road organisation, it is in 12th place in Europe and 16th place in the world.
But there is also a sad fact concerning air condition of Belarus, as there is too little wastes are subjected to recycling. A very large amount of them is simply burnt. Another one fact is that factories equipped with cheap clearing devices as the economic state of the country is rather poor.
However the law of binary opposition does the part. And here it is worth mentioning that Belarus by right is considered to be the lungs of Europe. Woods cover about the third part of territory of the country. The 10th part of territory of Belarus is covered by bogs. Woods and bogs of Belarus are really natural treasures for the whole Europe. However bogs are drained, and woods are exposed to cutting down. Untouched there are national parks and reserves. The most significant are: National park «Belovezhskaya dense forest», Berezinsky biospheric reserve, National park “Narochanskiy”, National park «Braslavskiye lakes», National park “Pripjatskiy” and Polesskiy state radiation ecological reserve.
The invisible invader
The last one wouldn’t have existed if there hadn’t been for Chernobyl Tragedy on 26 April, 1986 when about 70 % of radioactive deposits has dropped out in territory of Belarus. Polesskiy state radiation ecological reserve has been created for realisation of a complex of actions preventing the distribution of radioactive nuclides from the zone of alienation, carrying out of radio-biological researches, studying the condition of flora and fauna, realisation of radiation ecological monitoring and supervision over conditions of the zone. But if radiation after failure remained only in this reserve!
It has extended almost on half of all territory of the country. The pollution total area has made 43,5 % from the country area. But wind, rain, animals, plants and certainly, people have carried this invisible infection through the whole country. Radiation is traced everywhere: in air, water, the earth, foodstuff, clothes and furniture.
But nevertheless, they are already building their own delayed-action bomb in Belarus – the Ostrovetskaya atomic power station. It is under construction in the purest region of Belarus, there, where paws of Chernobyl have not almost reached – in Vitebsk area near the great Braslavskiye lakes. It seems that everyone
Belarus is rather young country on the card of Europe, however it needs a proper “treatment”. Everyone here seems to like horrible statistics and descriptive constructions. But it’s time we operated. Any attempts to improve ecological situation in Belarus are welcomed. Affect on destiny of one small country, undertake its improvement, and as everything in the world is connected, you’ll improve the ecological situation in the whole Europe!