We are quite often asked how the war has affected the people still living in the Chernobyl-contaminated areas of Ukraine. In many ways, the war has worsened the negative consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. Many areas have suffered re-contamination through dust and soil being disturbed and brought back to the surface by heavy military machinery in and around the contaminated zone. Battle action has caused thousands of acres of woodland and marshland fires releasing colossal levels of radioactive elements which were embedded in timber and soil back into the atmosphere causing an increase in the levels of radiation by bringing the isotopes back to the surface.
People are having to rely on self-grown crops, picking berries and mushrooms like never before, which, of course, are all highly contaminated. Timber is the main source of heating and cooking for hundreds of thousands of families. Many city people could not bear the blackouts, lack of heating, water supply and sewerage and have moved to the villages trying to settle there for the colder months. Firewood is in huge demand, yet it is well known to be significantly contaminated and when burned releases radioactive isotopes back into the atmosphere, exposing people to excessive levels of radioactivity.
People in Ukraine are desperate in so many ways, they cannot afford to heed these risks. Even our own statistics derived from dealing with displaced families show how many of them are suffering from radiogenic conditions, with thyroid problems still being one of the most commonly present issues.
On 17 March, Kevin Parker and Bob Bailey will be travelling to Poland to meet with our partners at the Polish/Ukraine border. We are urgently in need of donations for them to take, we have a list of items that have been specifically requested, too long to include here but covers most things anyone who has lost everything might need. If you have something you think may be useful, please do get in touch as soon as possible as we will have to cease collection donations by 10 March.
07771 550 868