16:08 22.10.2019

Dnipro River in critical condition, comprehensive program needed to save it – head of ecological council

3 min read

KYIV. Oct 22 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Chairman of the National Ecological Council and Head of the Association of Fishermen of Ukraine Oleksandr Chystiakov has said that the condition of the Dnipro River is critical.

"The condition of the Dnipro River is critical, it no longer roars, it groans. The river is simply dying. It all started with the fact that the greatest river was blocked by dams. It lost its own flow and is not able to wash away what gets in there. And along the banks of the Dnipro River there are megacities and chemical plants with their effluents," he said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on October 22.

Chystiakov said that the problems of the Dnipro River should be addressed, including in the context of the problems of its tributaries.

"More than 10,000 small rivers have disappeared from the map over the years of independence... There is algae bloom, they rivers grow shallow and then disappear," he added.

So, according to Chystiakov, if we do not address the problems of the Irpin River near Kyiv, it will disappear in five years.

"Regarding the Dnipro River, there are 56 shoals in the Kyiv water area alone, on which you can stand knee-deep in the water," he said.

In addition, wastewater was identified as one of the problems. According to Chystiakov, more than 2.5 billion cubic meters of it was discharged into the water in 2018 (a third of them is untreated).

"The Dnipro River blooms with every color of the rainbow every year," Chystiakov said.

In this regard, the public figure proposes that all local councils should bring their legal acts in line with the Water and Land Code.

"It is necessary to introduce a comprehensive program to save the Dnipro River and remove all shore depositions and shoals, as well as other existing threats," Chystiakov said.

Record-breaking swimmer Mykhailo Romanyshyn proposed creating an association, named "Saving the Dnipro," in parliament, which would include representatives of different parliamentary factions, to coordinate work with environmentalists and make such efforts more efficient.

"Ecologists, scientists, athletes are calling on lawmakers to create the Saving the Dnipro inter-faction association to coordinate and work out the legislative framework for revitalizing the Dnipro," added Mykhailo Romanyshyn, a participant in the press conference, the record breaker for the #DniproSwimming (#VplavDnepr and #VplavDnipro), who swam the entire length of the Dnipro River.

Vitaliy Pichura, Doctor of Sciences, Head of the Department of Ecology at Kherson State Agrarian University, called for a comprehensive solution to the ecology of water resources in Ukraine.

"Regarding the revitalization of the Dnipro River, yes, this is our main river, but the Dnipro is fed by hundreds of rivers, streams and rivulets, therefore only a set of laws and actions will allow us to improve the environmental condition of the entire water basin," he said.