Copyright 2004 - Progetto Humus




This way will be realized in the Dubovy Log village (Dobrush province. Gomel region, Belarus).
Dubovy Log is the heart of the HUMUS PROJECT. 

Dubovy Log is the result if a research which lasted 2 years on 174 villages which based their economy on agriculture in an area of high contamination (Gomel, Mogilev, Brest in Belarus) for a total of 26 provinces, 131.081 inhabitants and agronomically of 200.044 pasture hectares and of 453.592 of cultivation hectares. The total has progressively narrowed to 121 villages of the Gomel region and subsequently to 13 villages with the following features:
- radioactivity >15ci/kmq
- minimum n. of inhabitants between 200/250
- presence of a school
- presence of Kolchoz or Sovchoz
All villages have been visited during 2 following missions . For each of them a cognitive file has been made in order to obtain the following information:
demographic data, present structures and services, data on the present levels of radioactivity and contamination (private and public field), sanitary employment and school, situation climate data, agronomic data (cultivation and pasture in the public and private field, data on waters and lands), data on state intervention, on nourishment risk and on forms of active co-operation.

Dubovy Log is an area of compulsory escape with radioactivity levels >40 ci/kmq. There are 281 inhabitants (67 of them between 0 and 14 years old) for a total of 121 families .There is a kid-garden, a school an obstetrics-nurses ambulatory, the Kolchoz and the house of culture.
The first phase of this way towards Dubovy Log (the socio-pedagogical intervention) foresees actions on the social field of human relationship re-constructions  and on the creation of better conditions for a conscious management of the risk and for the improvement of life quality. The acquisition of a radio-protection culture on the “nourishment” risk will allow the population to minimize the radioactive contamination effects (adequate nourishment behaviours and life styles - choice of undergrowth products according to the radioactive accumulation capacity, milk skimming procedure preparation and preservation of nourishments, behaviour regulations for the use of game and fishes, utilization of wood and ash… -,  management of kitchen-gardens and cattle farms in the private field and so on…).

The foreseen actions are:

  • constitution of a local co-ordination équipe with self-formative, formative and management aims.

  • Realization for the village of constant instruments (informative sheet every 3 months and info-counter).

  • radio-protection courses for school and young people with didactic tools and equipment in order to help the formation of a radio-ecological culture (audio-visual aids for schools and geiger measurements for young people of the village).

  • survey on the contamination reality (questionnaires for families, radio-metrical analyses of  food samples, realization of a territory contamination map of the village divided according to the concentration and the type of present isotopes).

  • WBC (whole body counter) spectro-metrical analyses on a group of volunteers of the village.

  • the starting of local research groups (ash management group, pasture management group, nourishment management group) and execution of radio-metrical and comparative surveys.

This phase is indispensable and absolute for the HUMUS Project success: without the involvement and the awareness of the contaminated area inhabitants, every act (which wants to solve problems linked to the contamination reality) will probably risk to fail or to produce benefits for few people because of the lack of con-division only during the period of the project realization.

The 2nd phase (the agronomic intervention) functionally and chronologically dependent than before will concern the Molciany experiment transposition at Dubovy Log through the construction of a glasshouse of 2000 mq in which each family of the village will be able to grow “clean” vegetables. Experiments and surveys will be also realized to intervene on the cultivations and to find out the ones more reluctant to radionuclides and pasture analyses in order to furnish tools for the families and for Kolchoz.

In this way putting together life styles adequate to the contamination reality (capacity of directing individual and collective behaviours towards everyday actions in a family, school and working sphere which minimize the risk in a nourishment field) with a practical tool in its “clean” cultivation production partiality, the aims of creating the best possible life conditions will be reached in a contaminated area.

The comprehension and the summery of the 2 ways can be deduced in the following scheme.

DUBOVY LOG VILLAGE year: experiment of the substratum year: starting of the socio-pedagogical way for the risk management

2.nd year: local agronomic process

2.nd year: reinforcement of the risk
management culture, evaluation
Molciany results, construction a
Glasshouse for the village

Aim: completed experiment of the
agriculture production

Aim: social risk management on the
nourishment one year: “HUMUS” realization:
socio-pedagogical and agronomic
process in the Dubovy Log village
Exportation of the project in other villages
(2 years of monitoring)

The final foreseen aims and results of the project are the following:

In the sanitary field:

  • measurable and progressive percentage cut on the nourishment radioactive risk in the people living in Dubovy Log.

  • reduction of health negative consequences especially diseases caused by immune-depression; children, the subjects more exposed to the mutations and to immune-stress, thanks to the rapid cellular growing will be the first beneficiaries.

In the economic field:

  • reduction of the state sanitary expense referring to the secondary prevention of the Chernobyl nuclear experiment in Dubovy Log.
  • annulment of the provincial and regional transformation expenses for the removal of radioactive isotopes concerning the soilless cultivated species.

  • demolition of the costs linked to the vegetable production analyses in question in the Dobrush and Gomel institutes and in the accumulation companies.

  • reduction of the supply-costs of “clean” food in the school and in the cafeteria of the kolchoz.

In the social field:

  • reinforcement of the nourishment risk culture for the Dubovy Log inhabitants.

  • possibility of evaluation of the curing periods of the residents of Dubovy Log according to real local radioactive contamination and to the life styles modalities led to the awareness of the “nourishment risk”(rationalization of the resources and qualitative homogeneity of the interventions).
  • re-proposal and adaptability of the agronomic techniques over the ranges linked only to the radioactive contamination.

In the international and co-operative field:

  • all the data deriving from the combination and from the comparison of the agronomic and socio-pedagogical way will be put into the net.
  • possibility of transferring the global project to other contaminated villages with a great extension to other near russian and ukrainian realities.

The HUMUS PROJECT can be a flexible model , reviewed and adaptable to other interventions and to other subjects which want to intervene in the areas contaminated by the nuclear accident or an opportunity to develop new projects with the aim of creating the best possible life conditions for the people who live in the contaminated territories.
Considering, as far as Belarus is concerned (also Russia and the Ukraine) villages and the inhabitants in the high radioactive risk areas,
it’s possible to build 200 glasshouses for a total of 60.000 beneficiaries with an investment of a maximum esteemed incidence about 100 $ USA per inhabitant.

Creation of the Chernobyl children welcoming politics

The latin term Humus (soil) evoke the double aim of the project: ”HUMUS” is the contaminated soil which we must intervene on with an agronomic plan to make the restitution possible to those expropriated populations; ”HUMUS” is the social field of the reconstruction of human relationships  of the creation of favourable conditions for the conscious risk management of the improvement of life qualities

The beneficiary subjects of the HUMUS project are all the 600 Molciany and Dubovy Log inhabitants.
The project duration
is of about 3 years plus 2 of follow up.
The starting is foreseen in july

The Humus Project has been approved by belarusian ministers of public education, agriculture and sanity. An official text has been written about the co-operation of the Chernobyl committee with the emergency situations department of belarusian Republic. In Italy it has been recognized by the agriculture and the foreign affairs department and a preliminary inquiry has been carried on by the state corps of foresters in order to establish the congruence and the technical supporting (many radio-metrical analyses have been done at Molciany and Dubovy Log to evaluate the water quality - drinkable, from well and obtained resulted non-contaminated in its chemistry/ physical and soil features) and the economic supporting of the project in Belarus.
The International Sakharov Environmental University of Minsk, the Gomel radiological Institute (NII RADIOLOGHI), the clinical Institute of medical and radiological research in Gomel (NIKIRM), the vegetable production research Center (CRPV) in Cesena, the experimental horticolture Institute in Montanaso Lombardo (LODI), the regional environmental protection  Agency (ARPA) in Piacenza, the sociology chair of mass-communication of University in Siena are also collaborating scientifically to the project.

The project even if in need of public and private financing has always been supported by free donations especially in the voluntary field.

The challenge of the Humus Project needs everyone contribution. If anyone wants to help the following current counters are available:
C/C post 18046151 (Italy)

C/C bank 10/100382 Istituto bancario San Paolo di Carmagnola (TO)-Italy
DIP 194 CAB 30261 ABI 01025

The first expenses for the 3 years realization and for the other 2 of follow up are estimated around 300.000 $ USA (realization of 2 glasshouses, expenses of initial investment, training expenses, local materials and labour expenses, etc…).
In order not to scatter financial resources the project has been realized  in sheets (each sheet represents a pursuable and completed intervention).
The project foresees local management expenses for the glasshouses (not more than 6.000 $ a year) and for new glasshouses constructions in other villages (initial investment 20.000 $). To these costs we must subtract all the earnings coming from the quantitative and qualitative return of the agriculture productions and the adjunct value deriving from better life qualities.

The project will have a statement of accounts available to everyone.
Any information on the project (the complete drafting and the enclosures)
can be asked to the project co-ordinator:
tel            +39 0119716786 / +39 3389396289
fax           +39 02700447516

We confirm the availability for anyone to get all the scientific documents (data on the villages and radio-metrical analyses), info and material regarding Chernobyl reality and the availability of co-operating to support other projects taking advantage not only of data bank but also of relationships created by the HUMUS PROJECT with institutions both at a local and a peripherical level.
The aim of this letter is not only to confirm and obtain approvals about the project but to start at an international level an exchange of ideas and if it’s possible  of common intervention synergies.

If the project thanks to you, will become a very big international intervention any relationship between different associations, the intervention congruence, the possibilities to intervene in a specific way, the enrichment of knowledge and competences  and more in general the attempt to finalize actions in the contaminated territories whose beneficiaries are the children and the people who live there will all get benefit from it. HUMUS will have more chances of success  it will be a project with equal dignity and ideas will recognize themselves in it.

Waiting for other projects to come up, initiatives or contributions for useful comparison (why don’t we create a map of interventions useful to all of us?) and thanking you in advance for your efforts and for your future initiatives I wish you all the best.

Massimo Bonfatti
(Humus Project Co-ordinator)

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