HUMUS PROJECT: English Presentation
The liberation of the nuclear energy has changed everything at the point that
our natural way of thinking has become obsolete. We have to face the risk of a
tremendous catastrophe. Humanity will have to adapt a new way of thinking in
order to survive”.
Why this portal?
This letter is addressed to anyone who’s closed to Chernobyl’ subject matters
and more in general to international co-operation. Lately in the whole world a
great spirit of solidarity has developed especially towards Chernobyl children.
There are thousands of them now coming from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus who are
hosted every year. These children thanks to a nourishment based on healthy food
during their stay abroad lose some of their radioactivity accumulated in their
body and responsible of many diseases linked to contamination due to
radionuclides and immune-stress.
According to some ONU experts the worst part (eventhough the victims are more
than 100.000) still has to come and it’s foreseen around 2004/2006 when those
who were little children at the moment of the accident will start procreating.
Only at that moment consequences on the genetic heritage of the population will
be evident. Consequences which in part have been shown already during studies
carried on birds, swallows and rodents who lives in the contaminated areas of
Chernobyl (we now that men and rodents behave genetically almost in the same
way). These experiments, some of them led by a group whose head is prof.
Jeffreys (Nobel winner in Genetics) have led prof. Hillis (from Texas
University) to conclude an article published on “Nature” the 26th of April 1996
with these exact words: “today we know that the alteration power of a nuclear
accident can be much more serious than what has been expected so far and that
the genoma of eucariotes can present mutation rates which no one had never
expected to be possible until now”.
The Chernobyl accident is just starting now to show its tragedies.
After 17 years the awareness of how the foresights, which wanted to go back to
the accident consequences and explain it only as a dramatic irradiation
syndrome, has been the result of a minimilization philosophy or negation of the
effects of the nuclear disaster (only the cases of thyroid cancer, those which
go back to the high irradiation syndrome ) show this aspect: within the
beginning of the new millennium 1500 cases of children thyroid cancer had been
foreseen 6600 within 2600. Today instead they are even more than 11000.
Now many scientists and experts are demonstrating that weak doses or claimants
without any link with radioactivity are assuming new re-considerations. The
neurological disorder of adults caused the increasing number of colon, rectum,
lung, breast and urinary ways cancers, heart problems and diabetes.
Not only sanitary problem emergency needs to go back to this under esteem of the
reality of contamination but also all the problems concerning economic,
demographic and social aspects.
Indeed Alexander Lukashenko himself, standing as ONU belarusian president, last
Sept 2000, asked the world community to face all the catastrophe consequences.
What shall we do?
Every association, group working in the welcome field or in twin and local
co-operation projects with the countries affected by the nuclear disaster has
developed a series of exciting initiatives.
All the projects try to intervene on the variety of aspects of the people who
live in the contaminated territories: humanitarian helps (food, medicines,
sanitary apparatus, clothes, stationery, toys, computer instruments,..) distance
adoptions, Kolchoz economy development,…
Each project has its own dignity, legitimacy and its strong motivations.
They are always criticised though because they do not get at the bottom of the
problems of the population who live in contaminated areas, that is the need to
abandon definitively these territories which don’t and won’t grant for years
sufficient conditions of life quality. Apart from the social and psychological
problems linked to this modality, all the projects are (with different results)
the expression of a solidarity participation which tries to conciliate feelings
and intelligence in a way of concreteness.
The approach is not that of looking for answers to questions like: ”why people
keep living over there?”. Such a question presumes an implicit accusation act as
the people who live in these contaminated territories was responsible for it. As
everybody knows, especially those who spend their time with passion and
idealism, personal, human and material resources in the Chernobyl areas
afflicted by the accident, the contamination responsibility of the territories
is not the people’s who still live there.
To overcome the prejudice point of view or the guilt assignement means to ask
ourselves the following ethical questions: "Since the acceptance and the
observation of the present reality is known to everybody how can it be possible
to help effectively those who live in contaminated areas ? How can it be
possible to find solutions to pull down the risk and raise in the reality and
levels of life quality?".
The considerations which come up are the following:
The interventions to hit the target must be
contextual within the action range. To intervene consequently at the effects
caused by the nuclear accident means to look for the real causes which depend on
the present contamination. To intervene on the contamination effects means to
intervene directly and/or indirectly on the social, psychological, sanitary,
economic, ecological aspects linked to the contamination reality; to intervene,
instead, on these aspects without giving account to the contamination reality
means most of the time to create the conditions for a “masking” of the real
problems or for the construction of alibis to enter the action’ subject (who
helps and who's helped).
The co-operation must overcome the optic of assistancialism without the taking
of possession of the reality on the supporter actors ‘side (that is the
population who live in the contaminated areas) each action remains prisoner of
the contingency and of the urgency of dictating the way for a real change.
Surely the way for a co-operation is much more difficult than the
undifferentiated help but it’s the one that, with humility and patience it is
worth to look for.
It is statistically and scientifically proved that beyond all the hypothesis and
considerations that can be legitimated the reality of the contamination is
linked especially and directly to the nourishment. Other suggestions lead to the
wrong track. 70% of the irradiation dose coming from Cs 137 and from Sr 90
goes from the soil to the food.
The contamination nourishment chain is the
From these assumptions the HUMUS PROJECT was born which in the following
paragraph is presented in its general features.
The HUMUS PROJECT, like many other projects, wants to be an instrument of
shareness in order to intervene in a concrete way on the contamination reality.
An instrument which tries to react on the primary prevention soil of the
The HUMUS PROJECT is a Legambiente Solidarity project.This is an intervention
field of Legambiente the most important environmental voluntary association of
Italy. Who the project belong to it’s not very important though. What’s
important is to belong to values and motivations and to researches which look
for a common horizon to share.
All the collaborations and contributions that people will be able to give will
only help and advantage populations who live in the contaminated territories and
all the heritage (knowledge, data, contacts, materials) that the HUMUS PROJECT
has developed in 2 years of researches on the territory is available to
everybody and it’s a support for other projects without any specific field
choices or presumption behaviour and without invading somebody else’s areas or
The project is presented with these aims:
an instrument available to everyone and open to any collaboration or suggestion;
a constant “work in progress” where all the individuals have a full legitimacy
and the same participation dignity; an instrument to share common ways with
other associations and to build an informative and co-operative interchange
which will to overcome improductive fragmentations.
The HUMUS PROJECT wants to compare itself with other projects, initiatives and
interventions (not only in Belarus, but also in Russia and Ukraine) believing
that beyond singular purposes there are common actions and ways that can direct
mutual utilizations and can offer adequate modalities and behaviours to the
social, political, economical and cultural reality of the areas which need
The HUMUS PROJECT is a project on the “nourishment risk”.
70% of the radioactive fall out after the Chernobyl nuclear accident on April
the 26th 1986 has contaminated the 23% of the belarusian territories which based
their economy on agriculture. After 17 years from the blowing up of the reactor
N°4 the effects on the environment and on the in habitants have revealed to be
more dramatic than ever.
If on one side we assist to aggravity of oncological diseases and to immune
depression due to the constant actions of low doses, on the other the presence
over radioactive isotopes and of their by – products (v. americius) it remains
constantly in the environment ( the giving back of the soils to their original
conditions needs) only for Cs 137, a period of 300 years. In this situation of
dramaticity actions which account for contamination primary causes gain relevant
meanings. It’s unanimously recognized by all scientists that the 70 – 90 % of
the human contamination derives from the ingestion of contaminated products
through a process which has in the soil “the key of transmission “ . To break
this key it is fundamental. So far mechanisms (soil acidification, deep
breakings up, competition with fertilizers or substances similar to isotopes)
have proved to be insufficient or even totally inefficacious.
The HUMUS projects wants to act on this key through two main ways:
1) A WAY OF REALITY IN AGREEMENT
A WAY OF A SUPPORTING SOLIDARITY
(the cohesion between a socio-pedagogical and
an agronomic intervention)