Belarus to spend $47m on Chernobyl zone rehabilitation

24 February 2016

The Belarus Council of Ministers has instructed that a total of BYR1,020bn ($47m) should be provided from the national (republican) budget this year for the rehabilitation and development of areas in Belarus affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. Some BYR530bn will be provided to the Homyel region for this purpose, the Mahilyow region will receive BYR330bn, the Brest region BYR110bn, the Minsk region BYR20bn and the Vitsyebsk region BYR15bn. Around BYR3bn is expected to go to the city of Minsk. Responsibility for the proper use of the funds rests with the heads of the regional executive committees and the head of the Minsk City Executive Committee, BelaPAN news agency reported on 22 February.

Some 70% of the total radioactive fallout from the accident fell on some 25% of Belarus affecting more than 2.2m people. Around 20% of agricultural lands and 23% of forests were contaminated by radionuclides. UN organizations invested in the use of caesium Binders to reduce caesium-137 found in the soil. Rapeseed cultivation in contaminated areas helped to support agricultural recovery. Fertilizers, which were used to combat the effects of radionuclides, were estimated to cost nearly $77m a year. As a result, only large enterprises could afford to use fertilizers and the majority (some 80%) of small households in the affected areas continued to consume foods contaminated by radionuclides.



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