UNDP, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, OSCE – implementers of the joint project on the uranium legacy remediation in Central Asia – jointly with NGO Ekomaktab (EcoSchool) awarded 24 winners of a Disaster Risk Reduction Drawing Contest. The contest was conducted among schoolchildren living in uranium legacy areas of Uzbekistan, namely Charkesar, Namangan and Yangiabad, Tashkent region.
The competition, part of the project efforts to raise public awareness about the impact of uranium waste on communities, attracted 190 students from two schools in Charkesar and Yangiabad. The students demonstrated their creative talent in painting and good knowledge of the issue. The submitted pictures reflect the views of students on daunting problems such as radiation exposure, mudflows and floods, air pollution, climate change, and human activities that contributed to these processes.
“I found out that there is a mine near our school where uranium was extracted many years ago. We were informed about the threats of radiation to human health and the environment. In other lessons, I learned how the waste from factories pollutes the environment. I wanted to reflect all these facts in my work,” says Malika Tagaeva, a ninth-grade student and a winner of the contest.
“Mom helped me with the idea of my drawing. Here I showed that our planet was in danger due to industrial waste and climate change. But I believe that we can help our planet if we start using solar and wind energy, save water, ride bicycles, and recycle waste,” says Sarvinoz Akramova, an eighth-grade student and the contest winner.
Children and youth are one of the most vulnerable groups during emergencies. Such contests for children help raise their awareness of disaster risk reduction, inspire to be proactive and make them think about the ways they can protect our planet.