Ukraine is a country in Europe that doesn’t always have access to clean water. The source of Ukraine’s water contamination stems from the fact that since the Soviet times, Ukraine’s water infrastructure has not been upgraded. Much of Ukraine’s pipes, sewage treatments, and filters are very old and are in desperate need of an upgrade. According to the International Relief & Development (IRD) humanitarian organization, ‘’more than 50 percent of Ukraine’s pipelines and water distribution systems are in need of urgent repairs and/or replacement.’’ Over the past 10 years, over 20,000 of Ukraine’s rivers have disappeared which leads to less clean water for the country.
Much of the water pollution in the country of Ukraine comes from large businesses and corporations run-off and smoke from their factories and large buildings. This pollution ends up filtering into the fourth largest river in Europe, which is where the majority of Ukraine’s population gets their water. Even though there are laws prohibiting the dumping of sewage and waste materials, most large companies ignore these laws and the consequences and do so anyway. Another factor that leads to water pollution is the manufacturing of more corporations releasing toxic chemicals into Ukraine’s natural springs, making the water unhealthy to drink. According to the country’s National Security and Defense Council, ‘’70 percent of Ukraine’s groundwater contains chemical amounts that exceed acceptable levels and 40 percent of Ukrainian water wells do not meet sanitary standards.’’
Polluted drinking water in Ukraine is more common in the rural areas where 80% of people are lacking clean drinking water while 20% of people in urban areas lack clean drinking water. The World Health Organization estimates that ‘’25 percent of the Ukrainian population is at risk of contracting water-borne diseases such as diphtheria, cholera, hepatitis A, and typhoid.’’ In Ukraine more than 4.5 million residents are drinking from water sources that don’t meet the regulatory requirements. In recent years, the government of Ukraine has taken steps to improve the healthy drinking water situation.
- Isabelle Gray