Chernobyl in the news: Why live near the exclusion zone?

This is an interesting article written by Zhanna Bezpiatchuk and available from BBC News – ‘The people who moved to Chernobyl’ – The article explains why some people are choosing to move and live in areas close to the Chernobyl exclusion zone in the Ukraine, despite the risks of the radiation and contamination.

Maryna says she has thought about the potential risks from radiation, but that her family was fleeing from something much more dangerous – the threat of war.

“Radiation may kill us slowly, but it doesn’t shoot or bomb us,” says Maryna. “It’s better to live with radiation than with war”.

Our children come from areas just over the boarder in Belarus. Their land is also affected by radiation contamination and their living conditions are very similar to those described in this article:

Maryna’s house is in desperate need of repair. The floors are rotting and the metal radiators have cracked – a major problem in a place where temperatures can drop to -20C in the winter.

They have basic amenities – gas, electricity and a mobile phone signal, which means they can access the internet. But they only have an outside toilet. Water is a problem – their only source is a polluted well which connects to the house via a single pipe. They need to boil all their water before it’s used.

Friends of Chernobyl’s Children – Medway are keen to help as many children and families as we can, to improve their living conditions and to provide respite breaks from the radiation for young children in order to boost their weakened immune systems. Find out more about our work here:


logo in white box for site iconPlease donate to our cause

You can do so via our My Donate page here:

You can also get in touch with us by contacting Linda and Tony – FOCC Medway’s coordinators – on our Facebook page or email:

Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (FOCC) – Medway funds yearly recuperative visits of one month for socially disadvantaged Belarusian children (aged between seven and twelve) from the areas still devastated by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. All money donated is used directly to support FOCC Medway’s objectives and there are no paid officials in any part of the Charity. Charity No: 1095997. If you would like to learn more about what we do, please see here:

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