Guest post by Dziyana Liashkevich

Greetings from Belarus and Ukraine! We are school children from the bordering Pinsk (Belarus) and Lubeshiv (Ukraine) districts. There, we have the Pripyat River which unites us! Together, we monitor the state of its small rivers, lakes, and wells which are situated in villages and towns.

We participate in the EU-funded project, Cross-border Water Inspectors, which unites almost 200 children and teachers from 19 schools from the two above mentioned districts. It started this summer with the Cross-border Summer Camp and Water Festival where we got to know each other and learn more about water monitoring and how to behave in an eco-friendly manner.

This autumn, we began to monitor water! Firstly, we received unusual white briefcases. These were compact chemical laboratories which we use to analyze water quality. These kits help us monitor pH, biological oxygen demand, and how much nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and ammonium the water contains. Besides that, we’re leading cleaning campaigns and cleaning waste from coasts.

We conduct monitoring and cleanups in villages and towns where we live by ourselves and together. During November-December, we had 20 cross-border monitoring and cleaning visits, where kids from Belarus visited friends from Ukraine, and vice versa. It was an unforgettable time!

Editor’s Note: Dziyana Liashkevich is the PR Manager for the Cross-border Water Inspectors Program. Click here to learn more about this program and its work.