Kakhovka: EU and UNDP launch mission to assess the environmental impact of dam breach
November 24, 2023

Kakhovka: EU and UNDP launch mission to assess the environmental impact of dam breach

The EU and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched a mission in the Kherson Oblast in Ukraine to assess the environmental consequences of the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam.

“The soil contamination poses a significant threat to public health and requires immediate measures to minimise the damage. However, there is currently no accurate data on the extent and elements of water and soil contamination – research requires physical collection of samples from hard-to-reach frontline communities,” UNDP Ukraine said in a Facebook post.

With the support of the Kyiv School of Economics, samples from 40 locations are already undergoing laboratory analysis and testing for more than 300 toxic indicators. The results will be made publicly available. “The data and recommendations will form the basis for informed decision-making to address the consequences of the disaster,” the UNDP added.

The water flow caused by the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam on 6 June 2023 destroyed 80 settlements in Ukraine, resulting in large-scale human losses, economic damage, destruction of critical infrastructure and long-term environmental damage. One of the most serious environmental problems was the contamination of soil and surface water as a result of emissions of fuel, lubricants, pesticides, toxic chemicals and pathogenic microorganisms. 

A recent report, Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) for the Kakhovka Dam, prepared by the Government of Ukraine and UN agencies, estimates the damage caused by the disaster at over US$ 11 billion.

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