The Riverhead of the Glybochytsa River Got a Chance for a New Life Print
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 11:41


On April 26, 2014 a clean-up action on the riverhead of the Glybochytsa river (first channelized river and one of the more than 40 small rivers of the city) took place in Kyiv. The event was held within the framework of the Let’s Do It! Ukraine clean-up campaign and was timed to the Chernobyl disaster anniversary.

The event was organized by UNENGO “MAMA-86”, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology of the National Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, “Pleso” Public Utility Company with a support of the Kyiv City State Administration and the Shevchenkivskyi District State Administration and funded by the Global Water Partnership of Ukraine.

On a Saturday morning about 40 volunteers, including the representatives of the UNENGO “MAMA-86”, Taras Shevchenko University Student Parliament, Institute staff and representatives of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources as well as of the State Agency of Water Resources gathered in the park to clean up the area around the riverhead and plant trees and flowers. Local residents joined the action as well. On the eve of the action the employees of “Pleso” Utility Company cleaned bed of the river from the most outlined rubbish — garbage and tree branches, car tires and plastic wastes on a day before. And by 12.00 pm on Saturday, volunteers equipped by gloves, trash bags, rake and shovel, cleaned up the territory around the river source.

After the cleaning-up action, the information stand was opened close to the entrance to the Children’s Clinic of the Institute. Now every visitors of the park can easily read the information about the Glybochytsa River, which is mentioned in the famous Ukrainian play “Chasing Two Hares” by Starytskiy. However, at those times the river was called Canava, and the main character of the comedy, a hairdresser Golokhvastov owned the hairdressing salon behind the river.

Anna Tsvietkova, Coordinator of the “Water and Sanitation” Programme of UNENGO “MAMA-86”; Academician Yuriy Antypkin, Head of the Institute of Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology; Dmytro Perov, student of the Faculty of Geography, Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University; Thaisia Kalinichenko, Head of the Department of PR of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources; Valery Babchuk, Head of the Office of Water Bodies and Water Monitoring of the State Agency of Water Resources of Ukraine took part in the info-stand opening ceremony.

“Small rivers of Kyiv are in extremely poor conditions, suffering from a lack of attention from the city. They have been transformed into additional collectors of the city sewerage infrastructure. The runoff and wastewaters of the city run into the rivers, and majority of city dwellers do not even realize what famous rivers such as Lybid or Glybochytsa look like now. Of course, we can’t solve the problem just by one action. To improve the local situation it is necessary to join the efforts of all stakeholders — the city authority, legislators, NGOs and ordinary citizens, such those who joined us today. Only together we can make a difference”, — said Anna Tsvietkova at the opening ceremony.

The idea of the Glybochytsa riverhead clean-up action belongs to a student of the Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University — Dmytro Perov. Studying of the small rivers has been Dmytro’s hobby for almost 7 years already. To find a place where the Glybochytsa River originates, Dmytro carefully reviewed and compared the old and modern maps of Kyiv. Even the staff of the Institute was not aware that the sources that fill ponds in the park are actually the Glybochytsa riverhead. “The Glybochytsa is one of the historically important rivers, because Kyiv was founded on its banks — said Dmytro Perov. — This river throughout its existence has played not only historical and cultural roles but also it has significant hydro-geological impact on the city territory. Such clean-up action is the first one, and we hope that today we launched a good tradition”.

Afterwards, the volunteers planted trees (yew berry, acetic tree, catalpa), bushes (juniper common, yew gold) and perennial flowers (daylilies, white and blue periwinkle, hyssop).

The Glybochytsa River is just one of more than forty small rivers of Kyiv. Its length is 9 km, catchment area is 42 km2. The Glybochytsa was the first river in Kiev to be hidden in a collector. Back in the 18th century, its natural riverbed in the downstream part was artificially leveled and surrounded by ramparts. These dikes later gave the name to the streets known now as Verkhniy Val and Nyzhniy Val, between which river runs nowadays. In 1830, the Glybochytsa river was put in the collector. By the late 19th century, all the downstream part of the river has been buried under the ground, and lastly the river was polished off in the 20th century. Today, the Glybochytsa River runs almost all its way underground.
GWP — Global Water Partnership was founded in 1996 to foster integrated water resources management (IWRM) which is defined as the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources in order to maximize economic and social welfare without compromising the sustainability of vital environmental systems. GWP is a dynamic, not-for-profit action network with over 2,904 Partner organisations in 172 countries around the world. The network has 84 Country Water Partnerships and 13 Regional Water Partnerships. GWP Ukraine was founded in 2006 and it is a part of the Regional Water Partnership of Central and Eastern Europe. The UNENGO “MAMA-86” is one of the founders of the Country Water Partnership, and since April 2012, has performed representational and administrative functions for GWP Ukraine.
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