Festival “Medicines have no place in water and food!”

On April 1, 2021, an ecological festival “Medicines have no place in water and food!” Was held at the Minsk City Institute for the Development of Education. Those who actively participate in the “Watching the Rivers” program supported by the Clean Baltic Coalition took part in it.

Winners of the campaign-competition “Medicines have no place in food and water!”
with the head of the project, with the specialist of the Center for Environmental Solutions Natalia Porechina (in the center)

The event became a platform for the exchange of experience between the campaign participants, a place to search for new ideas and solutions in environmental education. In addition, the most active educational institutions participating in the competition campaign were awarded at the festival. teams of educational institutions. Almost 100 educational institutions of Belarus took part in the information campaign-competition “Medicines have no place in water and food!” , which was announced and hosted by the Center for Environmental Solutions in early February 2021. Educators, students and their parents have shown that they can do much to tackle drug pollution.

According to the rules of the competition, participants and participants had to complete specific tasks in order for the “drug” problem to sound in society. For example, conducting an audit of home medicine kits, organizing a public event, preparing an article for publication in local media or on Internet portals, recording a video for social networks, or sending a thematic official request to local authorities. For each step, points were awarded, which made it possible to determine the most active and award them with useful prizes.

Mikhail Durkin, Secretary General of the Clean Baltic Coalition, contacted the participants and participants of the festival directly from Stockholm (Sweden) with a welcoming speech . He congratulated the winners and thanked everyone involved for their contribution to the solution of the “drug” problem.

– In Belarus, the issue of pharmaceutical substances and pharma flows is taken very seriously, especially in recent years and precisely at the level of decision-makers. This sets the country apart from a number of other countries in the Baltic region, he says. – In 2016, our project for the collection of pharmaceuticals began with a single container installed in a Minsk polyclinic, but over the past year, 17 such points have already been opened. Collected more than 60 kilograms of unnecessary drugs from the population. And today the decision to organize a systematic collection of pharmaceutical waste and preparations was made at the level of the Minsk City Executive Committee. Now this is not just volunteer initiatives and the work of public organizations, but the duty of the city and country authorities, which we are very happy about!

“Such festivals help to unite the efforts of the pedagogical community and public organizations, making this cooperation an engine in solving issues related to environmental protection. How to protect nature from obsolete medicines and veterinary drugs is also one of the important areas of our joint activity with teachers, – comments Natalia Porechina, specialist in sustainable water management at the Center for Environmental Solutions. “That is why every effort is important and weighty.

So, thanks to the efforts of teachers in different regions of Belarus, a lot has been done. For example:

  • an inventory of 4,685 first-aid kits was carried out (home, automobile, veterinary, school, school bus);
  • students created and posted 164 videos on various social networks;
  • more than 50 media publications prepared by school teams participating in the campaign;
  • 183 public events were held in schools;
  • 38 official inquiries were submitted to local authorities on the possibilities of establishing a state collection system for obsolete pharmaceuticals.

In total, 91 educational institutions took part in the information campaign. The most active was the Minsk region – 59 participating institutions, 40 of which were from the Borisov district (you can learn more about the activities of teachers from Borisov here ); followed by Grodno – 15 participating institutions, from Vitebsk – 10, from Minsk – 3, from Brest and Mogilev regions – 2 participants each.

All participants and participants of the campaign received certificates and environmentally friendly prizes, and the most active participants received valuable gifts.

Text and photo: Inga Egorova