World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought: What are the consequences of the Kakhovka HPP explosion for the world?
Every year on 17 June, the world celebrates the Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, dedicated to the need to preserve fertile soils. Find out more about the consequences of the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP
This year, Ukraine and the world faced a catastrophe unprecedented in the 21st century - the destruction of the Kakhovskaya HPP. The devastating impact of this demolition extends far beyond the local region, as it will have significant implications worldwide. As we commemorate the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, an occasion aimed at raising awareness about the importance of preserving fertile soils, it is crucial to discuss the global consequences of the dam destruction.
Consequences for Ukraine
Russia has once again brought death and destruction to Ukrainian lands. This tragedy destroyed thousands of homes and killed tens of thousands of animals. Another problem is the lack of water in households. People are adapting to life in new realities, as they have to collect water from mobile points or water trucks, gather rainwater or buy bottled water. Currently, cities and villages don’t even have technical water.
The ecosystem of the flooded regions was also affected, in particular, a critical situation arose in the Nizhnyodniprovskyi National Park – home to thousands of animals and plants listed in the Red Book.
The south of the country and the Crimea can expect a lack of drinking water. Its supply to these regions is under threat since the North Crimean Canal is tied to the water level in the Kakhov Reservoir. After the water level drops to a critical level, drinking water intakes will stop working.
After the catastrophic explosion at the Kakhovskaya HPP, a grave concern arises as numerous hazardous substances have been released into the water. These substances pose a significant risk of causing severe infectious diseases, including intestinal infections, botulism, hepatitis, cholera, and anthrax.
Moreover, the repercussions of the destruction extend beyond Ukraine, with global consequences looming. The destruction of agricultural fields, the spread of infectious diseases, and the pollution of the Black Sea will not only impact life within Ukraine but will also have far-reaching effects internationally.
We talked about why putin ordered to blow up the Kakhovskaya HPP here.
What problems await the world
By undermining the Kakhovskaya HPP, the russians wanted to show their ability to cause a global-scale catastrophe. This terrorist attack was planned, so the terrorists were clearly aware of the consequences. Unfortunately, this ecological disaster will be felt even by the inhabitants of distant Africa.
The blow-up of the dam will change the approach to agriculture in Ukraine, which will entail changes in the supply chain of grain abroad and endanger the world's food security. Humanity will feel the full scale of the consequences later, but experts are already sharing their predictions.
Without water from the Kakhovsky Reservoir, field irrigation systems in Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhia regions won’t work. In 2021, they irrigated more than 500,000 hectares of land, on which more than 4 million tons of grain and oil crops were harvested. According to the estimates of the Ministry of Agricultural Policy, about 10,000 hectares of agricultural lands were flooded on the right bank of the Kherson region, while on the left bank this number will be higher. Experts also predict that in some flooded regions, growing vegetables and gardening will be impossible.
This means that undermining the dam threatens the food supply of poor countries. The UN's aid chief, Martin Griffiths, told the BBC that the tragedy would lead to rising food prices around the world. According to him, the entire territory that descends to the Black Sea and the Crimea is a granary not only for Ukraine but also for the whole world. Griffith also outlined that the world will inevitably face enormous challenges when planting and harvesting the next crop.
Head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak, commenting on the blow-up of the hydroelectric power station, also mentioned the potential famine. He noted that russians need hunger in the world, particularly in African countries.
Because of the war caused by russia, certain African countries were already at risk of starvation. Among them are Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. However, the Ukrainian authorities prevented famine by initiating the Grain from Ukraine program.
So, russia once again showed who is fighting on the evil side, and who is committed to combating it. Together with foreign partners, Ukraine is making maximum efforts to overcome the consequences of undermining the dam and prevent famine in poor countries.
The explosion of the Kakhovskaya HPP may also have negative consequences for the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which is currently under occupation. Water from the reservoir was used to feed turbine capacitors and safety systems. The cooling pond is now full, therefore no threats occur.
According to the professor of the Institute of Environmental Radioactivity of Fukushima University, Mark Zhelezniak, risks for the Zaporizhzhya NPP exist, although there is no critical threat. However, if a disaster occurs at a nuclear plant, negative consequences for the world are inevitable.
As a reminder, the Visit Ukraine team announced an urgent collection to support the injured animals in Kherson Oblast. So far, we have managed to raise over UAH 120 thousand. We are sincerely grateful to everyone who responded and supported our initiative.
However, the collection continues, as the furry animals still need our support. Your donations will help organisations that urgently address the issue of animal welfare.
Earlier, we wrote about how much food the russian federation stole from Ukraine during the war. Read more about the threat of world hunger via the link.
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