The country, especially the Southern part, suffered badly from the radioactive fall-out after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Since independancy after the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Belarus has kept very close ties to Russia. The economy is largely state-managed in what authorities call “market socialism”. Belarus has so far profited from Russian oil and gas at prices far below global market prices.
Soil pollution from heavy pesticides use decreases the health of the rural population. Although 100% of the countryside inhabitants have access to water sources the quality needs to be improved.
What Belarus is lacking more than anything else is the involvement of the general public in solving local community problems as well as the availability of positive visible examples of public participation. WECF and its local partners aim to improve the conditions for participation through education schemes.
Empowerment & Local Action (ELA)
Building the capacity of poor local communities in rural areas