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The Kyakhta District Ecology

Author:  R. Losolova

 

The facts that Lake Baikal is a site of the world nature and culture heritage, that the Russian Federation law On Lake Baikal Protection is adopted are considerably important for the responsibility of the republican state power bodies, for environment protection bodies, for other bodies, enterprises and organizations and for the whole population of Buryatia, to preserve the Baikal and republic nature.
The territory of the district is 4,684 sq. km, the population is 44,600. In the previous years about 4 mln. 600 thousand cub. m water have been used, about 2 thousand cub. m were thrown onto the landscape relief, 960 thousand cub. m into the open lakes, all in all 1,170 thousand cub. m of waste waters were thrown. One of the problems in the district is the purification plants work which have not been seriously reconstructed in recent years.
The purification plants belonging to the Kyakhta quartering exploitation military unit which may purify 4,080 cub. m a day, nowadays is loaded 2,000 cub. m a day, and the Kyakhta garrison gives only 1,500 cub. m of wastewater a day because the military units are not with a complete staff now. The dwelling houses of Kyakhta give 500 cub. m of wastewater a day. The purification plants have got a complete staff now, there is a laboratory which monthly presents a report to the Kyakhta SIAK (?). the composition of the wastewater which can be referred to the category of insufficiently cleaned wastewaters, is the following: BPKn (?) is 25 mg/l which is 5 times more than the project standard for Lake Baikal, the suspended substances make up 16 mg/l which is over 5 times more.
The insufficiently cleaned wastewater with the pollution concentration of all the ingredients which is over the provisionally agreed substance throwing standards, are thrown into the Kyakhtinka river in the neighbouring state, the Republic of Mongolia, which is direct violation of Article 45 of the Russian Federation law On the Environment Protection and the law On Lake Baikal Protection.
The recent reconstruction work at the purification plants of the village of Naushki has resulted in the quality composition of the wastewater thrown into the Selenga river BPKn (?) 6 mg/l, the suspended substances are 14 mg/l.
Because of the Khoronkhoiski fluorspar mine being stopped the purification plant which can purify 380 cub. m a day, is nowadays loaded 150 cub. m a day. The wastewater is produced by the village and after purification is thrown onto the irrigated fields. The cleaned wastewater do not answer the standards stated by the law On Lake Baikal Protection, it can be referred to the category of insufficiently cleaned wastewater.
The number of boiling houses all over the district is especially alarming, there are about 100 of them. Out of them about 10 are gas-purifying plants of Cyclone type, which are placed on the boiling houses and pollute the atmosphere, which influences the population health in the negative way, especially in Kyakhta where there are 50 boiling houses not taking into account individual boiling houses. In recent years coal has been used to warm individual houses.
The average amount of throwing polluting substances into the atmosphere of the district is about 4.5 thousand tons a year, from permanent sources and 0.212 thousand tons from vehicles, not taking into account individual cars.
The amount of throwing polluting substances is 12 kg per 1 sq. km. The situation is extremely bad with removing slag with particles of heavy metals from the boiling houses, especially from military units, to a special place. There are about 2 thousand tons of slag accumulated on slag-heaps near the boiling houses.
In all the district organizations the boiling houses are on the balance of the local administration. Schools, kindergartens, administrative buildings and other social objects are heated. Agricultural enterprises decrease the number of cattle, sheep and pigs, on many farms the boiling houses are closed or eliminated, though they used to prepare liquid food for the community cattle. One of the most serious ecological problems is factory and consumer wastes on the territory of the Republic of Buryatia.
Permission to the wastes placement is valid for a certain period , the amount (mass) of the wastes placement is stated, as well as the storage period and other conditions providing the environment and health protection taking into consideration the established limits of the wastes placement and the characteristics of the objects.
Within a year about 20 thousand tons of solid and household wastes are accumulated, 18 thousand tons of wastes are utilized, and about 2 thousand tons are left on the slag-heaps and grounds; in 42 towns and villages of the district there are sanctioned rubbish dumps for solid household wastes.
One of the most serious ecological problems is placing solid household wastes on the territory of Kyakhta where every year the inhabitants and private businessmen litter their town, and the river of Kyakhtinka is the most alarming place. From the steep bank of the river litter is thrown away, especially  by the people living nearby, almost all the big boiling houses are built on the bank, many tons of slag get into the river after precipitation or snow thawing. Thus the river is polluted with heavy metals particles. Many businessmen do not take the wastes away, to the sanctioned dump in the Ilmovaya ravine.
The main principles of the wastes treatment are mans health protection, support, keeping and reconstruction of the favourable conditions of the natural environment and preservation of natural diversity.
The Kyakhta district landmarks are described in the book: Kislov Ye.V. The Kyakhta District Nature Landmarks. Ulan Ude: The Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Publishing House, 2001. p. 73.
Our district is famous for its landmarks of history, culture, architecture and archeology which are connected with ancient nomadic civilizations, brisk Russian-Chinese trade, coming of the Buddhism and Orthodox Christianity to the southern Transbasikal land and organizing expeditions of Russian explorers and diplomats to Mongolia, China and Tibet. But natural sights of the Kyakhta district are less known.
Two years ago the centre of community access was opened in the Central district library, the resource and information centre of culture tourism is being organized. 
In the  district an ecological stock has not been accumulated, there is no inspector to protect the natural environment.
Every year for two months the people in Kyakhta and villages of the district spend 2 months cleaning the territory, painting houses, whitewashing the trees and cleaning the streets of solid household litter. About 800 people take part in these leaning campaigns. The transport and vehicles are also used for that.
During the cleaning months senior school students clean the bank of the Kyakhtinka river, inflammable wastes are burnt on the bank, solid wastes are clamped up and then taken to a special place.
The school students also plant and look after trees and help keep gardens and parks, streets and squares clean. During their summer holidays in the camps the students help clean forests and water springs or enclose ant-hills.
It is common knowledge that we should not be limited with single economic acts, but join them into a chain of incessable nature protecting activities. Libraries play a special role in forming ecological culture. The district library works much for that. The library has collected a factfile on ecological activities which have been held in recent years. We have taken part in the republican competition on ecological education. An ecological programme is compiled, In Harmony with Nature, and a grant project based on the programme is worked out.
There are book exhibitions, thematic shelves, book albums on ecological education which are displayed in the library:
- Nature and Us, the Kudara library
- The Living Natures Wisdom, the Tamir library
- Take Care of Your Nature, the Oktyabrsky library
- Nature Asks for Protection, the Polkanovo library
- The Earth Is Still Safe, the Ust-Kiran library
- Ecology in the Time of Hi-Tech, the Sharagol library
There were discussions, library classes, history and information classes, quizzes, oral magazines, game programmes:
- Take Care of Nature, the Ara-Altsagat library
- There Is No Other Baikal, the Tamir library
- We Live at the Baikal, the Ulzutui library
- Lets Take Care of the Planet(by Earth Day), the Chikoi library
- Buddhist Ecological Ethics, the central district library
- Questions on Weather, the Oktyabrsky library
In other libraries of the district there were also other activities on ecology.
There was an exciting ecological competition Forest Robinsons in the central district library.
In the Oktyabrsky library a book album is being prepared, Take Care of Your Planet, it is a bank of all the ecological activities held in the library; creative works by the readers are also used. Flower exhibition There Is No Love for Nature without the Sense of Beauty is held.
In the Bolshaya Kudara library there was an ecological performance Everything Living Should Live. There was a drawing competition Its Wonderful Around, an ecological action Earth Day (planting trees and flowers), there was ecological game The Sun, the Air and the Water Are Wonderful and My Whole Land Is Wonderful Too (children learned how to survive in critical situations, in the forest, by lakes).
In the Ivanovka library the ecology week took place. During a week there were daily mini-conferences to present the projects My Tree, there was a quiz Living Nature, business game The World Around Us, recommendations are compiled What Can I Do for All the Trees?, the library class The Red Book, the quiz Along the Forest Trails, the drawing competition Ecology in Pictures. To sum the weeks work up a file was compiled Ecological Project. All the year round there are sitting of the club Earth Is Our Home where the problems of environmental protection, vegetation and animal world diversity, living and non-living nature relations  are considered, there is much practice in making bird feeders, in planting trees and flowers for the school and the library.
In the Malaya Kudara library there is the ecological interest club Rodnichok (Little Spring), there are ecological excursions, discussions, games, ecological competition Well Take Care of Our Earth, information and educational class Earth Is Asking for Protection, It Is Asking People for Rescue, there was a game Quiz on Birds.
In the Chikoi library there was an interesting Birds Day, a performance was staged by the library activists Ecological Trial: Olympus Gods vs People.
In the Uladyi library the work was held within the framework of the ecological project Water on Earth, the work will be continued next year, too. The ecological club Zharki (Siberian flowers) is organized and works.
In the Ust-Kyakhta library there was a sitting of a round table with specialists of the local administration, forestry, school and medical workers (Our Common Care Summoned Us Here, a photo stand is designed Lets Call the Nature Vandals to Account).
In the Kudara library there was a week of ecological knowledge Earth Is Our Common Home. Within the framework of the week there were library classes, lessons of ecology, stands and book exhibitions were designed: Tomorrow It Will Be Late, Man and Nature, the Relations Ethics, Ecology from A to Z, Ecological Periodicals. The readers were very creative in their joint project Nature and Imagination when they made real wonders with natural materials. In their hand-made articles and drawings they reflected the beauty and brightness of the local nature.
Renovating of ecological education in the district and republic needs satisfactory information and methodological equipment. Lack of textbooks with national and regional component is still significant.
Factual material on the problems of the present day situation with the environment protection is not available at schools yet. Some disconnection of the people in charge of the district ecological problems testifies to the fact that coordination council on ecological education is necessary. Besides getting knowledge and skills education also promotes forming the views, positions, values and raising personalities and citizens.
 
 











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