17th April 2014
During our first day in the exclusion zone, we visited a small village that was mostly evacuated but some people still remain.
The Chernobyl contamination was divided into four exclusion zones based on radiation amounts. The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with highest contamination is officially uninhabited. In truth, over 2,000 elderly villagers illegally resettled their homes and farms inside the Zone. Today nearly 400 remain. More than 3,000 workers manage the Zone, living in Chernobyl town during 4-day and 15-day shifts. Another 3,000 personnel commute daily to work at the Chernobyl plant from their new home in Slavutych.
After the accident in 1986, over 160 towns and villages nearby were evacuated. Many were demolished, some were simply abandoned. This village that is beyond the main zone of exclusion where radiation fell but evacuation was not mandatory. In Ukraine, this included over two thousand villages. The accident and indirect consequences continue to affect these residents physically, economically, socially and psychologically.
The questions remain – Why do people stay? No alternatives or a sense of duty or because this is their home?
Many more photos to come soon.
Thanks for reading.