The regular cleaning of the city’s parks has come to a close. School children and students gathered for subbotniky devoted to the cleaning of green areas. Moscow’s most treasured green areas underwent individualized programs, as part of the Listopad Dobra (Good Fall) program, in which some unique aspect of each of the capital’s parks was highlighted to visitors. For example, Bitsevsky Forest educated citizens about its springs.
“There can be no germs in these water sources because the springs appear by the grace of God,” an elderly woman said. To prove her point she was prepared to drink spring water from a bottle.
“I have been collecting this water for 29 years, we drink it and we cook with it, and now I’m taking 15 liters home with me.”
When the decision was taken to do a survey of the regular users of the water source at Bitsevsky Park, this kind of answer was expected. But nobody could imagine that most of those who regularly use the water share this same spiritual confidence in its powers.
83 percent of people there don’t know how the water source functions and believe in its divine origin, and have only a very vague understanding of what forms the water have.
80 percent consider this water to have magical properties, and attribute special healing powers to it. The fact is that these water sources have been blessed plays an important role in this belief. 82 percent of respondents drink this water unboiled or otherwise treated.
In general, it seems that Muscovites do not turn to this water just for its sweet taste and lack of chloride, but also as an elixir. The line of people waiting is impressive, and consists mainly of the elderly.
Some of them are equipped with several small bottles and some with big 19 liter bottles. Sometimes they have to wait like this for an hour and often have to fight for their place.
“There are three springs in our park” says worker at Bitsevsky Park, Alina Ivanova. “All three of them are referred to as belonging to a category of water which is unfit to drink without prior boiling. We want to attract people’ attention to what they drink with this program.”
Meanwhile, volunteer school children stopped cars at the entrance of Kuzminki-Lyublino park, and explained to drivers what damage cars do to the environment, when they drive along the small roads in nature reserves, rather than along highways.
40 young environmentalists participated in this green picket, as well as park workers and a policeman. There were a lot of reasons for organizing this picket, but foremost amongst them was the steady stream of cars which passes through Kuzminki-Lyublino park during the week, trying to bypass the traffic jams on Volgogradka.
In the valley of the Skhodni River in Kurkino, an especially protected area, the main problem is pleasure seekers who come to relax. Locals like to drink beer here and sit around camp fires.
Consequently, there are countless piles of ash and areas of bare earth where once there were water meadows. Students and volunteers from Greenpeace took part in the Listopad Dobra and 50 people buried the piles of ash and sowed the remaining areas with meadow grass seed.
Along the way, they noticed that there is surprisingly little litter in the capital’s parks. This could be because the weather at the moment is not conducive to walks in the open air. It is hoped that it is because Muscovites have started to behave more responsibly towards nature.
Answer the following questions:
1. What does the Listopad Dobra program mean?
2. What are the results of the surveying of the regular users of the water source at Bitsevsky Park?
3. Is it safe to drink water from within the city boundaries?
4. What is the main problem in the valley of the Skhodni River?
5. Does Moscow have a chance of being one of Europe’s greenest megalopolises?
Pakistan: from Dictatorship to Democracy?
The introduction of emergency rule in Pakistan, the crackdown on protesters, the arrests of opposition lawyers, the banning of the Supreme Court from overturning the emergency order, the dismissal of the Supreme Court chairman, the closure of a number of newspapers, and restriction of freedom of movement in the country were measures that have been widely condemned by the international community.
That was a significant factor in a series of statements by President Musharraf - about ending the state of emergency within a month, holding elections, and giving up his post as commander of the Armed Forces should he be reelected, becoming a civilian president.