Sunday 25 February 2018

Chernobyl's fallout persists 30 years on

Adi Roche. Photo: Getty Images
Adi Roche. Photo: Getty Images
Two-year-old Nadya. Photo: Getty Images
Deirdre Reynolds

Deirdre Reynolds

Child of Chernobyl Nikita happily cuddled up to Adi Roche at one of the facilities founded by the Irish humanitarian ahead of the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear disaster later this month.

The adorable little boy is just one of the residents of Children's House Number 1 in Minsk, Belarus, which cares for children still suffering from the fallout of the 1986 meltdown.

The founder of Chernobyl Children International (CCI)is due to speak to the United Nations on April 26 - exactly 30 years after an explosion and fire occurred in Reactor Number 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in what is now Ukraine.

Around 43,300 people were evacuated from Pripyat in the days following the catastrophe, which showered the country with 190 tonnes of radioactive material.

The city has remained a ghost town ever since that infamous day.

Founded in 1991, the charity has raised more than €100 million towards saving and improving the lives of children affected by the accident.

Last November, Ms Roche was honoured with the World of Children Award for her campaigning work for the victims of the nuclear disaster.

One of just six philanthropists awarded the honour also known as 'the Nobel Prize for Child Advocacy', she was praised for "having dramatically improved the lives of children around the world" at the ceremony in New York.

Meanwhile, the Tipperary native is also tipped to receive the Freedom of Cork city for her work on behalf of the people of Chernobyl three decades on.

Irish Independent

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