For this second edition of Dnipro Day, co-organised by EUWI+ and the State Agency of Water Resources of Ukraine, families and athletes enjoyed the water and the riverbanks to swim, walk and have a good time with their family. It was an occasion for participants to fully appreciate the joys of the river and make them aware of the importance of protecting it for future generations.
Children playing at the Dnipro river banks. ©OIEau
200 swimmers with a passion for water
The rain was not enough to intimidate the athletes who courageously swam across the Dnipro River. Enthusiastic supporters gathered on the riverbank to cheer on their fathers, mothers and friends.
Swimmers crossing the Dnipro at Dnipro Day. ©OIEau
The role of sports commentator was given to the famous Ukrainian swimming champion, Oleh Lisohor, winner of two 50m breaststroke world titles.
The title-holder was on stage to award the prizes to the winners, accompanied by Johannes Baur, head of sector for energy, environment and transport at the EU delegation to Ukraine, and Irina Ovcharenko, chairman of the State Agency for Water Resources of Ukraine.
The best swimmers received a certificate and professional swimming accessories. The winners included the oldest participant in the race (64 years old) and a mother who finished third and came up to receive the prize with her young daughter.
Winners of the swimming accross the Dnipro river race ©OIEau
Protecting the river from PET
In the morning before the start of the swimming race, children released fish into the Dnipro River, and visited stands with their parents, featuring different games related to water: painting master class and a riddle to guess how much water was needed to prepare their favourite meals and desserts. Parents and children also appreciated the “Fisher” stickers distributed at the EUWI+ stand, and a mascot that raises awareness on good practices to protect the Dnipro River.
Children painting ©OIEau
Children especially enjoyed walking around the giant plastic octopus found in the Dnipro: its 9 legs represented each of the 9 river basins in Ukraine, emphasising the main message of this Dnipro Day 2019: “River without PET”.
Young people watching at the giant octopus ©Water Agency of Ukraine
Emphasis on cooperation and transboundary cooperation
A speech was given by a representative of the Water Agency, Irina Ovcharenko, who insisted on the family aspect of the event. She pointed out that Dnipro Day is an occasion to spend time with our families, to remember the importance of taking care of the Dnipro River, to learn about what causes pollution and to develop good habits to ensure that our children will also be able to enjoy this vital resource.
Irina Ovcharenko, chairman of the State Agency for Water Resources of Ukraine. © OIEau
Johannes Baur, head of sector at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, insisted on the collaboration between Ukraine and the EU in water management and transboundary cooperation.
Johannes Baur, EU head of sector at the EU Delegation to Ukraine. ©OIEau
The EU provides significant support to the Dnipro River basin in the frame of the #EUWI+ project. Its main goal is to develop the Dnipro River Basin Management Plan, which will serve as a roadmap to improve the ecological status of the basin. Moreover, it is supporting the establishment of a modern laboratory on water quality analysis in the Dnipro Basin.
People gathered at the awarding ceremony. Dnipro Day. ©OIEau