Ecological conditions in the Ulchskiy Community

November 1999

Member of the Ulchi Association, 682420 Bulava, Ulchskiy Rayon, Khabarovskiy Kray

The Ulchskiy Community is situated in the Khabaroskiy Kray. The population of the Community numbers 28,000 people. 4000 of these belong to indigenous groups, 2229 of which are Ulchi. Most of them live in the village of Bulava. A large part of the population capable of working is unable to find any employment. There is no enterprise in the community that would deal with fur farming of valuable animals like sabel, kolonok, otter, fox, mink, squirrel or raccoon. Until recent times, the main source of food and clothes was fishery. But during recent years, the situation has become difficult. The Amur River has been polluted with phenols. In the Kadi Lake, where there used to be plenty of fish, 9 t of oil were spilled in 1998. The construction of oil installations is causing environmental damage: as forests are cut down, the Amur River dries up, making water transportation between many villages impossible. The ecological conditions affect people's health. There is an increase in the frequency of oncological diseases. In the village of Bulava alone, 3-4 people die of cancer every year. The fires of last year intensified the prevalence of chronic diseases. The number of premature child births has increased. Relatively healthy parents give birth to children which are not able to survive. People have no access to medical care, either at local or regional health care facilities.

The Ulchi Association of Indigenous People is seeking financial means for the medical examination and treatment of the people of Bulava, for the employment of afforestation workers, and for the construction of a fish processing factory.