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History of the organization

Organization MAMA-86-Odessa was established in 1997 on an initiative of the Luzanovka District mothers who, based on the example and experience of Kyiv mothers that had established their organization MAMA-86, set themselves a goal to solve ecological problems in the area where they lived.
At the time of the NGO establishing the people living in the Lusanivka resort district of Odessa (located at the Black Sea coast and the Kuyalnitskiy Liman bank) suffered from adverse impact of two environmental factors:

1. There was an old treatment facility in the district, which was intended for 12 thousand people, while as the result of a new ‘bedroom community’ building in Odessa (the Kotovskiy District) for 200 000 people the treatment facility was also used for servicing of the new district. As the result of surcharge with the volume of wastewater that exceeded the designed capacity, in the past decade spills of sewage on the streets and into the apartments of local people often happened in Luzanivka (2-3 times a month).
2. 80 meters far from the residential houses an environmentally dangerous facility was working, namely washing and steaming station that washed oil tanks ‘open’ way, emitting into the air huge volumes of steam saturated with life threatening chemical compounds. In March 1996 all the people living in three flats of a house located nearby this facility died during one night.

So, the local people of Luzanivka leared scientific disciplines not from the books or leaflets edited by ecologists, but from spills of sewage near the thresholds of their houses and the smells of steam from oil tanks washing facility.
During three years members of the NGO together with the Luzanivka Self-Governing Committee, which was jokingly called ‘Blockwatchers Committee’ did a lot of work, comprising: collecting of 10 thousand signatures, bringing into court a compliant from 80 local people from Luzanivka, organizing of three people’s gatherings in Luzanivaka, participation in working group of the City Council, which was elaborating draft decision of the Council on resolving of Luzanivka problems, elaboration of alternative decision by the Luzanivka community, lobbying activities on the local level with promotion of the alternative decision. Lobbying activities on the national level included pickets near the buildings of the Cabinet of Ministers, Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council) and work with the Green Party of Ukraine, which carried out lobbying activities on the level of Verkhovna Rada. As the result of active efforts of women from Luzanivka District in December 1999 a comprehensive decision “On Resolving of Luzanivka Problems” was put to vote at the City Council session; the decision allocated funds for completion of the new treatment plant construction and planned to close the oil tanks washing facility in December 2000. The decision to close the facility was proposed by the people living in the district, while Odessa Railway which owned this environmentally dangerous facility lobbied against this decision. Odessa Railway was using its lobbying methods and the women of Luzanivka used theirs. One month prior to voting of the decision at the City Council session a copy of list containing names and phone numbers (office, home and mobile) of 100 City Council members was taken. Old ladies from Luzanivka new about all the “secrets”, so they liked the idea of heart-to-heart talks with the deputy corps representatives. They did the work brilliantly – they were happy to call the people’s representatives and tell them for hours about life of their families under conditions of poisonous evaporations from the tanks washing facility and flooding with sewage. It is difficult to say how much the City Council members liked the talks with Luzanivka old ladies, but in December 1999 they voted unanimously for the decision lobbied by the women. In 2000 the members of non-governmental organization MAMA-86-Odessa together with the people of Luzanivka District and the rest of Odessa celebrated 2 events: the new treatment facility КNS-10А was put into operation and the environmentally dangerous oil tanks washing facility was closed. And 4 years later 4.5 hectares of natural lakes that were polluted with oil during the washing facility operation were recultivated.

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