Meet Akylbek Kushbakov.  He is ten years old and attends School #2 in Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan.

The town nurse is monitoring Akylbek and his classmates for indications of exposure to dangerous levels of radionuclides and heavy metals from the town’s water.  You see, radiation literally flows from the taps in Mailuu-Suu.

Mailuu-Suu was where the Soviet Union mined uranium for the atomic bomb. Today, 20,000 people live here surrounded by piles of toxic radioactive waste. Mailuu-Suu seems to be the town the world forgot.

Since 2008, Blacksmith has installed water filters in the town’s schools and hospital to reduce risks to the most vulnerable.

Watch the video below to find out how much the water filters have helped, and see what Akylbek, Roza and other Mailuu-Suu kids have created to help themselves stay out of harm’s way.

Mailuu-Suu was on Blacksmith’s first-ever list of world’s worst polluted places.


The water that pours from this tap in a school yard in Mailuu-Suu is contaminated with radionuclides and heavy metals.

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