EU-UNDP project teams up with rural population to mend water supply in Sumy region

Water pipeline building works in Nedrygailiv rayon, Sumy region, due to EU-UNDP project
Water pipeline building works in Nedrygailiv rayon, Sumy region, due to EU-UNDP project

Thanks to the EU-UNDP Community-Based Approach to Local Development Programme (CBA), the populations of four villages in the Nedryhayliv district, Sumy region, will have regular access to water. The programme provided private houses, a feed-milling plant and a childcare centre with four new water pipes.

Water shortage, especially in summer, was one of the district’s major challenges. Until recently it meant many people had limited access to such basic needs as laundering, dishwashing, cleaning, bathing and cooking. Today, residents of villages in Nedryhayliv rayon can enjoy high-quality eco-friendly water mined from the 670-metre deep reservoir and supplied through a 3.2-kilometre long water pipeline.

The bottom-up governance approach of the CBA Programme has illustrated the importance of involving all stakeholders, including citizens, international partners and local authorities. “The total cost of the project was estimated at UAH 1.1 million (€103,361), of which more than half was contributed by local residents, UAH 300,000 (ca. €30,000) was funded by the EU, and UAH 261,000 (ca. €26,000) was committed by the local government budget,” Tamara Sirenko, project coordinator, explained.

“This is a very good idea, especially for elderly people,” says Mykhaylo Philonenko, a Nedryhayliv dweller. His neighbour, Hanna Zakharchenko, agrees: “the water is perfect, and we hope it will never end.”

According to Oleksandr Kushnirenko, the head of the Nedryhayliv district council, this experience boosted solidarity and interest among local authorities and ordinary citizens of other neighbouring villages to combine efforts to face common challenges. “Four other communities want to join the project,” he says, adding that six civil society organisations have already been established to address the villagers’ needs, raise funds, and take common action in other areas.

 

Background

Over 1,100 Ukrainian communities and 1.2 million citizens have benefited from the EU-UNDP Community-Based Approach to Local Development Programme since its launch in 2007. With a total budget of €30 million (UAH 318 million), it has rebuilt health centres, supplied street lighting, provided school buses, replaced windows in schools and hospitals and ensured the supply of clean water. This has all been done with the support of organised local community groups, using social mobilisation tools to bring together local communities and local authorities for joint decision-making, cost sharing, implementation of community projects and the establishment of sustainable and transparent mechanisms of local governance.

For more information, visit Project’s website

Kostiantyn Yelishevych, Sumy