The EU and Germany have allocated €20 million toward the first phase of a project to upgrade the municipal water supply and drainage system in Chernivtsi. Out of this amount, €17 million is a concessional loan from the German government, and €3 million is an EU grant. The funding will be administered by the German KfW Development Bank. On April 13, Oleksiy Kaspruk, the mayor of Chernivtsi, and Roland Siller, a member of the KfW management committee, signed an agreement on the financing and implementation of the project.
“For years we have been trying to solve the problem of the reconstruction of our water supply and drainage system,” says Kaspruk. “The municipal system is quite complicated. It used to serve the needs of large enterprises that are now gone. We are faced with the problems of deteriorating networks and outdated equipment. This project will help to improve the quality of drinking water in Chernivtsi. Our city is located on the river Prut, one of the largest tributaries of the Danube, so the project will also have a positive environmental impact on the region.”
The first phase of the project will improve water intakes, transmission pipelines, water treatment reservoirs, distribution networks, pressure zoning, and other elements of the municipal water system. The project will also optimise the management and functioning of the system, facilitate process improvement, upgrade equipment for detection and repair of leaks, improve transparency, and increase public awareness about water supply services. The German government has issued the €17 million loan on concessional terms: at 2% interest rate for 30 years with deferred payments for 10 years. The EU provided the €3 million grant via its Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF). “This grant will attract the best European experts, know-how, and advanced local experience,” said Roland Siller.
The second and third phases of the project are being prepared now and amount to €21.55 and €23 million respectively. The total financing for the Chernivtsi water system upgrade will amount to over €60 million.
“For many centuries people believed that water was a natural gift that did not require care,” says Jan Tombinski, head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. “Now everyone realises that water is one of the most valuable resources and requires protection. Ukraine is lucky to be among the European countries with the most surface water resources, but they must be used wisely.”