Here are some data referring to the situation in the rural areas:
- 0.9 mlrd cub.m of waste water (20% of the total volume of the wastewater) annually are discharged into the septic pits, or removed using other non-controlled methods and ways;
- 41% of schools all over Ukraine have no central sewage and do not have access to the local treatment facilities; 39 % have sewage pits,87% of those in the rural area; some schools have no sewage systems at all ( source: VEGO “MAMA -86, with reference to other sources).
On the other hand, the international standards applied in rural water treatment systems are considered “improved”. According to WHO/UNICEF data (2012), 89% of the rural population in Ukraine use the “improved” sanitation systems. It is noteworthy that under this monitoring criteria not only centralized sanitation but also other facilities broadly used in the Ukrainian villages, i.e. sewage pits, covered street toilets with pits etc. are considered “improved”.
At the meantime, underground containers for the waste water, as a rule, are not hermetic. The home owners consciously construct them in such a way that the liquid can leak into the ground. Thus the chances of chemical pollution of the first aquifer (the well) are very high. The presence of the waste water components in the well water is confirmed by the analysis of the water quality.
A number of significant obstacles prevent the improvement of the sanitation in the rural areas within the short term. The study carried out by DESPRO in specific communities in 2012-2013, show the following results:
1. The majority of homeowners assess the sanitation as acceptable and satisfactory.
2. The level of the readiness to introduce changes into sanitation technologies is low.
3. The level of homeowners’ readiness to invest into new technologies from their own pocket remains low. 63.6% of the respondents are no ready to pay anything as one-time contribution into construction of the sanitation system which will hook their households to the centralized sewage system. The majority of those who are ready to make a contribution assume it will not be bigger than 500-1000 UAH.
4. The residents of private homes and of the apartments have no conflicts either inside their families or with their neighbors and village councils. Environmental service does not affect the situation either: only 2% of the respondents mentioned the conflicts which arose at certain point with this governmental service.
5. The rural power bodies often lack the appropriate level of knowledge with respect to the acceptable and affordable sanitation technologies: they also lack finances for the implementation of any group decision concerning sanitation systems.
So, the study results show that sanitation projects in the rural areas are related to both socially and financially acceptable technologies and to the considerable awareness-raising and information work among population.
Presently two projects – in Vyrivka village and Illinetske village (Illintsy raion, Vinnitsa raion) are being implemented with DESPRO support (Konotop raion, Sumy oblast’).