DESPRO helps communities solve wastewater disposal problems
On July 13, presentation of the sewerage system and wastewater treatment plant built in the framework of a pilot project supported by the Swiss-Ukrainian Project “Decentralization Support in Ukraine” – DESPRO, was held in Illinetske village, Vinnytsia oblast.
The cooperation of the initiative group of Illinetske village with the DESPRO project experts started back in 2008. At that time, the village community faced the problem of providing the village with water, because the water supply system, built in the 70s of the last century, did not meet the villagers’ needs and had to be restored.
The current situation has motivated the indifferent community representatives to work together with the local authorities in order to solve this problem. Therefore, after the initiative group was created and the project application was submitted, active collaboration with the Swiss-Ukrainian DESPRO project began, which was taking place in three stages. First, water supply was provided to multi-storey apartment houses and private estates of Illinetske village. In total, within the framework of the project, a water pipe was constructed, 7.7 kilometres long, and the total cost of construction was up to 795 500 UAH.
Subsequently, it became clear that it was also necessary to solve the problem of centralized sewage disposal in Illinetske, since a huge lake of impurities was formed in the village, which the locals called the “local Chornobyl”: it threatened with a real environmental catastrophe. Therefore, at the next stage of work, efforts were concentrated on the organization of water drainage. That rather costly and technically challenging project has also been implemented in partnership with DESPRO.
During the presentation of the treatment plant, Anatoliy Kopytin, technical consultant in DESPRO, told that in 2012 the location of the effluent discharge was defined, the experts chose a domestically produced treatment plant, the capacity of which allowed for the complete biological treatment of the entire wastewater of the village. In total, 920 meters of communication networks were built during the construction process, and about 20 wells were constructed. The cost of the drainage project was 1 900 000 UAH, of which 1 520 000 UAH was a contribution from DESPRO, and the rest amount was provided by contributions from village and rayon budgets, as well as the population. A local agricultural enterprise helped with the site improvements.
Vyacheslav Sorokovsky, DESPRO expert, noted that the collaboration of the community, local authorities and Swiss experts allowed not only for construction of the water supply and sewerage system, but also demonstrated a genuine consolidation of efforts and prevented the environmental catastrophe.
“At present, the spontaneous lake from impurities called “local Chornobyl” has dried up, its location is closed by a protective layer of soil”, - said V. Sorokovsky.
Holger Tausch, Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office, noted in his speech a positive progress in the development of Ukrainian communities. “We can see the results of joint work of the community, Swiss assistance, rayon and oblast. The Swiss Cooperation Office is trying to focus on the needs of the Ukrainian population, and we understand that the issues of water supply and wastewater disposal are important because people on the ground are actively involved in their solution. The results of the project implementation in Illinetske should be used as an example of what each community should have”, - said Holger Tausch.
The successful cooperation of the Illinetske community with experts from the Swiss-Ukrainian Project “Support for Decentralization in Ukraine” - DESPRO proves not only the completion of the construction and commissioning of water supply and sewerage systems, but also the fact that this cooperation has led to a unique and unexpected effect. Therefore, residents of the neighbouring village Romaniv Khutir, inspired by the success of their neighbours, decided to implement a similar water supply model on their own account.
By their example, the residents of Illinetske and Romaniv Khutir villages have proved that life of local communities in Ukraine is getting to a whole new level; people understand that by promoting their own initiatives and attracting additional resources, in particular, from international donors, they can really influence the quality of their own lives.