On Wednesday, February 26, 2020, the regular meeting of the Project-Executing Agency "Water Supply and Sanitation in Cahul rayon", implemented by the Cahul municipality City Hall in cooperation with the Regional Development Agency South, was held . The direct recipient of the project is Apa Canal Cahul, the municipality's provider of water supply
According to the established agenda, two questions were put into discussion:
- Presentation, comments and approval of the Communication and Visibility Plan;
- Presentation, comments and approval of the Concept of Individual Connections for Sewerage.
Mr. Jan von Vogt, expert of Fichtner Water & Transportation GmbH Consulting Company, presented the initial version of the Communication and Visibility Plan, emphasizing the purpose of the Plan to increase public awareness regarding Water Supply and Sewerage in Cahul rayon by advertising and displaying the results and successes of the project, creating an interest among the potential beneficiaries for connecting to the proposed services. The participants were acquainted with the structure of the Plan, the intervention logic between the purpose, objectives and activities, the target group, the key messages, the principles and tools of communication and visibility, the program and the preliminary budget of the activities. After approval by KfW, the management of the plan will be carried out by a local NGO with experience in the field of communication, which will be contracted through public procurement procedure.
The Regional Development Agency South came up with proposals to supplement the Plan with the 2 documents previously elaborated by the agency, namely: The communication guide within the project, which contains a detailed description of the principles of internal and external communication, of the way of organizing the communication and visibility activities; and the project's Visual Identity Manual based on EU requirements, which contains components of visual identity (logos of parties involved, composite signature of project) and rules of application, as well as examples of the use of the visual identity in the communication materials. "These documents are very important to ensure efficient communication both between the project partners and with the general public and will provide substantial informational and methodological support for the people involved in the communication and visibility activities", pointed out Mrs. Viorica Cuțitaru, specialist in project management. It was also exposed the necessity of concrete indication of the person in charge of each activity, the completion with elaboration of promotional materials, the description of monitoring and evaluation process of the Plan according to the performance indicators.
In the second part of the meeting "The Concept of Connecting the Houses - Sewerage", elaborated by the consultancy Agency with the purpose of providing guidance to the interested parties, so that they can maximize the number of households that will connect to the exensive networks of wastewater, was discussed. There is a national problem of causing households to connect to newly installed sewerage networks that are in front of their properties, because in most cases, households already have a means of evacuating wastewater (in the septic tank, infiltration into land or drain) and they see no reason to spend time and money to make a new connection to the new sewerage network. This was illustrated by the analysis of the recent experience of connection to the sewerage network in the village of Roşu, Cahul rayon, where the connection rate at the time of writing this work is about 25%.
In the process of discussions the participants in the meeting listed several administrative, technical, and financial challenges such as:
- The arrangement of the existing sewerage and septic tanks differs from one household to another; a detailed survey at the level of each household would be needed to describe their positions
- The topography does not always allow gravity evacuation of waste water to the main collector.
- In some cases, it may be necessary for a connection to overtake the property of a third party due to an adverse gradient that impedes the gravitational flow at the street sewer directly in front of the property.
- Some properties have concrete access paths or fences from heavy concrete slabs. Ideally, the connection path to the house should avoid obstructions to reduce costs and disruption.
- Availability / limited payment capacity for a house connection
- Some households are not occupied because the owners live / work abroad.
- In the rural area, not all the water that comes on the pipe reaches the sewerage network because it is used for animal care and irrigation. Thus, it is necessary to find the way to calculate the tax for sewerage separately.
Mrs. Maria Culesov, director of RDA South, mentioned about the need to discuss with each potential beneficiary, regarding the importance of connecting to the sewerage system, the necessary contribution, the location of the wells, the cost of the works, etc. It is welcome to organize information and awareness teams, in order to identify the most appropriate measures to convince the citizens to connect to the sewerage network which is to be built within the given project.