Moldovan Countryside – No Hope in Sight

Author Marlon Roseberry Bünck

The Republic of Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. There are significant differences between urban and rural areas, the latter being significantly less of economic growth opportunities.

The widespread poverty in the countryside has led to a massive increase in recent years Migratory movement of the rural population to the capital Chisinau and abroad, especially to Russia and southern Europe. One in three people in rural areas have moved away in recent years. The lack of perspective forces especially young and educated people to emigrate, with serious consequences for those left behind. Agriculture suffers from a lack of labor, is characterized by outdated cultivation and outfashioned production methods, deals with structural problems and lacks competitiveness to fight, despite fertile soils and a suitable topography. The aged, inactive generation falls between chair and bank, as the younger family members have emigrated and the social system of the state do not ensure the necessary access to social and health services can. These difficult conditions do not allow aging in dignity.

Hopelessness is high in the rural areas, as the unemployment is high, educational levels low and massive lack in infrastructure.
Hopelessness is high in the rural areas, as the unemployment is high, educational levels low and massive lack in infrastructure / Ⓒ Marlon Roseberry Bünck

Only half of rural Moldovans draw water from the tap, according to a report by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Villagers often use wells as their main source of water, which in turn provide poor quality water. According to UNDP data, about 44 percent of Moldovans have no access to clean drinking water

The Photo-Story follows several Problems in the countryside of Moldova and highlights Problems and people who are trying to make a change, like the non-party mayor Raisa Spinovschi (46), governing a city that is formally on transnistrian territory of the border river.

 

Raisa Spinovschi at her desk in the city hall.
Raisa Spinovschi at her desk in the city hall / Ⓒ Marlon Roseberry Bünck 

Her municipality Cocieri is only reachable without border controls, when you take the ferry and cross the river Dniester. Cocieri, with its 4,000 inhabitants, is Moldavia, but is located in Transnistrian territory. And that's exactly what causes complications in building infrastructure in order to improve the water distribution.

Spinovschi wanted to connect their water system with a Transnistrian village opposite of her town. "But they refuse any cooperation, although they could benefit from it," says Spinovschi. That's why the city now does its own thing - if only the money was not missing.

Many households draw water from the river, but the pumps are faulty and do not generate pressure. "We have to act, because many of them have been completely without water in the summer," says the mayor. All in all: a vicious circle, because the missing pumps and missing technical equipment to clean out the water, results in serious health implications  for the poor villagers.

The European Union, and Germany as one if its members, is trying to improve the situation by funding and directing projects concering the improvement of the rural areas. The development agency GIZ, located in the Foreign Office, is the leading partner in Moldova. The Regional Sector Programs are the first step. Thy work as an operational tool for regional planning aimed at increasing the skills of Local Public Administrations in developing sustainable regional projects based on intermunicipal cooperation, and in creating the conditions for developing a pipeline projects in compliance with sector policies, current practices and the relevant strategic framework.

In recent years the level of external funding to the Republic of Moldova has significantly
increased. This increase has been partly due to a recognition of the need to improve
in a range of fields.

 

 

About the author

Marlon Roseberry Bünck

Germany

Other publications

Moldovan Countryside – No Hope in Sight

The Republic of Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. There are significant differences between urban and rural areas, the latter being significantly less of economic growth opportunities.