Water4life in Romania

Water4Life and SMHO start project for safe drinking water in North Romania. 

 

For good health safe drinking water is essential. However for many regions in the world safe drinking water is not always available. This happens to be also for the people in the Romanian region Bucovina, a part of the province of Suceava, whose health suffer from bad drinking water. It is this northern region the foundations Water4Life (www.water4life.eu ) and SMHO (Stichting Medisch Hulpverlening aan Oost-Europa www.smho.nl) will start a pilot project to improve the availability of safe drinking water. It is known that in the communities Vatra Moldoviței, Moldovița, Frumosu and Vama no water piping system is available. Here, people use mainly ‘free’ drinking water from pumps and springs, since the bottled water is relative expensive forthem to buy. But consumption of this ‘free’ drinking water is dangerous, since the quality and in particular nitrate concentration changes during the year. Especially during spring the quality of the water drops to dangerous levels. In that period melting water from the mountains and heavy rainfall increase the nitrate concentrations in the ground water. The nitrate, when converted into nitrite by micro-organisms, can poison small children and old people. It is one ofthe problems related to bad drinking water, which can be prevented by using an appropriate filtration system to make safe water. The pilot project focuses on the improvement of inexpensive clear and healthier drinking water. Earlier projects carried out in Asia and Africa have learned that co-operation with local organization is a key success factor. The research in water and ground quality done by working groups of universities in Romania could support the project. Therefore the project will run in co-operation with local institutions and university working groups to carry out following activities:

  1. Helping to set-up local workshops, where delivered components are assembled to water purification units, subsequently distributed to local households and institutions like schools and health care centers, and where the units are regularly checked and repaired.
  2. Helping to establish small enterprises that bring assembled water purification units further into the market.
  3. Training local organizations in creating awareness among the community by giving information on the danger of drinking polluted water and how this can be improved.

In April of this year a delegation of people of SMHO has spoken with the majors of the aforementioned villages and informed the directors of medical centers, retirement homes, and hospitals about the intended pilot project. All of them welcomed the objectives of the project. There is no good and reliable drinking water. Even the water supply company of the city Câmpulung Moldovenesc can not meet the quality requirements demanded by the ministry of health. As a result the local hospital has to drill a deep-well pump (20 m) to meet the water quality specifications.

In July Water4Life, SMHO and its network in Romania will organize meetings, for which people of the Romanian and local government, directors of schools and health care centers will be invited.

The results of this pilot project will serve as basis for a further roll-out in Romania and other East-Europe countries.