KIEV:situación de sus infraestructuras AGUA

Kyiv Establishes Working Group to Redevelop Water Infrastructure

The city government of Kyiv last week announced the establishment of a key working group to plan redevelopment of the city’s water infrastructure.

The working group consists of senior members of the city government, the Kyiv Vodokanal (water company) and executives from project management consulting company Baker & Mackenzie.

However, the wider economic situation in the country will have a major affect on authorities’ ability to deliver on their promises. The stated budget of a mere $4.9 million USD will not be anywhere near enough to implement a comprehensive solution.

The government has said that the allocated budget for the Kyiv water reconstruction project will be increased year-on-year as funds become available and is, for the moment, an opening estimate.

However, it has led to fears that spending will be concentrated on water services for richer neighborhoods whose residents hold more political power than the poorer people in other districts who would benefit much more from improved services.

Kyiv has suffered several infrastructure collapses and breakdowns just in the past year as a result of its decaying fresh and wastewater networks, and there is a growing sense of urgency that it must confront the problem.

In common with much of the former Soviet Union, the water industry in Ukraine has suffered from a serious lack of investment for the past 30 years. During much of this time there was no money available for simple maintenance work, let alone planning for the future.

However, the population of the main cities has been increasing steadily, leading to increased strain on an ever more decrepit network.

The freshwater supplied to Kyiv’s residents is considered undrinkable by local standards, which are already much lower than in the EU or United States. Poorer people who cannot afford bottled water have little choice but to drink it.

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