Moldova Water Security and Sanitation Project
The Project Development Objective is i) to increase access to safely managed water supply and sanitation services in selected rural areas and small towns, and to strengthen national and local institutional capacity for water supply and sanitation service delivery; and (ii) in case of an eligible crisis or emergency, respond promptly and effectively to it.
1: Increasing access to safely managed water supply and sanitation services in selected rural areas and small towns.
2: Strengthening institutional capacity at national and local levels for water supply and sanitation (WSS) service delivery
The project is expected to directly benefit around 66,500 people through gaining access to safely managed drinking water and/or safely managed sanitation services within their households. An estimated 30,000 beneficiaries will gain access to a safely managed drinking water service in the dwelling. These beneficiaries are either connected to an unsafe service and will benefit from increased reliability and water quality compliant with norms, or depend on collecting water from drought-vulnerable, shallow, and polluted wells and will gain first time access to a centralized network. An estimated 36,500 beneficiaries will gain access to a safely managed sanitation services, of which 35,000 to centralized wastewater collection and treatment systems and 1,500 through on-site household-level sanitation facilities through the pilot program. Beneficiaries in small towns will gain first-time access to a centralized wastewater system with adequate treatment or, if already connected to a sewer system, will gain adequate wastewater treatment. A pilot rural sanitation program will benefit 1,500 people gaining first-time access to a flush toilet with adequate on-site sanitation facility aligned with national norms. Students and staff of around 100 schools (around 25,000 people) will benefit from improved Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities during their school/working hours and staff and patients of 25 rural health care facilities will benefit from improved WASH facilities.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development (MIRD), as the project implementing entity, is responsible for ensuring that the project is implemented efficiently, consistent with the project objectives and agreements signed. MIRD will be supported in day-to-day project management through the public institution Moldova Social Investment Fund (MSIF), founded under MIRD, acting as the project implementation unit.
The contribution from the Austrian Development Agency will be used to support activities under subcomponents 1.1 and 2.1.
1.1: Expansion and improvement of water supply services and wastewater services in selected rural areas and small towns; improvements in on-site sanitation services for rural villages.
1.2: WASH in (a) health care centers as prioritized by the Ministry of Health (target of 25 facilities) and (b) priority schools (target of 100 schools), following a framework approach allowing flexibility as to the selection of schools or health care facilities based on needs, impact (pupil numbers, patients served), and readiness.
2.1: Strengthen institutional capacities at the national level for resilient, inclusive, sustainable, and efficient sector development and modernization. The subcomponent will focus on capacities for planning, financing, economic regulation, performance monitoring, professional development, and the revision and development of new policies and normative documents.
2.2: Investments (goods, works) and technical assistance (consulting services, training) to support a prioritized multiyear performance improvement plan to enhance the performance of five WSS operators involved under 1.1.
The 2020 World Bank Water Security Diagnostic highlights several pressing challenges to Moldova’s WSS sector, such as (a) inequalities in access and inadequate quality of WSS in small towns and rural areas; (b) weak performance of service providers; (c) poor environmental health and environmental pollution due to lack of sanitation and wastewater treatment; (d) weak institutions and unresolved reform areas that hinder a programmatic, efficient, and inclusive approach in service delivery; and (e) limited effectiveness of the economic regulatory framework to drive performance and financial sustainability.
The project aims to respond to urgent challenges facing the sector. It will finance priority WSS investments in rural areas and small towns to expand access and quality and improve WASH facilities in social institutions. These investments will be underpinned by a package of institutional support at the national and local levels to support sector modernization. The transformational impact of the project will be delivered by (a) creating the foundations and enabling environment for a national programmatic approach for WSS; (b) demonstrating the implementation of this approach in subproject locations with utilities shifting to higher performance; and (c) generating lessons for scale-up under the national program, such as for on-site sanitation solutions.