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EU and German support for Moldova in improving energy efficiency in schools and ensuring access to water and sanitation 

The importance of energy efficiency has probably never been clearer than these days. The Republic of Moldova in particular is facing enormous challenges, especially in view of the upcoming winter. The country is almost entirely dependent on gas supplies from Russia and has been in a gas crisis since the fall of 2021. Against this background, improving energy efficiency plays an enormously important role in the country. This is precisely where one of many measures of the European Union comes in. Besides this, the EU also makes sure that more Moldovan people get access to water and sanitation systems. 

With a total budget of €39.8 million, the European Union is financing the “Construction of Water Supply and Sanitation infrastructure as well as Energy Efficiency in public buildings” project which is implemented by the German Development Cooperation through GIZ in Moldova in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development of the Republic of Moldova. As a result of this project, more than 5,000 pupils of the schools, teachers and other staff enjoy improved education conditions and a comfortable teaching environment. Thanks to the energy efficiency measures, the annual normalised energy consumption and the annual normalised CO2 emissions have been reduced. Within the framework of the water supply and sanitation infrastructure measures, more than 100,000 people have access to reliable drinking water and centralised sanitation services. 

Between October and December 2022, partners from national, regional and local level celebrated other four inauguration events for five projects: in Flămânzeni on 2 October, in Ungheni on 9 November (for two projects), in Edineț on 23 November, and in Călărași on 8 December. 

The relevance of these events was made clear by the high-level participation of President of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova Igor Grosu, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development Andrei Spinu, as well as of the ambassadors and representatives of the European Union and Germany. 

On the occasion of the inauguration of the renovated gymnasium from Flămânzeni village, Igor Grosu, the President of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, said: “Ensuring energy security is a government priority. Investing in the energy efficiency of public buildings, homes and businesses will help us lower the cost of energy resources, as well as respond to environmental challenges that become increasingly more frequent due to climate change. I am glad that, thanks to our development partners, similar projects are being carried out in dozens of localities across the country and will change the lives of thousands of people for the better.”

In Edineț, at the celebrations for the finalised water project, Natalia Gavrilița, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova said: “The development of rural settlements, the rehabilitation of roads and the water and sewage infrastructure are among the priorities of the Cabinet I lead. As an example, in this sense, the project initiated by the Government – the European Village, launched in the summer of this year. We want to witness the launch of the 500 projects, which are being implemented in the localities selected through the competition, and to see the construction of new water supply and sewage systems, street lighting projects or photovoltaic parks in a year’s time. We want to attract investments in the villages, and for people to have well-paid jobs, modern living conditions and thus stay in the country, at home, with the whole family.”

In Ungheni, two projects have been finalised and celebrated in November. Jānis Mažeiks, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova: “The EU has contributed almost €40 million to support increased access to public services at the local level in the Republic of Moldova, and I am proud to see the results here in Ungheni, because investing in the younger generation is the best investment for the future. I am glad to see that the efforts made to increase energy efficiency yielded results, and today the ‘Mihai Eminescu’ Theoretical Lyceum can serve as an example for other public institutions in this regard. In addition to energy efficiency measures, today we are also marking the completion of the extension and rehabilitation of the water supply and sewage system. Both projects are aimed at improving people’s quality of life and protecting the environment, and the EU is with Moldova on this journey.”

The construction works in the 8 schools include, inter alia: 

  • renovation of the roof, 
  • insulation of the exterior walls of the building, 
  • rehabilitation of the interior heating system, 
  • installation of photovoltaic systems for the production of electricity,
  • provision of domestic hot water and 
  • renovation of interior bathrooms of the institution. 

The EU-funded infrastructure projects were accompanied by capacity development measures and energy management measures supported by the German Government, and a vast array of energy related curricula features for the pupils for which the teachers mobilised efforts. In cooperation with the Centre of Continuous Education in the Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings of the Technical University of Moldova, training modules were developed, piloted, institutionalised and delivered. In cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, EUREM European EnergyManager Trainings were delivered.

The construction works within the EU-funded infrastructure projects on water supply and / or sanitation included for example: 

  • improved or extended water supply network systems,
  • Installation of water reservoirs,
  • improved quality of drinking water,
  • renewed technical infrastructure and 
  • improved or extended sanitation network.

Accompanying measures supported by the German Government included the development of strategic documents in water supply and sanitation, an increase of the service capacity of the water suppliers. Also, new leakage detection equipment for improving the technical efficiency has been procured, drinking water quality laboratories have been upgraded and service workers received equipment and clothing in support of increased labour safety.

The remaining four inaugurations for the renovated schools with increased energy efficiency in Bălți, Basarabeasca, Leova and Șoldănești will be organised in 2023.