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Made with Switzerland

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Andrii PINCHUK

[ region ]

Dnipro

Priest, community leader in the Voloske village, Novooleksandrivska amalgamated community, Dnipropetrovska oblast

Clean Water and SanitationIndustry, Innovation and InfrastructurePeace, Justice And Strong Institutions

The decentralization and local self-government reform is recognized as one of the most successful reforms, having 64% of public support. It is under risk because of the ongoing military conflict in the east.

Switzerland supported local governments to effectively use newly transferred competences and resources to provide quality public services to citizens, in particular water supply & sanitation and solid waste management.

Before we initiated our reform in 2016, the water infrastructures had not been maintained since the soviet 80’s. Water losses amounted to 90%. Only 40% of our about 2,000 residents had access to running water. Voloske village is located south of a large city so the water quality is quite poor here. Look, I have 14 children. On sunny days, I used to equip them with soap and to send them to the river Dnipro to wash themselves! It was quite dramatic for the village because people just cannot live in places with no water. So we mobilized resources from both the church and residents. We started by drawing a map of the distribution network because it simply did not exist. We had all kinds of trouble to establish an accurate scheme with pens and pencils.

It is possible to build Europe here.

Andrii PINCHUK

So we developed a digital version. It is much more efficient now. Next we modernized the infrastructures thanks to the support from our partners. “Voloske’s brain” is the monument to the walnut we built in the center of the village. Voloske does mean “walnut”. And the monument does look like a brain. But the water pumping station is undoubtedly our pride! Thanks to our activism, the community authorities had no other choice but to support us. They did not believe at first that it was worth investing in a local municipal company to make it a transparent, efficient and rational service provider over a long time span. But we did it. We even live-monitor the system, keep our prices at market levels. People come from all over Ukraine to learn from our experience. And most importantly, the village population is on the rise because people value the quality of our services. It proves that it is possible to build together the conditions for our own development. It is possible to build Europe here.

#StandWithUkraine

Since 24th February 2022 As of today, my responsibilities as a village representative are less relevant. I had to adjust because the war assigned me new duties. We have been actively involved in «hot evacuation» and we have been moving up to 7,000 people from hotspots. We have been taking trips on a daily basis. I wear a bulletproof vest, an American helmet, and we go there in (mini)buses to save people. All this is possible thanks to many caring benefactors. We receive great support from different countries, including from Switzerland. I am also in charge of securing necessary funding. I must say that our local people and our village council are fully involved in the work. We are now as one family. We set up a shelter for IDPs in the Voloske school. More than 2,500 of our fellow citizens received temporary asylum there. Then we have been able to find them a safe haven for a longer period of time, in Ukraine or abroad. Most of them are children, in particular from orphanages, people with disabilities, ordinary peaceful Ukrainians. And every day we provide humanitarian aid to about a hundred families of displaced people in Dnipro City. We also deliver our aid to some hotspots around. Our current slogan: Do whatever you can for the victory, wherever you are.

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