About the project content and activities as well as the causes and consequences that we came upon in the realization of this project – were presented by Aleksandra Radevska, project coordinator of JHR. She said:

„We implemented the project in rural municipalities and regional schools. The target group are students, teachers, the media, local NGOs, representatives of local government and water operators. Meetings were organized with local residents, teachers and students as well as local authorities. Workshops were held with students and teachers at the regional level for water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as menstrual hygiene management because of the need to introduce the Compendium as a comprehensive tool. Compendium is specifically used to develop plans for safe water and sanitation. It is intended for teachers and stakeholders in the first two and the third part is for students. It is available in three languages: English, Macedonian and Albanian. The goal is to become part of optional classes in primary schools in Macedonia, and it is already used in six schools in the municipality Aerodrom. As an additional incentive a competition for works on the topic “safe water and sanitation”is planned as well.”

The project in cooperation with all stakeholders aims to assess the situation of access the situation with water and sanitation from a technical and medical aspect, and to define the challenges and problems of small water systems in rural areas. As specific objectives of the project emerged: establishment of a coordinating body for information regarding problems with drinking water and sanitation; improving the current situation in terms of water pollution; situation and dealing with water pollution after the summer floods in Skopje; managing menstrual hygiene.

Benefits from the water and sanitation safety plan (WSSP) are:
– Communities understand the ecological connection and impact on water quality
– Communities understand their responsibility for water quality
– The water supply can be improved through their activities
– Set of measures to protect the water
– Review of the protection zones
– Cooperation with farmers – face to face consultations
– Buying or renting protection zones, afforestation.
– Development of product marketing strategies (water and food)
– Raising awareness among citizens
– Logo for products from sanitary zones
– Inclusion of local media
– Transparency about problems, solutions and finance

Gordana Nestorovska from NGO Radar talked about sustainable development goals and water and sanitation as a prerequisite for municipal development in all spheres. Sustainable development implies development that meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development means that in planning our daily activities, we should think about the future generations. Global targets (refer to the period from 2015 to 2030) are intended to provide countries a roadmap for funding and formulation of government policies in the next 15 years, given that the progress will be monitored and subject to review by means of series of global indicators containing 17 goals and 169 points for those specific goals. With these goals we want to achieve: economic stability, sustainable economic development, promotion of social fairness and protecting the environment, strengthening both gender equality, empowerment of women and equal employment opportunities for all and the protection, survival and accomplishment of full potential for development of children, including through education.
sdg_pictGoal 1 End poverty in all its forms, anywhere. Goal 2 End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Goal 4 Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Goal 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Goal 6 Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Goal 8 Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Goal 9 Built resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Goal 10 Reduce income inequality within and among countries. Goal 11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resistant and sustainable. Goal 12 Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Goal 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Goal 14 Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development Goal 15 Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. Goal 16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels Goal 17 Strengthening the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

Access to water, sanitation and hygiene is part of the corpus of human rights (UN 2010). It is estimated that 40% of the world population has no access to drinking water, and projections are that the percentage will grow. Assuring access to safe drinking water and sanitation for the entire population without discrimination, is an obligation for all governments. Everyone, whether rich or poor, men, women and children, people living in urban and rural areas having adequate housing or not, people with physical disabilities or people living in institutions such as prisons or hospitals, have the right to access these services.

Safe water and sanitation are the basis for achieving good health and gender equality. Sustainable management of water contributes to better management of food production and energy contributing to decent work and economic progress. It contributes to the preservation of aquatic ecosystems, biodiversity and acting against global warming.

About 2% of the territory of the Republic of Macedonia is water surface. There are 35 rivers and 53 natural and artificial lakes. The hydrographic plan shows four basins: Vardar, Black Drim, Strumica and the basin of South Morava. According to the quantity of water resources Macedonia belongs to the area with sufficient water resources but with very uneven distribution. Managed by three ministries, the Legislation is largely harmonized with EU directives and other international documents.

The National Strategy for Sustainable Development in Macedonia is adopted on 12.01.2010. The period of implementation is 2009-2030. It has seven strategic objectives based on three guiding principles and divided: long, medium and short term goals pertaining to the important issue of EU membership as well as the achievement of sustainable development in Macedonia. Level 1: Strategic Commitment no. 1: Achieving EU membership and compliance with the Strategy for Sustainable Development of EU; Strategic Commitment no. 2: Raising awareness and commitment to sustainable development; Strategic Commitment no. 3: Introduction of e-governance as the instigator of sustainable development. Level 2: Strategic Commitment no. 4: Directing the public sector to sustainable development; Strategic orientation no. 5: Directing the financial sector to sustainable development; Strategic orientation no. 6: Directing the private sector to sustainable development. Level 3: Strategic Commitment no. 7: Implementation of pilot and demonstration projects for sustainable development.

Report on the quality of drinking water (IPH, 2014-2015)
Access to safe drinking water is 97% and categorizes Macedonia among countries with very high access; 37% of the population in Macedonia is estimated to live in rural areas; 27% of the rural population is connected to municipal water systems; About 62% used private fountains; About 4% of the rural population depends on the local water supply facilities such as wells, pumps etc.

Challenges: Improving access to safe drinking water to 98% in 2020; Improving the processes of water distribution, including regulation of the protection zones around the springs; Improving water and wastewater purification capacities; Sewage, especially in rural areas; Harnessing the energy potential of the water and waste generated during its purification; Dealing with waste and soil pollution; Implementation of new technologies. Cooperation, cooperation, cooperation…

NCP within the project promoted the video presentation about the Compendium, for small water systems and the need for management of the menstrual hygiene.

Link to the video: