A basin for accumulating rainwater was launched into operation on 16 December 2021 in Antonești village, Cantemir district, as an efficient and sustainable measure for adapting rural communities to climate change. This is one of the 10 basins built in Cantemir, Criuleni, Hîncești, Leova, and Ungheni districts with financial assistance provided by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with funds of Austrian Development Cooperation in the framework of the “Promotion of climate change and disaster risk reduction solution in the water and civil protection sectors for enhanced rural resilience” project, implemented by UNDP.

According to Gunther Zimmer, Head of the Coordination Office for Technical Cooperation of the Austrian Embassy in Chisinau: “Since 2013 Austria has been supporting projects in Moldova which help put into place priority steps for the country’s climate change adaptation. Rainwater collection and storage basins are a demonstration of adaptation measure in practice at the community level. The rainwater storage basin in Antonesti is one of the 10 basins built in the districts of Cantemir, Criuleni, Hincesti, Leova and Ungheni with the financial support of ADA from Austrian Development Cooperation funds. The basins allow for secure jobs, increase biodiversity and are a sustainable measure against climate change."

The basin from Antonești has a capacity of 4,000 cubic meters of water, is equipped with modern hydro-technical facilities and is envisaged to irrigate over 30 hectares of vegetables grown outdoors and in greenhouses.

The owner of the basin, the farmer Vasile Culicovschi, was selected through a public contest organized by the project and benefited from technical assistance and a grant up of up to US$30,000 for its construction. “Five years ago, when I started my business in farming, I built a reservoir to collect and store rainwater from the roofs of the greenhouses, but it was too small and not adjusted to meet the needs. Thanks to the received assistance, I have increased the capacity of the basin and upgraded it, so as to collect rainwater more efficiently, to enlarge the cropped fields and to ensure better quality for vegetables, even during the driest years.” There is no point in farming, if there is no safe water source,” tells the farmer.

Thanks to provided assistance, Vasile Culicovschi plans to increase the planted areas, to apply organic farming practices, to use other environmentally friendly technologies, and even to open a guesthouse and become a model of sustainable farming for other farmers. “This will allow us to optimize the costs for production processes, streamline all the involved resources and create more jobs,” notes the entrepreneurs.

”The Republic of Moldova is highly vulnerable to climate change considering its economic structure and climatic and geographic features. The agricultural sector is the mostly exposed of all sectors in the country providing livelihood opportunities to more than half of the population. Enabling disaster and climate resilient development is at the core of UNDP work and at the core of sustainable development, therefore UNDP, globally and in Moldova, has committed to promote risk informed policies and on-the-ground climate-related solutions that contribute to building of inclusive and resilient societies,” mentioned Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.

The rainwater accumulation basin from Antonești, just like other basins built in the framework of the project, has a double purpose: on one hand, it will serve as a water source for irrigating the agricultural fields, on the other hand, it will also be a source of water supply for firefighting trucks from the community rescue and firefighting station.

During 2019 – 2022, the UNDP Project “Promotion of climate change and disaster risk reduction solution in the water and civil protection sectors for enhanced rural resilience” with financial assistance provided by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with funds of Austrian Development Cooperation and by Estonia contributes to increasing rural communities’ resilience and adaptation capacities to climate change and disasters by improving water storage infrastructure, rehabilitating and equipping local rescue and firefighting stations from Cantemir, Criuleni, Hîncești, Leova and Ungheni districts. The project also develops the capacities of decision makers and raises awareness of local population from these fiver districts about reducing, preventing, and responding to climate change and disaster risks.

Contact person: Natalia Costaș, Communication and Media Relations Consultant, UNDP Moldova. Tel.: 0 69 22 11 41; e-mail: natalia.costas@undp.org

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