Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
Access to safe water and sanitation is a precondition for people to lead a healthy life. It has been estimated that in the Republic of Moldova between 15 and 20 per cent of the incidence of acute diarrhoea and of hepatitis A, from 22 to 25 per cent of that of gastrointestinal diseases and 100 per cent of incidence of dental fluorosis is waterborne. Because of the lack of capital investment and continuous under-maintenance over the last 20 years at least half of the existing infrastructure for water and sanitation services is in need of significant repair or rehabilitation. There are issues with both access to infrastructure and with the quality and safety of the provided services, especially in rural areas. In cities and towns, only 80 per cent of residents have access to a centralized water supply and 63 per cent to sewerage services. In villages, the access to services is much lower, at 50 and 40 per cent, respectively. Around 44 per cent of people in the country do not have access to safe potable water. The national sanitation authority estimates that around 80 per cent of the wells, often the main source of water in villages, do not meet safety norms due to natural or man-made factors. The issue of poor quality of water is common not only for the households sector, but also for many public institutions. According to the national water and sanitation strategy, around 54 per cent of the samples taken from the water provided to schools exceeds maximal allowed concentrations for chemical-sanitary parameters, while 20 per cent of the samples do not meet microbiological safety parameters.
The nationalized SDG 6 adopts a broad approach, as it tackles all critical aspects in the water sector. One of these includes the extended provision of safe and affordable water, and adequate and equitable sanitation for all (in particular, rural inhabitants, women and those in a vulnerable situation). The quality of water will be improved through minimization of the water pollution from industrial processes, increasing the efficiency of water use, recycling and safe reuse, and enhancement of the protection and restoring of water-related ecosystems (forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes). Involvement of the local and regional communities in water management is of crucial importance when it comes to economic accessibility (through allocation of appropriate investment) and social justice of the rural inhabitants compared to more favoured urban dwellers. As the country’s own reserves of water are relatively small, Moldova will envisage implementing more sustainable integrated management processes in the water sector. In this regard, adequate international cooperation with the two neighbouring countries is very important.