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July 28, 2021

World Bank reveals half of Romanians lacks drinking water

Half of the country’s population does not have access to drinkable water and sanitation, pollution levels are much higher than the EU average, farming plots are infested with nitrates and dangerous waste, the staff is incompetent and poorly-motivated, there’s no communication between varying information systems, the overall activity is characterized by political interference and the lack of a coherent strategy – these are merely some of the observations included in a report of the World Bank (WB), presented by HotNews.ro, regarding the activity of the Romanian Environment Ministry and related agencies, with a direct impact on the quality of life. Although significant progress was made in reforming the legislative frame, there’s little evidence of actual change for the better, according the WB report. The evaluation also indicates an excess of audit operations. In this respect, the WB argues an effort should be made to set up a local audit authority and a unified system. The international financial body admits important steps were taken to contract funds, especially for running water and sanitation projects, but, given the current rate of payments, there is a high risk these funds would not be put to use. Another aspect that was analyzed is the public acquisition system, whose weak points derive from the lack of skills or expertise in the management of the overall process. On this count, the WB recommends, in the short run, the set up of a plan for action for every development program, including information, activities and duties, from the moment the projects are approved to their actual implementation. As regards the ministry’s organization, the report indicates no systematic monitoring and no evaluation system for the sector as such exist.

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