580,152. 00 USD is the amount mobilized by 38 communities that were the first beneficiaries of the Energy and Biomass Project. While 20 schools, kindergartens, healthcare centers are already using green energy for heating, in other 18 the construction of new heating systems are underway. The EU’s part of the investments made in these institutions through the Energy and Biomass Project is 2, 410, 000 USD.
The project beneficiaries and the local public authorities at different levels were involved from the very beginning in the process of transition to green heating. The community members were the ones who, during the public outreach meetings, decided what institution would install a biomass heating system. All the communities established local committees to supervise the investments made by the Energy and Biomass Project.
„We started by holding a school meeting with parents, followed by a meeting of villagers and UNDP representatives during which we established the local committee and agreed on the follow-up actions. Afterwards, the high school students developed and posted in various places in the village four posters with information about the project implementation steps and also about the community’s financial contribution. While the total project cost was around 1, 000, 000.00 MDL, our financial contribution was 112, 000.000 MDL. When you engage in something, you care, provide your input in modernization, while when somebody else does something for you, you don’t care about what is done and, of course, it is easier to break and wait until somebody comes and gives or does something”, says Natalia Mereniuc, principal of the high school in Nicoreni village, Drochia district, member of the project local committee, beneficiary of Energy and Biomass Project I. See the video story about the local committee in Nicoreni village here.
In most cases the members of the local committees are community leaders, such as the mayor, school principal and teachers, other respected local personalities. They are the ones who mobilize the community, both to promote and inform about the benefits of biomass heating and to ensure local contribution and further smooth operation of the heating system.
„To ensure project sustainability the communities have to involve in implementation from the very outset. We are happy that many of the communities did not confine to just one biomass heating system and installed biomass boilers in other premises as well at own expense or with the funds allocated by the district council”, said Tatiana Crăciun, senior community mobilization officer, Energy and Biomass Project.
It should be noted that the EU investments of the Energy and Biomass Project I in installation of heating systems in the public sector amounted to 182 million MDL, the contribution of the local communities totaling about 28 million MDL. The total surface of public institutions covered by the biomass boilers installed under the Energy and Biomass Project I is around 270 thousand square meters.
Until the completion of the Energy and Biomass Project II in 2017, biomass heating systems and solar water heaters will be installed in other 58 communities. Their part of the investment will be 380,759.00 USD, while the investment of the Energy and Biomass Project will be about 2, 300, 000 USD.
The EUR 9.41 mil. Energy and Biomass Project II is a three-year project (2015-2017) funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme.