The current state of drinking water quality, access to water and sanitation, problems of water and health were discussed by participants of the forum "AQUA-Ukraine 2017"
On November 7, 2017, an extended meeting of the Interdepartmental Working Group (IWG) on coordination of the implementation of the Protocol about Water and Health (hereinafter referred to as the Protocol) was held. The Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources (MoE) of Ukraine is leading the work of the IWG. The extended meeting was facilitated by Oleksandr Bon — National Focal point on the Protocol from the MoE, and Iryna Rudenko — National Focal Point on the Protocol from the Ministry of Health.
The event took place within the framework of the Forum “AQUA-Ukraine 2017” and got concern of Forum participants. The meeting was open for all stakeholders and it was attended by 58 representatives of various institutions, organizations of stakeholder and members of IWG. The format of the event gave the opportunity to inform a broad public about the Protocol process and actual its implementation tasks for Ukraine as well as include those to whom was interesting to discuss the IWG meeting agenda issues.
The task of the IWG meeting was to present and discuss the main results of the Baseline Analysis (BLA) by 2015 year for 20 targeted areas according to article 6.2 of the Protocol. BLA preparation is the first step for revision of national targets & indicators to the Protocol, as stated by Ukraine in the last National Summary Report prepared in 2016 year to the 4th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol. Ukraine has requested technical assistance from the Secretariat of the Protocol — UNECE for revision of the national targets indicators to the Protocol.
BLA Results were presented by:
- Anna Tsvietkova — Common problems and preliminary BLA results
- Roman Rodyna — The main results of the BLA in the target areas related to water and health
- Oleksandr Kravchenko — Main results of the BLA in the target areas related to access to drinking water
- Ihor Satin — Main results of the SA in the target areas related with issues of sanitation and wastewater
- Anna Tsvietkova presented instead of Mykhailo Yatsiuk the issue — Main results of the BLA in the target areas related to IWRM and water for aquaculture
- Olga Tsygulyova — Main results of the SA in area number 18 concerning the definition and restoration of especially polluted places that affect or may have a negative impact on water resources and objects falling within the scope of the Protocol
- Anna Tsvietkova — Main results of the BLA of target area: “Publication of information concerning quality of supplied drinking water and other waters covered by the Protocol”
During the discussion a significant amount of comments and additions concerned issues of access to and quality of drinking water, rural water supply and sanitation, impact of deregulation processes, negative impacts of administrative reforms of the National Authorities on the substantial weakening of the state water monitoring, including drinking water and almost elimination of the state control/surveillance in the field of drinking water supply and sanitation (a moratorium on scheduled inspections is in force since July 2014 till January 1, 2018); incompliance by Ukraine of the requirements of the Protocol to establish or upgrade the surveillance system and early warning on water related diseases; a lack of the state policy to ensure the quality and safety of drinking water and sanitation; on the significant and prolonged neglect of problems, which accumulated in the area of access to sanitation and wastewater treatment, surface and underground water pollution in Ukraine, an unsocial tariff policy of the state, ignoring affordability criteria of water and sanitation services and consumer rights protection, lack of access to actual, relevant and complete information for the consumer and decision makers. Participants have discussed the need to consider the global and regional frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goal #6, the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement Commitments on European Integration, particularly goals of the EU Water Directives, which are implemented by Ukraine.
Summarizing the results of the IWG meeting, Oleksandr Bon thanked all participants of the IWG meeting and formulated the next steps: experts’ work on comments to the BLAs of the target areas received during the meeting (up to 12 November 2017) and preparation Draft Joint BLA for consideration by the members of the Steering Committee of the National Political Dialogue (NPD) on IWRM on November 28, 2017, to conduct of consultations with the participation of Mykola Kuzo — Deputy Minister for issues of European Integration, the MoE, national Focal Points on the Protocol and coordinator of the expert group concerning preparation (policy paper) to NPD on November 28, 2017.