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The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$4,562,000 GEF grant for the Moldova Environmental Infrastructure Project. The project, which will be implemented by the World Bank, will assist the Government of Moldova in treating Soroca’s municipal wastewater. The project will improve the quality of the Nistru River that separates Moldova and Ukraine, and will pioneer innovative and low-cost constructed wetlands to reduce the nutrient loads on the Nistru and the Black Sea.
The project, located within the GEF International Waters Focal Area, is the latest in a series of 10 GEF/World Bank operations in the Danube/Black Sea Basin program that focuses on nutrient reduction to benefit the downstream Black Sea. The objectives of the project are to improve the quality of sanitation services in Soroca; reduce the discharge of pollutants, including nutrients, from Soroca municipal sources that flow into the Nistru river and, subsequently, into the Black Sea; and to demonstrate and disseminate through feasibility studies and workshops, cost-effective and affordable technologies for municipal wastewater treatment for the potential benefit of similar projects for Moldova’s existing wastewater treatment plants, for towns in Moldova that have no wastewater treatment, and for the countries that drain into the Black Sea.
“We are delighted to provide funding for treating Soroca Municipal Wastewater, an innovative project which will pioneer in using low cost constructed wetlands to reduce nutrient loads from municipal wastewater,” said Monique Barbut, CEO and chairperson of the Global Environment Facility. “The project will also serve as a model for towns in Moldova and for the neighboring countries that are looking for cost-effective and affordable technologies for municipal wastewater treatment plants.”
The Soroca municipality was selected because the government has assigned a high priority to treating Soroca’s wastewater that is presently discharged untreated into the Nistru River, which separates much of Moldova and Ukraine.