The Bakhmutska urban AH became the first hromada in the Donetsk Oblast formed through accession of surrounding villages to a city of oblast significance. To see how a city can be a centre of attraction for rural areas, journalists and local self-government officials from other potential AHs joined a press tour to the Bakhmutska AH. The event was organised by the Donetsk Local Government Development Centre of the U-LEAD with Europe Programme in cooperation with the Bakhmut City Council.
Bakhmutska AH drinks clean water
It is from this strategic facility that we begin our press tour. The new plant was put into operation in 2013, and water extracted from a well can be drunk even from a tap in Bakhmut, workers say.
In Ivanivka, major treatment facilities have been overhauled, and locals are ready for centralised sewage system.
Education in the village is no worse than in the city
Next stop is at the local kindergarten. It is attended by 40 children. The preschool institution administration, together with the village council and the rayon, have won many projects aimed at the development of the preschool institution in several years.
The Ivanivka village school is attended by 180 children, although the school is designed for 320 pupils. From the neighbouring Klyshivka, children are brought by school bus. Seventeen children from the occupied territories receive Ukrainian education through an externship. The school received equipment for the New Ukrainian School, and the curriculum includes choreography lessons in a specially equipped dance hall.
New outpatient clinic at the state expense
The village is waiting for the construction of a new outpatient clinic. The old medical facility is located in an ramshackle building. They have already identified a place for construction, the registration of documents in underway. The construction work will be funded from the state budget.
"We have to bring the standard of living in rural areas to the urban level," summarised the excursion to Ivanivka Svitlana Kishchenko, secretary of the Bakhmut City Council.
Transparent Social Office
Large-scale construction of the Transparent Social Office is currently on. It is scheduled to open in spring 2020.
The social office will serve not only the population of the city, but the entire hromada.
Medical services and outpatient clinic on wheels
There are seven outpatient clinics operating in Bakhmut. All of them have modern repair and provide the necessary list of medical services to the population. New windows and doors were installed here, pipes were replaced, premises renovated, new furniture and equipment purchased, and landscaping improved.
Modern school and accessible education
There is no hub school in Bakhmut yet. They decide on the institution. There can be as many as two for the western and eastern parts of the city. The Bakhmut City School No 10 is equipped as any other hub school in the region. In order to increase the school's energy efficiency, the Bamut City Council received a grant of 400,000 euros.
All the windows were replaced with energy-saving ones, the facade of the building was insulated, individual thermal points, infrared water-climate panels were installed in sports hall and gymnastic area were installed. All works are expected to be completed by February 2020.
Embankment as Bakhmut’s business card
Hromada’s planned activities in the field of education include the creation of inclusive space in educational institutions, organisation of social patronage of preschool children who do not attend kindergartens for health reasons, launch of preparatory courses for External Independent Testing in Bakhmut schools for rural children, development of children’s skills in the Bakhmut out-of-school facilities.
The embankment of the Bakhmutka river became a beauty and business card of the city. Its reconstruction started in 2017.
The hromada has already installed the park lights, pavement, playgrounds, benches and bins, made car parking. The embankment was decorated by the green topiary figures: 23 animals have settled over the river and have already become a photozone for guests and visitors.
Decentralisation is inevitable. No need to fear!
The press tour ended with a frank roundtable discussion, during which representatives of the city council and village starostas spoke to journalists.
Oleksandr Ponomarenko, who was the Zaitseve village head prior to AH formation, and now fulfills his duties as a starosta, told about the positive steps after accession to the city. The budget of the village council was less than UAH 8 million, and the cities had more opportunities.
By the end of the year, each council (rural and urban) will remain on their own budgets, and from the beginning of 2020 the AH budget will be consolidated.
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