In 2020 in Romania, wood is the main heating source in 3.5 million households, and statistics show that annual wood consumption per family stands at 5 cubic meters.
‘Rural areas cannot be doomed to poverty and underdevelopment ad infinitum. Almost half of Romania’s population is not connected to the sewerage system and only one in three Romanians living in the rural area is supplied with water from the public water system’ – said Monday the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at the General Assembly of the Association of Communes from Romania. Moreover, statistics show that two thirds of the rural population is not connected to the natural gas network. According to the Romanian president, future projects should focus on extending the gas network and accessing European funds.
Klaus Iohannis: “The Romanian village has a huge potential for development. Rural communities don’t lack either ideas or force. What we do lack is a long term plan, a clear-cut strategy and concrete action for the rural potential to be better and more efficiently capitalized on. And this plan should become a priority: let’s put an end to those practices that perpetuate and deepen the inequalities between the rural and urban areas.”
Children from rural areas should also benefit from the same conditions as those in urban areas. Village depopulation, school dropout, access to early education, the lack of safe learning spaces are some of Romania’s biggest concerns. In order to find adequate solutions to these serious problems, both the central and local authorities needs to come up with an integrated, long-term approach, says the Romanian President.
According to president Klaus Iohannis it is essential that transparency, integrity, professionalism, fairness and meritocracy should be the principles that should govern the central and local public administration, so as to improve Romanians’ living standards and to bring the services provided by public institutions to the highest level.
‘Normal Romania is not that country where some citizens have fewer chances and opportunities simply because they live in the countryside. Each and every Romanian, irrespective of where he or she is living, must have access to quality public services and find in the local administration an honest partner’ President Klaus Iohannis concluded.
Attending the General Assembly of the Association of Communes from Romania, the environment minister Costel Alexe admitted, in his turn, that the main problem currently facing Romanian villages is the lack of a natural gas network, given that 3.5 million households still use wood for heating, and one in two felled trees turns into ashes.
Minister Alexe concluded that each and every one of us should think of ways to increase the rate of connection to the natural gas network, so as to reduce the pressure that each of us - mayors, citizens or beneficiaries - is putting on Romania’s forests. (translation by L. Simion)