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Odesa region: water for Roma, water meters for utility providers
Korsuntsi, Odesa region. Photo: uk.wikipedia.org
Korsuntsi, Odesa region.

Roma from the village of Korsuntsi, Odesa region, are threatened by cutting off water. The Vodokanal (the water supplier) motivated this decision by a statement that people do not want to install water meters at their own expense. The lawyers of Roma human rights centerpointed out the illegality of such threats and solved the situation in the legal field.

In April 2017, representatives of the Roma community of the village of Korsuntsi addressed the Office of the Legal Development Network at Roma human rights center in Odesa. They told about a sad perspective to remain without drinking water. Living conditions in Korsuntsi are quite difficult, therefore, for more than 70 Roma the availability of water supply in this area is vital.

The Center's lawyer Vita Kobzar and consultant Maksym Dzhum went to Korsuntsi. Contacting local MPs, they found that a private company providing services of water supply and sanitation is planning to illegally turn off the water in the Roma quarter. They motivated by the fact that the alleged recipients of services do not use technical equipment for recording the quantity of water consumption.

“They wanted to turn off the water, since not all residents had installed water meters. Those who had not paid at a fixed rate. The Vodokanal decided that it was necessary to get people to install the devices through the threat of turning off the water, without reason”, explained the head of Roma human rights center Volodymyr Kondor.

With the support of local deputies, the staff of the Center held talks with the representatives of the private enterprise and managed to prove that the requirements of public utilities in such form are illegal. The result was agreed: to set the total meter and to distribute between the houses joint obligation for the consumed water.

“After our intervention, it was decided that the authorities of the district will install counters in the near future at their expense and water will not be cut off”, said Volodymyr Kondor.

The Center staff are planning to continue to monitor the situation to be completely solved in the legal field.

The project for the protection of Roma rights in Odesa region the NGO "Roma human rights center" is implemented in partnership with the NGO "Association of Roma in the city of Ismail", and CF "The Planet of Kind People" with the support of Roma Program Initiative of the International Renaissance Foundation.

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