There is no doubt that accidents are the "best" and, unfortunately, the only lobbyists for critical infrastructure.
With the onset of another accident, a government commission convenes, which, among other things, finds out that the problem is not local but complex. Sometimes the scale of the problem is obvious even without emergencies. For example, the situation with drinking water quality in Ukraine.
Even the authorities have officially acknowledged the scale of the problem: the National Report on Drinking Water Quality states that the country's water utilities are "not ready" to meet the requirements of the State Standards adopted in 2010 - "Hygienic requirements for drinking water intended for human consumption." The introduction of these requirements has been postponed in full, but time is running out, and from January 2022 all the water in the taps of Ukrainians will not meet state standards, and "solving this problem remains unattainable for the vast majority of water utilities in Ukraine."
From 2011 to 2020, only UAH 394 million was allocated for all needs of the industry under the national target program "Drinking Water of Ukraine".
According to very modest estimates of local authorities and the Ministry of Regional Development, at least 1.5 billion hryvnias are needed for priority measures to bring the quality of drinking water to regulatory requirements. This is almost as much as the construction of the Holodomor Museum, which is fully funded.
Probably the satisfaction of human needs for quality water is not in time.
However, there is hope - the Ministry of Community and Territorial Development has initiated a bill proposing to approve a new state program "Drinking Water for 2022-2026" for the implementation of 1,700 infrastructure projects with a budget of UAH 29 billion. We will see how much the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance and the deputies will leave for Water for Ukrainians, how this program will be financed. However, unfortunately, without creating a quality state strategy, with a "whip and gingerbread" for all stakeholders, the new Program may suffer the fate of the previous one.
Unfortunately, like most government strategies and policies aimed at solving problems that look like a wish list in amateur personal development courses. The reasons for the problem are correctly voiced and even the markers of the effectiveness of achievements are named. However, goals and objectives look like intentions, without real ways to solve problems. Sometimes such things seem ridiculous.
For example, experts who developed the draft Water Strategy of Ukraine believe that in order to ensure 100% access of rural and urban populations to safe and economically accessible drinking water by 2030, it is necessary to "legislate state guarantees for equal rights to water and sanitation." . However, such "guarantees" are already enshrined in the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Service, which virtually none of Ukraine's drinking water supply companies can fulfill. Their technical condition cannot ensure the bringing of drinking water to the regulatory requirements for its quality and safety (DSanPiN 2.2.4-171-10).
Why is this happening? Stakeholders do not often listen to the opinions and suggestions of industry programs. Programs are written by officials or outsourced professionals who sometimes never worked in the field. Therefore, the measures they propose do not always meet the real needs, priorities and justification. Otherwise, why, for example, when "millions" spent on reconstruction, for example, municipal heating networks, the accident rate is not reduced?
Sometimes sectoral programs are funded based on the greater influence of a particular deputy, in whose constituency certain work is planned. But in most cases, these programs are simply not funded.
Without clear levers of responsibility for non-compliance, a well-written legislative vector will break into someone's lack of political will. Therefore, in order to ensure the irreversibility of the set goals, a little more is needed: a "whip and a gingerbread" for all participants in the process, a strict framework and sanctions for non-compliance.
As for the political will, I believe that the introduction of such measures can be extremely useful for the high Kyiv authorities in their interaction with local self-government. The implementation of infrastructure projects on the ground will indicate a real concern for people, rather than imitating reforms in the form of new benches.
It is necessary to stimulate local governments to develop and update sectoral schemes for the development of engineering and transport infrastructure. Such a "gingerbread" can be a real state support for those measures for which the state has acted as a guarantor of quality standards.
A "whip" should be a complete legislative "stop" in the implementation of favorite local deputies development projects: approval of urban planning documentation for residential and commercial real estate should take place only after the implementation of engineering and transport infrastructure in the village, mandatory and priority financing of these activities budget or developers, changing approaches to connecting developers to utilities, etc.
It is already impossible to leave for Kyiv from the nearby "villages", where modern residential complexes for tens of thousands of residents have been built, with impassable rural roads and high-rise buildings with sewers ending in a septic tank, which is sometimes a common cesspool.
If in villages with 200 yards columns and latrine pits are a common phenomenon, in densely populated residential areas the lack of centralized water supply and drainage is an anachronism. A septic tank in high-rise buildings that drains into the ground and enters aquifers, from where the wells of the occupants of these houses draw water, can provoke epidemics that are more terrible than the coronavirus. If the problem is not solved in time, the terrible environmental consequences can turn these areas into uninhabited ghost areas. You reap what you sow.