In the Republic of Moldova, over 60% of the rural population has no access to running water. Sewage systems are absent from 90% of localities; only 1 of 10 villages has sanitation services, reports UN in Moldova

In 2015, with support from development partners and the State Chancellery, neighbouring localities joined forces to provide common services to their citizens.

Diana Ninescu has been the director of the Chetrosu inter-municipal enterprise for a year. Her company serves 18,000 people from four villages in northern Moldova. They now have running water, a modern garbage disposal service, and accessible roads.

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The enterprise was created with the support of the Joint Integrated Local Development Programme, implemented by UNDP and UN Women with the support of the Government of Danermark.

“The biggest challenge, however, was to ensure their functionality. This kind of company needs to be led by a skilled manager, otherwise it is doomed to failure. The success we are registering in Chetrosu is largely due to the determination of Diana Ninescu”, said Ghenadie Ivascenco, UNDP consultant.

I will not be discouraged, just because I am a woman

Diana mentions that at the beginning her greatest problem was the fact that she is a woman and did not have all the engineering skills required in this domain.

“It took at least half a year to change the attitude of distrust I met as a woman in this position. Initially, I could not even get the mayors and members of the enterprise to listen to me when I tried to explain how I want to improve services at the municipal level. This attitude changed when they realized that I have a constructive approach and that I would not be discouraged, just because I am a woman”, says Diana.

Today, people from the four villages served by the enterprise only know her from the occasional phone call in case of emergencies or problems. However, her name is on everyone’s lips: “Water-Diana”.

Diana feels proud of her work.“This means a better life for our senior citizens, for those who used to bring water from wells half a kilometer away, for mothers who now accompany their children to kindergarten on safer roads, and for the entire community that can enjoy a cleaner environment thanks to correct garbage disposal”, says Diana.