Villages in Sivas and Erzincan are improved

01 Jan 2010

The infrastructure and awareness building projects executed in the villages of Sivas and Erzincan have done much to improve the standard of life for the locals.

New Horizons - To reduce poverty in 14 selected villages, infrastructure works which began in 2007 have been finalized while awareness raising activities and training programmes have reached 1589 people by the end of 2009. The waste problem, identified as the most disturbing issue by the villagers, was resolved with the construction of advanced sewage systems. An average of ten thousand people now benefit from the approximately 81 thousand meters long sewage pipeline. Locals who previously were uninformed about the support provided in their villages, are now more aware of the support services through regular updates received at arranged meetings, from various publications and through the establishment of a new website.

With the construction of a new sewage system, important improvements in health and hygiene have been observed. Since its construction, the risk of children getting diseases such as diarrhea, jaundice and malaria from various dangerous streams has showed an obvious decline. Settlements in the villages have slowly started moving towards areas with sewage systems. To ensure its sustainability, villagers were given training to protect and maintain the newly established system.

The infrastructure works completed by the winner of a national tender, were continuously monitored and controlled by the Sivas Erzincan Development Project (SEDP)’s civil engineer and necessary maintenance and repair works were carried out by the project two years following the systems’ construction.  

The Local Population was informed

The local population was informed about the support provided in the scope of public sector support measures in the context of the Sivas Erzincan Development Project (SEDP) through numerous means. At meetings held in 50 villages, 1222 people were updated about project benefits. All activities carried out by the SEDP until 2008, were gathered in a handbook which was distributed to the local press, local administrations, mukhtars’ offices and relevant institutions The Project Management Unit offered consultations regarding investments that could be made in the scope of both the SEDP and by other institutions and organizations and provided detailed information to visitors who stopped by the project offices. To encourage participation, all SEDP activities were announced on local television channels, radio stations as well as newspapers.

Local administrations, companies submitting procurement proposals and beneficiaries are also able to access general information about the project, tender announcements, general announcements and news through the website. While users can submit their opinions and suggestions on a log book located on the site, a forum enables project employees to exchange information online. Activity and evaluation reports along with activities carried out by project employees are stored in a database.

By the end of 2009, such efforts led to project activities exceeding expectations by reaching more people than was initially targeted. SEDP thus became one of the most popular projects in the rural areas of Sivas and Erzincan.

Run by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA), the SEDP is one of the largest internationally funded development projects aspiring to reach targets outlined in the National Development Strategy (NDRS) of Turkey. The project is funded by the Turkish Government, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).

The UNDP provides technical assistance for the project which aims to increase agricultural productivity and income levels of rural poor in less-developed parts of Sivas and Erzincan by expanding employment opportunities and fostering individual as well as collective entrepreneurship of small farmers. Such improvements in the living conditions of rural poor women and men are expected to decrease the pressures of migration in rural parts of Sivas and Erzincan and overcome rural poverty on a sustainable basis by ensuring the preservation of the provinces’ natural resources.

In the scope of the project, various training programmes for capacity building have been implemented. One such programme specifically targeted women educating them on mother-child health care, food safety and proper care and feeding of infants. Another training programme for students was organized to teach them about nutrition at school age and protection from infectious disease.