Spring cleaning at Măcărești. At the initiative of the locals, the commune was "polished"

30 March 2021

Several inhabitants of the commune of Măcărești in the Ungheni district went out in an organized way to clean the locality.

Several inhabitants of the commune of Măcărești in the Ungheni district went out in an organized way to clean up the locality. They cleaned and swept the alleys, filled the potholes that appeared during the winter and those left after the installation of the water system. The people came up with the initiative and the manpower, and the municipality - with the equipment and machinery. Such practices of involving villagers in the life of the community empower both locals and local authorities, experts say. At the end of last week, there was a big buzz in the village of Măcărești and the commune's Frăsînești. In small ways, the locals went out to tidy up the streets. While in one slum they were raking leaves and dry branches, in another a few men were loading the rubbish deposited under the fences during the winter into a tractor, a little further down a group of people were planting the 35 decorative fir trees donated by the town hall, and a few ladies were painting the fence of the future park in the village. Galina Lazăr is already imagining the brightly coloured fences. "Here we are, we went out and painted the fence, because in a few days there will be a park here, which will also be the village's visiting card. If everyone goes out and cleans it up, we'll have a more beautiful village," she is convinced. If we don't, who will? Local Ilarion Șeptelici is also out in force. Together with other men, they filled in the potholes with gravel after the water supply system was installed. "We put gravel down, so that people have access and mud doesn't collect when it rains. We also covered the holes that formed on the road after the snow fell. If we don't do it, who will?" the man asks rhetorically, proud that in his 72 years he can help the locality and be an example to younger people. The villagers have also landscaped the area around the village's 100-year-old oak tree. To protect it, a fence, table and chairs will be installed here, creating a recreation area. Mihail Ganga often participates in the clean-up: "I hope that such mobilisations will change the attitude of the people in the village, including those who don't participate in the clean-up, and I hope they will follow our example". Along with the other villagers, the town hall employees also came out to clean the village. Social worker and paralegal Lilia Marcuță raked leaves and picked up litter around the town hall. "Only if citizens get actively involved will they keep it clean. Such mobilisations help us communicate with each other, they make us more responsible," she says. Sergiu Manciu, mayor of Măcărești, is glad that people are showing initiative and not waiting for the authorities to mobilise them to help solve the problems of the locality: "I am glad to see that people are receptive and come up with initiative. I always tell them that I'm cleaning up for the locality and not for the mayor". With the help of the citizens, the site of the future park is being prepared in the commune. "We can do big things with little money. I want to mobilise people to understand that they can make a change and participate directly in making this change happen", added the local elected representative. Expert: "We need to understand the responsibilities we have as members of the community" Citizens' initiatives, supported by local administrations, strengthen the relationship between the taxpayer and the public authority, says Viorel Pîrvan, an expert on good governance at the Institute for Development and Social Initiatives "Viitorul". "Where local administrations are more open to citizens and there is an effective dialogue, there are more chances to involve local people in certain activities for the benefit of all. We need to understand the responsibilities we have as members of the community, and the participation of citizens in sanitation actions is a good example for all localities to follow. In this way, people show their active civic spirit and willingness to volunteer, while contributing to the strengthening of local communities. The efforts and synergy of all residents can bring changes for the better in our villages," says V. Pîrvan. For her part, Lilia Curchi, editor-in-chief of "Natura" magazine and executive director of the Association of Environmental Journalists and Ecotourism, recommends that all town halls take up these best practices of involvement: "These buildings should be mandatory and with the participation of all residents. That way, no one will be able to afford to ignore sanitation work. I know that some municipalities also organise competitions for the cleanest and most landscaped slum or street, other actions that encourage people to be really good housekeepers and have a great educational and environmental impact." Mariana Jacot, Independent Press Association