Four days of cycling, 200 km along the Prut, 6 stops in different towns, and one final destination: the Danube Day celebration at Giurgiulesti on the bank of the most international river in the world.
From 26 to 29 June, the Franco-Moldovan team of Solidarity Water Europe (SWE) and EUWI+ cycled down the Prut to its junction with the Danube in order to raise young people’s awareness on water issues and talk about how they see their river.
Get active for a healthier river! An original and positive way to raise awareness on water issues
The team made several stops along the way to underline and promote the many initiatives that are already in place to manage and take care of water resources.
At the starting point in the village of Nemteni the team visited the SWE project site of constructed wetland: a nature-based waste water treatment “plant” using a reed bed filtration system.
Further down the road, the team visited a pumping station in Leova village and the EcoSan toilets (an alternative to conventional sanitation with very limited water use) in Zirnesti village school, thus raising awareness among the youngest participants about water saving and sanitation issues.
Engaging young people to reflect on water and its management
The EUWI+ team asked young people for their opinion about the main water issues in their river basin (Danube-Prut and Black Sea river basins). During the journey, EUWI+ presented a factsheet of the main basin issues and asked participants and village inhabitants to fill in questionnaires on key water management issues. This questionnaire is part of the first basin consultation on the Danube-Prut and Black Sea River Basin Management plan developed in this Moldovan River Basin District with support from EUWI+ for the period 2021-2027.
Water as a matter of reflection, and a source of emotion
Throughout the sporting challenge, participants enjoyed wonderful landscapes and discovered wetlands and their wildlife. The journey was also a chance to feel the strong interconnections between human life and water. Through this sensory experience, young people could understand the importance of protecting water resources much more deeply than through demonstration.
Beleu Lake was the perfect spot to contemplate the beauty of the wetland and the richness of its biodiversity featuring emblematic species like flamingos and pelicans.
The unique lake ecosystem is part of the “Prutul de Jos” nature reserve. All along the downstream part of the Prut, from the Manta Lake in the South of Cahul to Lake Beleu and the junction with the Danube, the flood plain forms a fantastic wetland area that harbours many wonderful species (plants and animals). These wetlands are also an efficient natural buffer zone that helps regulate the river flow and constitutes a unique habitat.
More photos of the challenge on the EUWI+ Facebook page