In Moldova, a woman councillor leads the way in transforming a landfill into a forest
A year ago, the 4,000 residents of Taraclia, a village 51 kilometres from Moldova’s capital Chișinău, suffered from a nearby illegal landfill’s health hazards, bad smells and unsightly views. Now, thanks to Pelaghia Traci, a local councillor mentored by a UN Women-supported programme, the landfill is gone, replaced by fresh air and a small forest of ash, locust and maple trees.
"The community had to act. This landfill near our homes was an ecological ticking bomb for human health," says Ms. Traci.
Although Taraclia is host to the protected Rapa lui Visan, one of Moldova’s most important natural tourist attractions and residents and the local council had long known and discussed the illegal landfill, little was done – until Ms. Traci stepped in.
A first-term local councillor, Ms. Traci developed problem-solving and community engagement skills after joining Inspir-o!, the UN Women-supported National Mentorship Program for Women Councillors. After several consultations with villagers, she suggested Eco-Taraclia, a project that got the local community to act jointly and clear out the mounds of garbage. People of all ages and occupations, from workers and entrepreneurs to youth and the elderly worked together, removed piles of garbage, which were transported a nearby legal landfill.
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