The wastewater treatment plant in the southeast town of Strumica is not only the first facility of that kind built in North Macedonia with IPA funds, to the huge benefit of local population and the environment. This facility is also a pioneer in advertising its purpose and in promoting public awareness of the need to protect the nature together with art.
Colourful murals, painted by five artists on the walls of the facility, explain what it does and how important it is to keep the environment clean. The murals also beautify the usually dull architecture of the industrial buildings. They make the facility more eye-catching, especially for children, and invite them to learn more about the importance of water.
It was not by chance that children were the predominant audience at the inauguration of the murals, organised as part of the EU-funded project entitled 'Art and water – the magic of life'.
'What you see behind me is a beautiful story. It is an account of how important the environment is for our lives. It is a story of how much we need to use water carefully in times when it is becoming even scarcer in the world. It is also a story of what the EU does to help your country to protect the environment', EU Ambassador Samuel Žbogar told the children, whose drawings on the topic of environment were showcased together with the murals.
He expressed his gratitude to the artists who helped in telling this story: Vane Kosturanov, Dragan Kitanovski-Drash, Blazhe Atanaskov, Filip Koneski and Marjan Dimikj.
Under IPA, the EU has so far invested around 90 million euros in the environment in the country and has allocated additional 110 million that can be spent until 2025. Great deal of it is about the water sector and management of waste.
But there is something that no EU assistance can replace – that is the individual responsibility of each and every citizen in protecting the environment. This is exactly the topic of the Delegation's new campaign entitled 'Za chisto kako doma isto' ('Let's keep it clean like in our home') that is starting end May.