Governments of Countries and Sister Cities: the Experience of Rebuilding Borodyanka

The Borodyanka community is one of the most affected in the Kyiv region by the russian occupation. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, about 1,800 objects have been destroyed here.

During the online webinar “Reconstruction of Cities, Destroyed by War: Experience, Challenges, and Opportunities,” the acting head of Borodyanka village, Heorhii Yerko, shared the experience of their community.

“Borodyanka was also under occupation, and military operations were conducted on the territory of our village. The horrors that we found after the liberation of our Borodyanka affected every inhabitant and affected the entire world community. Borodyanka was the first to suffer a massive air strike; apartment buildings were destroyed, and air bombs also hit the private sector. After the airstrikes, 11 buildings were left destroyed and uninhabitable —that’s 711 apartments that our residents lost. On the territory of the community, 370 houses were completely destroyed, and 380 houses are in need of major repairs. During the war, whole streets were shot, and entire blocks of our town were destroyed. 49 objects of state communal property are schools, the prosecutor’s office, the Employment Center, the court, and the police. Everything that was on the central street was destroyed,” Yerko said.

After the liberation of Kyiv Oblast from the russian occupiers, electricity and communications were first restored.

“Critical infrastructure facilities followed: water supply and drainage. The Kyiv Military Administration, State Emergency Service of Ukraine helped us with this. And I emphasize again that, first of all, we also paid great attention to the demining of the region,” added the leader of Borodyanka.

He noted that broad international support plays a major role in rebuilding communities. After all, involving international partners in the reconstruction of communities adds only pluses and the opportunity to learn how to work the way the best entrepreneurs work in the international arena.

“We were able to involve the Lithuanian government in the reconstruction. He is helping us rebuild the school. Almost one million euros were also allocated for the construction of a bomb shelter, and work is currently underway. The contractor is financed by the Lithuanian side, and work is being carried out to rebuild the school and the bomb shelter. Switzerland helped rebuild the inclusive resource center, which was also destroyed in our country. Hungary is helping to restore a school and a kindergarten in the village of Zahaltsi, which is located in our territorial community. The American Foundation is also carrying out work on the restoration of a kindergarten in the village of Borodyanka. Therefore, we actively work with our partners in the search for donors and also in the search for sister cities. Because it was only thanks to their support that we received our Borodyanka heat supply and equipment for the utility company of Borodyanka Oblast. We went to Minsk Mazowiecki (Poland) – it is a sister city. We looked at the waste processing technology that they have. We also looked at how they work with drainage and the latest technologies. There is much to learn, and we want to implement it all on the territory of our communities,” he said.

Yerko emphasized that resuming the work of enterprises is the main task facing their community today.

“We got into the reconstruction program, and the agency headed by Mustafa Nayyem is now working with us, together with the architecture and urban planning department of the Kyiv military administration. We are jointly developing a master plan for our street, our town, and our community in general. Therefore, we hope for further cooperation, we hope for the support of donors, and we hope that we will once again revive both the reconstruction of housing for people in high-rise buildings and the individual sector. We want to see our city safe, ecologically clean, but let’s not forget that without any production, we will not be able to raise the economy of not only our community but also the economy of our state. We are currently working on the issue of creating a technology park that will provide employment for those people who live on the territory of our community,” explained the head of the Borodyanka community.

The project of the National Interest Advocacy Network of ANTS, “Restoring Ukraine together,” is implemented with the support of the European Union and aims to establish effective processes of interaction between all key agents of the Restoration of Ukraine: state and local authorities, international donors and partners, expert and professional communities, and representatives of civil society.

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