In many areas of Hungary the water supply infrastructure is outdated and of poor quality. In addition to a lack of care in the installation work and the insufficient bedding of the pipework, the poor condition of the water supply infrastructure is also due to the geological conditions. Frequent burst pipes are leading to high maintenance costs. In order to reduce these costs and improve the water supply, Switzerland took the decision within the past few weeks to contribute a total of nearly 25 million Swiss francs towards a package of four projects in various regions of Hungary. The projects will be carried out in the municipalities of Balassagyarmat (4.1 million Swiss francs), Érd (5.8 million Swiss francs) and Ózd (7.1 million Swiss francs) as well as in the district of Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen (7.8 million Swiss francs) and will concentrate on the replacement of main water pipelines and control systems as well as on linking a number of previously unconnected residential areas to the central water supply system.
Approval for two environmental monitoring projects was granted in October 2010. By making a contribution of 5.1 million Swiss francs Switzerland is looking to improve waste and emission controls in the Central Danube region. Illegal waste dumps are not rare in this region and those responsible can only be brought to account providing sufficient evidence is made available. The aim is to therefore improve the laboratory facilities used by the inspectorate responsible for this area and to supply it with mobile measurement and analysis equipment. Switzerland will also be making 5.7 million Swiss francs available to help improve Hungary’s air quality network. This project is intended to help collate more information relating to heavy metal and dust concentration levels. The need to improve Hungary’s air quality network is derived both from the necessity to improve the living conditions and sustainable economic development as well as from the commitments entered into by the new Member States to implement EU Directives.