Water Supply to be Cut Off in Hungary Romani Community

20 November 2007

According to the Roma Press Centre (RPA), the Romani residents of Pázsit Street in the town in Hatvan (northern Hungary), face of having their water supple cut off. The water company reportedly threatened that the shutdown would last indefinitely. The residents of 42 flats collectively have over 2 million Hungarian forints (approximately 7,950 EUR) in debts. Mr Csaba Olah, a representative of the Hatvan Romani minority self-government, estimated that only one fourth of the families have jobs or receive housing support, and so only these few families would be able to pay back the debts by the deadlines set by the water supplier. Many residents of the flats are reportedly elderly and living from pensions too small to cover such costs, and even those who have paid utilities will suffer from the shutdown, because there is only one water supply meter for the three staircases that serve the flats, according to the RPA. One possible solution would be to install separate meters for water in every flat, but the costs of installation would be too high for families to pay on their own. The RPA reported that six families had already received eviction notices. The mayor of the municipality reportedly told RPA that although the government does not have a specific budget for situations like this one, even if they did, they would not spend it.

(Roma Pres Centre)


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