Sredets

General Information
 
ROMACT Cycle: 
Ongoing
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Mr Ivan Zhabov
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Ms Zumbula Marinova - Chief Expert of the department “Education, Healthcare, Culture, Social activities, Integration and Sport”
Facilitators: 
Ms Dora Petkova
Total population: 
14 934
Source: 
2011 National Census
Roma living in the Municipality: 
2 063
Description of the Municipality: 

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Last update 03/08/2016
 
The municipality of Sredets (Средец) is located in the Burgas region in South-Eastern Bulgaria, it is one of the largest territorial-administrative areas in the country. The municipality has 1 administrative centre (Sredets) and 31 villages. According to the latest census data, the Roma population in the municipality represents around 14% of the total population. The Community Action Group (CAG) estimates an alternative figure of 33% Roma as a total of the population. Most Roma live within the Sredets municipal centre (2 200 persons), or in Pobeda (Победа) neighbourhood, while three villages DE belt (Дебелт), Drachevo (Драчево) and Orlintsi (Орлинци) also register important Roma populations.
 
While electricity is available to all households, some of the dwellings in Roma neighbourhoods are not connected to the municipality's sewage system.  Lack of access to sewage for some of the housing is largely due to the fact that the houses were built without property titles and necessary legal documentation.  These houses, along with no basic sewage and hygiene facilities also often suffer from overcrowding with several families living in one apartment. 
Municipal social housing in Roma areas is often insufficient and in poor condition, and, similar to other Bulgarian rural municipalities, road infrastructures in Sredets is either in very poor condition or non-existent.  The Roma in Sredets also face a number of other serious issues, among them high unemployment rates, high levels of school drop-out and early marriages.
 

The ROMACT Process

Sredets joined the ROMACT Programme in November 2015 with the signature of the Letter of Commitment by the Mayor of the municipality, Mr Ivan Zhabov.
Prior to local elections in Bulgaria, the Community Action Group (CAG) formed and began formulating the priorities of the Roma community in terms of short-term and long-term priorities.

 

Short-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3
InfrastructureRepair and pave the main streets in the neighborhoodPlace waste containers in the neighbourhoodOrganise regular garbage collection and close illegal dumpsite in Pobeda
Long-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2
HousingAdapt the urban planning of the municipality so as to include currently illegal Roma dwellingsProvide decent housing solutions for Roma family in need
EducationReduce the school drop-out ratesReduce the number of early marriages
EmploymentPrepare emergency measures to reduce unemployment

Prior to joining ROMACT, the Sredets Local Council adopted the Municipal Action Plan for the implementation of the Roma Integration Strategy in Burgas region 2014-2020 (MAPRI). During the second meeting between the Local Authorities and the CAG, on 15 April 2016, the CAG proposed its short- and long-term priorities for updating the MAPRI through a presentation and a formal letter. The local authorities in Sredets agreed to work together with the CAG using specific working groups to finalize the update of the MAPRI. At this meeting CAG members were also appointed to assist with the Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism of the MAPRI.
Municipal staff has also attended several training and coaching sessions organised by the ROMACT Programme and have benefited from the support of the ROMACT Expert to develop an application for EU Funds with a focus on the integration of Roma priorities to the Local Development Strategy for funding through the Rural Development Programme.
 
A direct result of participation with ROMACT, a cooperative environment has been established in the municipality and some of the priorities expressed by the CAG have already been addressed by the local authorities, namely through the measures detailed below:
 

Priorities addressed by local authoritesMeasure 1Measure 2
InfrastructureAsphalting of two streets in Pobeda neighborhood
HousingDistribution of 20 waste containers in Pobeda neighborhoodRemoval of the illegal dumping site in Pobeda neighborhood

Timeline Points

25 Oct 2015
Local Elections in Bulgaria - Round 1
15 Nov 2015
Local Elections in Bulgaria - Round 2
20 Nov 2015
STEP 1 - BECOMING COMMITTED - Sredets joins the ROMACT programme
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