More than 1,000 police stations in Romania don’t have access to an indoors toilet, Interior Minister Lucian Bode said Friday, promising to upgrade the bathroom facilities used by law enforcement officers.
The only lavatories at some stations are outdoor toilets which aren’t connected to the water mains, the minister added.
He called the situation “a vulnerability for the Romanian police force” and said the government would invest funds to upgrade police stations around the country and build indoor bathrooms.
The situation is an embarrassment for the European Union country but reflects the underdeveloped water and sewerage infrastructure in Romania.
Eurostat figures published on World Toilet Day in November 2019 showed that 27.7% of Romanians didn’t have an indoor toilet. The number of outdoor lavatories is ten times higher than the European Union average.
In rural areas just 35.3% of the population has access to running water, according to Romania’s National Statistics Institute.
„As you saw in the 2021 budget…. we took into account these vulnerabilities…. vulnerabilities of the public order system is the fact that we still have over 1,000 police stations with toilets in the backyards,” he said.
The minister said that the investment funds had been increased by 75% from , from 84 million lei to 150 million lei. The money is earmarked for refurbishing police headquarters and police stations.
“”It is a vulnerability for the Romanian police force, “ the minister said during a visit to the northern county of Botosani.
He asked the Police get more involved in planning and actually carrying out investments.
He said Romania could apply for European funds to supplement the national budget if needed.
He visited two new police stations in the towns of Dorohoi and Săveni, nofrthern Romania which were opened for his visit.
Saveni was in the news for another reason. A locally produced cheddar-type cheese acquired a special protection status on Thursday making it eligible to apply for EU funds, the European Commission said..
A World Vision study published in March 2020 said about 13.5 million people in Romania were connected to water mains, about 70% of the population.